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Corn Chowder with Jalapeño Peppers
Chili peppers give some kick to a creamy corn and potato chowder.
7 ears corn, husked
6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound baby yellow potatoes, such as small Yukon Gold, quartered
1 onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery with leafy top, finely chopped
4 jalapeño chili peppers, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
2 Fresno or other fairly mild red chili peppers, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
2-3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large bay leaf
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces, at room temperature
Salt and pepper
Oyster crackers, pickled jalapeño slices, chopped scallions and hot sauce, for garnish
Place a small bowl upside down inside a wide, shallow bowl. Working with one ear at a time, stand the corn on top of the small bowl and cut the kernels off the cob so they drop into the large bowl. Using the dull side of the knife, scrape down the cob to release the corn milk. In a blender, puree half the corn with 2 cups stock. In a soup pot, heat the EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium-high, then add the butter. When the butter foams, add the potatoes and the next seven ingredients. Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover and cook until the vegetables soften, 10-12 minutes. Add the kernels, corn puree and the remaining 4 cups stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese until melted; season with salt and pepper. Serve the chowder in bowls and top with the garnishes.