Sunday, April 7, 2013

{Recipe} From a dream: Potato, Corn and Sausage Chowder

Sometimes while I lie in bed drifting off to sleep, I think about meals I might make the next day, or later in the week. I think about what ingredients I have on hand, and what I might need to buy. Frequently, this just leads to frustration, and may even keep me awake worrying.

On a good night, though, I come up with a great creation. Admittedly, my standards for "great creation" are pretty low. But, if I can come up with something that doesn't require a trip to the store and all three of us are willing to go for seconds, I think that's pretty great. That's what happened the other night.

I was thinking of the beefalo sausage I picked up at the farmers market last Saturday. I kind of wanted a soup, so I thought about what veggies I had and remembered the large amount of corn I froze in September. (Blanching corn, cutting the kernels from the cob and freezing the results has become a harvest-time ritual for me.) I also had a quart of corn cob stock left, and some Russet potatoes from KFF. 

OK, it was starting to come together. I just had to start with some sauteed onions, and decide on seasoning. By the time I needed to start dinner the next evening, I had a whole recipe in my head -- only there were still additions as I cooked. Here's the results:

Potato, corn and sausage chowder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds beefalo sausage (or whatever sausage suits you), either use bulk or cut links into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 small to medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 to 2 sweet red peppers (I pulled these from the freezer)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
  • 4 cups corn stock (I'm sure vegetable stock would work fine)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded

Brown the sausage, stirring occasionally, in a large skillet. Remove from heat and set aside.

While the sausage is cooking, heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add potatoes, peppers and seasoning and stir it all together. Add corn stock. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook about 15 minutes until potatoes are just getting tender. 

Add cooked sausage and milk, and adjust seasoning. Cook until the soup returns to a simmer. Stir in cheeses until melted and everything is heated through. 

Ladle into bowl and let cool slightly before serving to children.

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