Definitive corn chowder with jalapeno peppers

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
8 cups Heavy cream
3 tablespoons Unsalted butter
1 Medium-size Maui onion; thinly sliced
1 Medium-size clove garlic; finely chopped
6 Medium-size ears corn; kernels removed
L/2 fresh julapeno pepper; roasted, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 Medium-size red and yellow bell pepper; roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
½ Lime; juiced
3 tablespoons Sour cream; optional
6 smalls Sprigs fresh cilantro

WHEN I WAS STUDYI French think of corn as pig feed and never eat it. I grew up on yellow summer sweet corn during my family's summers in Rhode Island and Wisconsin, and white corn while I was living in Illinois. I have great memories of the creamed corn my mom always served at Thanksgiving.

Cream and corn are a perfect match, and with this soup I've tried to take an old-fashioned, fairly pedestrian chowder and give it Frendh refinement.

The base of the soup is a classic French-style vegetable puree, blended with a reduction of heavy cream and flavored with saut‚ed onions.

(Substitute a Walla Walla, Vidalia, or a good sweet red onion if Maui onions aren't available in our area.) Whole kernels of corr1 give it a chowder's trademark chunkiness. And the corn-andcream combination is shown off in sharp relief by an addition I was introduced to by the Hispanics on Michael's kitchen staff--a lively seasoning of jalapeho peppers, lime juice, and cilantro.

This soup is superb when made with the white corn grown in the Midwest instead of the yellow welet corn.

In a medium-size saucepan, bring the cream to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer briskly until it reduces by one quarter, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium-size skillet over moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and saut‚ just until soft, about 5 minutes. Add two thirds of the corn kernels and the jalapeho, and continue saut‚ing until the kernels are al dense, 3 to 5 minutes.

Put the reduced cream and the corn mixture into a processor or blender and puree smoothly. Press the soup through a fine-mesh sieve and return it to the saucepan.

In the skillet, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat and saut‚ the remaining corn kernels until al dense. Stir them into the soup with the roasted peppers and heat the soup through over low to moderate heat. Stir in the lime juice.

Ladle the soup into heated serving bowls. Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream, if you like, and a sprig of cilantro.

Yield: For 6 servings

Posted to recipelu-digest by LSHW <shusky@...> on Feb 20, 1998

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