Sunday 20 August 2017

Cheese Chowder with Corn

Cheese Chowder with Corn

Chowders are generally thick soups that have been prepared with a roux and thinned down with stock, broth, milk or cream.  Corn is often a common ingredient. Often, seafood, preferably the shelled variety, is added to a chowder. Served with salted crackers or bread rolls and butter, it is a meal in itself. 

Having had a delicious cheese soup with corn the other day, I decided to come home and make my own. Here I share my version of a chowder; it is a cheese base that has been lightened with chicken broth and thinned down with whole milk. 
It is smooth and silky and the roasted corn kernels give it that extra pop of sweetness, balancing out the hint of heat from the red pepper and mustard added to the soup. 

It's perfect to use up left over cheese and corn if you wish.

Serves 6 to 8 

180 g/ 6 0z salted butter
100 g/ 3oz flour
1 /2 tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp mustard powder
1 cup finely chopped onion, lightly sauteed
2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
Either or 12 pickled peppewdew peppers/ 1 tsp paprika/  2 fresh red chilli-finely chopped
4 cups of chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
454 g/ 1 lb cheese
kernels from 3 roasted fresh corn cobs or 1 can of tin corn kernels 

In a large stock pot, melt butter, add the flour, salt, and mustard to make a roux. Add chicken stock and mix well until it is all smooth. Add the onions and garlic. Add your choice of pepper. 
Allow it to simmer for an hour. With an immersion blender, smooth out the liquid. 
Optionally, strain it through a sieve. 

Continue to cook on a low flame and start adding the cheese. Allow it to melt slowly. Pour in the warm milk and finally the cream. Gently stir until it comes to a tepid warmth. 
Add the corn. 
Allow it to simmer for 15 minutes and serve. 

Add more milk or cream to thin the chowder to the desired consistency, taste for salt. 
Serve it warm with a corn muffin or corn bread with butter.

A roasted corn on the cob


The smoothness and colour of the chowder will depend on the cheese you add to this dish. While I personally do not enjoy processed cheese, non-grainy cheeses like Velveeta and Cheez Whizz with a dash of strong cheese like gruyere or comtĂ© give it a good texture and flavour. Deeper golden cheddar and jalapeno cheese also add to the colour and flavour of this chowder. 

Using half and half instead of a combination of milk and cream is another option to consider. Alternately, use whole milk. 

Add more milk or cream to thin the chowder to the desired consistency.

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

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