“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”
Welcome autumn 2017! And hello again to all of you!
I, like many of you, LOVE summer, and it cannot be denied that I also love fall, to a sort weird degree of excitement. For me it is a time of renewal. Sometimes that renewal is simply about boots, sweaters, pens and binders, but more interestingly it’s about ideas and projects and focus and direction. Which ironically reads as a rather directionless sentence, but you get my point.
I’ve long maintained that September is like a new year of sorts. It’s a chance to start again, gather our energies and move forward with all the wonders of which we dreamt during the long, hot (or wet!) summer months.
After a few unexpected, but ultimately not unpleasant changes of direction in the spring of this year, I spent the summer sorting how to make those changes work for me and I hope in turn work for you. In short, Be Still & Eat is jumping into this “new year” with greater ideas, inspiration and dedication to helping you create simply gorgeous food without much fuss but 100% of the flavour.
Let’s get started with this beautiful and stupidly simple Smoky Corn Chowder. Absolutely perfect at this time of year and don’t think it can’t be made in the dead of winter. Frozen veg are the second best thing to fresh after all.
As quick and easy as this gorgeous chowder is, it can’t be denied that it’s even better on day two. Like any good relationship, when all the right components come together, they can only improve one another over time.
I won’t share with you what our resident wine expert exclaimed when he was presented with this week’s recipe, but I will tell you that he approved, uhhhh, enthusiastically!
Menu suggestion: This is a seriously hearty chowder so short of a simple tossed salad the only other thing I might suggest would be a thick slice of garlic bread.
I’ve been rather bread obsessed over the summer and will be sharing the results of that with you next week. Don’t shake your head, trust me! If I can make it so can you! This method is completely fool-proof… PROMISE!
Wine Pairing: *note* Greg has offered two options as this can be made vegetarian by excluding the bacon fat.
“Zinfandel. It stands up to smoke extremely well and would be best if using the bacon in this dish. Without bacon, I would go lighter, maybe Merlot. Most generally available whites wouldn’t stand up to this, which maybe is inaccurate and unfair of me to say. Many would. But boring much? Take a fantastic dish like this and pair it with something more exciting. Get your hands on some big, rich Spanish white Grenache.”
Enjoy & Namaste!
- 2 heaping TBSP bacon fat (if a vegetarian version is preferred swap out bacon fat for olive oil)
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2-3 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- ½ large red bell pepper, seeded and deveined, chopped
- 5-6 cobs corn, kernels cut off (or about 3 cups corn frozen if out of season)
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 hot pepper, deveined and seeded, OPTIONAL
- 4 cups good quality chicken OR veg broth
- small handful fresh thyme
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (I might suggest you increase this a bit if not using bacon fat)
- 1 cup half & half cream
- S&P to taste
- Heat fat or oil in a large heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat until it begins to shimmer
- Add onion stirring often until it starts to become translucent
- Add garlic stirring constantly for about 30 seconds
- Add remaining chopped veg stirring to coat
- Add smoked paprika, broth and thyme, reduce heat to medium-low and cover
- Allow to simmer until all veg are fork tender
- At this point you can choose to puree part of the chowder either using your immersion blender (and if you don't have one yet I HIGHLY recommend getting one!) or carefully transferring about ½ the contents of the pot to a food processor or blender
- Once the desired consistency is reached, add half&half cream and season with S&P to taste