August 1, 2012 by jenniebean10
Hey friends! I’m home from France, and back to cooking and baking. I haven’t finished telling you all about my trip, but I will tell you a quick story and combine & stir some travel blogging with food blogging. [Heh heh…see what I did there? ;)]
While I was in Paris, another awesome couchsurfer, Tilman, invited me over to his place for dinner. Tilman is half German and French, and well-traveled. I got a chance to see photos from his adventures, including his climb up Mont Blanc (spoiler: Célia, Jany, Leslie, Eric and I saw a glimpse of it when we climbed Val Pelouse, so you’ll get to see some little pictures in a later post!). My memory sucks, so I sure hope I remembered that correctly. I was really impressed with his photos, and his biking trips in particular. He probably thought my vocabulary was extremely limited, because I just kept saying, “WOW!” and “COOL!” Tilman also showed me this nice little area with a pretty view of the city:
We stopped by a little organic grocery store to pick out our ingredients, and we happened upon this fascinating specimen: organic French corn.
Tilman said he’d never eaten corn on the cob before, and for some reason, I thought this would be a GREAT time for him to try it! Naturally, I had my reservations about this bright yellow already-shucked vacuum-sealed corn, but did I follow my instincts and steer clear from this 4€15 (!!!!) corn? Of course not! My new couchsurfing friend was game, and a really good sport about eating it. And I just KNOW that if my friend Julia (a corn connoisseur) had been there, she would’ve been appalled and slapped it out of my hands right then and there. In case you’re wondering, I had to poke holes in the bag, boil it for 5 minutes (it said to do it for 10), and then I served it with lime and pepper. It wasn’t inedible, but it certainly didn’t taste anything like the fresh corn on the cob you get during the summer in the Midwest. Amirite Kelsey? The ratatouille he made was delicious, and put my corn to shame.
Well, now that I’m back in the land of corn and soybean EVERYTHING, I’m able to find sweet summer corn at 30 cents an ear. I celebrated tonight by making some corn chowder, and it was so tasty that I figured I’d write a blog post about it straight away. I know chowders are typically good when it’s colder outside, but this is sweet and fresh and perfect for the summer.
(adapted from Seasons and Suppers)
serves 4-6 // prep time: 10 min // cook time: 60 m // ready in: 1h10m
6 c. water
5-6 large ears of fresh sweet corn, shucked with the silks removed
2 T. olive oil
2 small onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 small red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-in cubtes
1 t. dried marjoram (oregano works if you don’t have marjoram)
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
sour cream, diced tomatoes, and basil for garnish
Place a large, heavy pot (at least 4 quarts) on the stove with 6 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt.
Use a sharp knife to cut the raw kernels off the ears of corn, and set aside in a medium bowl. Stand the cob on one end in the bowl with the kernels and use the back edge of the knife to scrape the cobs off, extracting as much liquid and corn solids as you can. After you separate the cobs from their kernels, snap each cob in half and place it in the pot of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and cover, simmering for 30 minutes.
In the last 5-10 min. while the corn is boiling, sauté the onions in olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cook briefly. Reduce the heat and add the potatoes, marjoram, black pepper, cayenne, and a sprinkling of salt, and stir.
Remove the corn cobs from the simmered stock, discard them, and add the onion mixture to the stock. Bring the soup back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for another 20-30 min (until potatoes are tender). Add most of the corn kernels, reserving 1 cup. Simmer for another 10 min.
Purée the soup in the pot with an immersion blender (or in small batches in a blender). Add the reserved corn kernels, turn the heat off, and let the soup sit for 5 minutes, cooking the kernels slightly, while you prep the tomatoes and basil. Serve garnished with a spoonful of sour cream or crème fraîche, diced tomatoes and sliced basil.
I used white corn because that’s what I found at the store. Try it with yellow or bi-color corn for a more colorful soup! If you omit the sour cream, this soup is completely vegan and still 100% delicious. YUM!