A Corny Tuesday Twofer

16 Jul

Along with today’s recipe, you get a promo for one of my favorite gadgets.

Now that fresh corn is in season, I always buy a few more ears than we can eat at dinner (it’s usually just the two of us). That way I have leftover corn to use for a great salad, soup or casserole.

My corn zipper

My corn zipper

A few years ago I got tired of trying to get the corn off the ears with a knife. The knife would slip, corn kernels would go flying everywhere, and I managed to cut myself more than once. So I hied myself over to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought this nifty “corn zipper.” It makes short work of getting the corn off the cob, though I admit the kernels still go flying everywhere — just not as much as when I used a knife.

The last thing I made with leftover corner was this yummy soup. The original recipe calls for frozen corn, but use fresh if you can get it. After making it I thought it would be even better with the addition of a small, chopped potato, so I included that as an optional ingredient; cook the potato about 15 minutes before adding the corn. I also added a few squirts of Tabasco and a pinch of ground nutmeg. This soup is good — and low-fat — if it’s made with fat-free milk, but if you make it with whole-fat milk or half & half,  it will taste very rich.

You can make your own vegetable stock using the corn cobs after you’ve taken the kernels off as a base. Add a carrot, onion, celery, potato peels and other vegetables, peels or scraps you have on hand, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for a few hours, then strain out the vegetables. But I confess I used vegetable stock out of a box.

You can probably use cooked salmon instead of smoked salmon and increase the amount of salt slightly. Once the smoked salmon is in the soup, it tastes like regular salmon!

Corn and Smoked Salmon Chowder

corn & smoked salmon chowderIngredients:

3 Tbs. unsalted butter
½ to ⅔ cup each finely chopped onion, celery and sweet red pepper
2 Tbs. flour
3 cups vegetable stock, heated
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped into small pieces, optional
2 cups low-fat milk
½ tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
2 cups fresh corn (cooked and sliced from the cob) or frozen corn (thawed)
4 oz. smoked salmon, chopped
Parsley, dill or chervil for garnish

Directions:

Saute the onion, celery and red pepper in butter over medium heat until the onion is just beginning to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, another minute or two. Add the warm stock, stirring till smooth, and cook another 2 or 3 minutes until it thickens slightly (here’s where I would add the potato and cook a little longer).

Add the milk and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salt, black pepper and corn. (Remember that the smoked salmon will add some salt, so don’t use too much; you can add more later if necessary.) Bring back to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in the salmon.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with a chopped herb such as parsley, dill or chervil.

Serves 6

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