Sausage and Corn Chowder
Serves 4 to 6
This chowder recipe is absolutely sensational. The first time I made it was for a friend's birthday celebration and everyone was so impressed. The chowder is loaded with corn flavor since the bare cobs are cooked in the broth. I prefer yellow corn for this presentation since it is not as sweet as white, but either will do. Although it takes some time to prepare, it really is easy and well worth the effort, and it can be made ahead as indicated in the instructions. Make it in the summer when the corn is at its best. However, I have made it in the winter using corn on the cob that I froze during the peak season and it worked very well. If you are concerned about the heat from the jalapeno peppers use less, remove the inner membrane and discard the seeds.
- 3 ears corn, preferably yellow
- 4 cups whipping cream
- 2 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken broth
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 fresh thyme sprigs (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
- 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno peppers, with or without seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 medium baking potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
Cut corn from cob. Place cobs in a large soup pot, set kernels aside. Add cream, stock, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and 1/3 of onions to pot. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Strain through a sieve set over a large bowl, pressing on solids with the back of a spoon. Set corn stock aside.
Cook sausage in heavy skillet over medium heat until cooked through, turning occasionally. Cool sausage; cut into 1-inch pieces.
Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat. Add remaining 2/3 of onions, jalapeno, cumin and sauté 5 minutes. Add flour and stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in corn stock until smooth. Add sausage and potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Add corn and cook just until tender, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat over a low burner before continuing, thinning with additional chicken stock if necessary.) Ladle chowder into bowls. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve.