Tag Archives: Chowder

Butternut Squash and Spinach Chowder #SundaySupper

Butternut Squash and Spinach Chowder 4712

Welcome to Sunday Supper, where our theme this week is Fabulous Fall Foods! I’ve met the theme requirements – this chowder features butternut squash (a fall produce item), and it tastes amazingly fabulous. Thank goodness the theme wasn’t Fabulous Fall Food Photography, because then I would have a major problem.

butternut squash 4701

I found this recipe in one of my many cookbooks, “Slow Cooker Revolution” by America’s Test Kitchen. In the cookbook, there is no picture of this recipe. I now understand that. When you think about any kind of butternut squash chowder, you think of it being a gorgeous orange-ish color. But as you can plainly see, this chowder is rather green, thanks to the spinach. So I’m left with the problem of the pictures not entirely matching the recipe description, which is probably precisely why ATK didn’t include a photograph in their cookbook!

Butternut Squash and Spinach chowder 4734

Ah well, what are you gonna do? I promise from the bottom of my heart that it’s delicious, misleading color and all. And when I make it again, I will include the spinach again! Other than it messing up the chowder’s color, I actually do love it in there. It adds significant healthful properties, and it really cuts the squash’s sweetness.

Butternut squash and spinach chowder 4722

I have to admit, I don’t love it when winter squash soups are too sweet. I never add any brown sugar, and I love ingredients like bacon bits, bacon fat, and salty cheeses to cut the richness. The spinach only adds to that. So in the end, I really love this chowder, even if I don’t love my pictures all that much. I hope you will love it too!

Butternut Squash and spinach chowder 4724

Oh, and be sure you check out all my other Sunday Supper peeps – they’ve brought some drool-worthy perfect-for-fall recipes to the table today!

{One Year Ago: Funnel Cakes}
{Two Years Ago: Chocolate Crepes with Rum Whipped Cream, Shrimp and Grits}

Source: adapted from Slow Cooker Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen

At least 4 oz. bacon, chopped, more if you want it
1 onion, chopped
3-5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
½ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
3 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into ½-inch pieces
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 bunch (roughly 8 oz.) adult spinach, stemmed
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbs minced fresh sage
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Cook the bacon in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it is nice and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve for later.
Pour out all but about 2 tbs bacon fat, then add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is softened. Add the thyme, nutmeg, plus salt and pepper. Stir and cook 1 minute. Now add the flour and stir for about 1 minute to cook out the pasty, raw flour taste. Slowly add up to 2 cups of the chicken stock, stirring out any lumps and letting the whole thing thicken up nicely. Shut off the heat and add this mixture to your slow cooker insert. Also add to the slow cooker, the remaining chicken stock, vegetable stock, half the squash, and the bay leaves. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Toss the remaining squash with the olive oil, plus salt and pepper. Lay a large piece of aluminum foil on a flat work surface and carefully transfer the squash to the center of it. Gather it in the center and fold the foil up around it to create a foil packet and lays somewhat flat. Lay the foil packet on top of the soup in the slow cooker. Close the lid and cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours, until the squash in the slow cooker is tender and completely cooked.
Transfer the foil packet to a plate. Open it, being cautious of steam hitting you in the face, and then pour the squash and the juices into the slow cooker. Add the spinach leaves. Stir them in, then cover the slow cooker again and cook another 30 minutes, until the spinach is nicely wilted.
Shut off the heat. Discard the bay leaves. Then hit the soup with an immersion blender. Take your time and be sure the soup is really well-pureed. Now stir in the cream and sage, and taste for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, or nutmeg as needed.
Serve in bowls garnished with the bacon bits and grated parmesan.

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Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

I am a list-maker. I love making lists. I love checking things off lists. I’m one of those people who will do something, then add it to her to-do list after the fact, just to check it off. Lists are awesome.

remove corn kernels in your bundt cake pan

That’s in part why I have a tab on my blog listing classic dishes/recipes that I want to make sure I have under my belt. At first it was going to be 100 recipes. But it went past 100 items almost immediately. That’s okay. But then I found I kept finding things to add to it, so I decided to go in and revamp the whole thing last night. I added some things and made it an even 200. Then I organized the categories a little better and alphabetized it, so it’s easy to read.

simmering corn chowder

So yes, that’s 200 dishes to cross off, 200 dishes to make sure I have in my arsenal of kitchen tricks. And I’m a quarter of the way through!

And now I will add one more – corn chowder. A dish I had never made before, mostly because I find it to be somewhat oxymoronic. I associate corn with hot summers and chowder with cold winters. Something seems amiss here, right? And of course you could make this chowder in the winter with frozen corn, and there would be nothing wrong with that; but I felt drawn to making it at least once with seasonal fresh corn, something that just isn’t found in the winter (not in my neck of the woods anyway).

Pioneer Woman Corn Chowder

Long story short, I just sucked it up and made corn chowder, in the summer, with fresh corn. And it was wonderful. Surprisingly light, very corn-centric, with some heat from the chiles I threw in there. I was so pleased that it really didn’t feel out of place on a hot day. Of course a fan blowing straight at me while I ate probably helped, but still! It’s a terrific chowder, one I will be making again in the summers to come.

Corn Chowder

{One year ago: Cubano Sandwiches}

Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

5 ears of corn, shucked completely
3 slices of bacon, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 whole chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 medium poblanos, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 tbs cornmeal
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Using a sharp knife, slice all the kernels of corn off the cobs. I’ve found the best way to do this is by using your bundt cake pan. That way the deep pan catches all the kernels and they don’t run all over your counter.
Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
Add the onion to the pot and sauté in the bacon drippings until softened, about 5 minutes. Throw in the garlic and corn kernels. Stir to allow them to begin to cook. Stir in the chipotles and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Pour in the chicken stock, followed by the cream. Stir to combine, then add the poblano. Let the soup simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
At that point (and not before!) mix the cornmeal with ¼ cup water in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Stir the cornmeal mixture into the soup and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Chipotle Pumpkin Chowder

Matt and I got very lucky during Hurricane Sandy. We didn’t lose power, our neighborhood didn’t flood, and the wind damage didn’t directly get our building or our car.  We feel extremely fortunate.  And we know very well that many others are not so fortunate, so we’ve been trying to help out in any way we can.  Unfortunately, due to road flooding and limited access to public transportation, we can’t get to many of the badly affected areas.  But we can help fill the gap on one particular need: blood donation. So that’s what we did this morning. And if you are in a position to donate blood as well, I highly urge you to do so, NYC and New Jersey’s blood banks are in great need right now.

I made this chowder on Monday for lunch.  The hurricane wasn’t yet in full force, but the anticipation was riding extremely high. That was when we thought we would likely lose power and we were filling every vessel we could with water in preparation.  Matt thought I was a little nuts, but I was thinking I wouldn’t get to cook for the rest of the week, and I wanted to have one more time in the kitchen before that happened.  Fortunately, I needn’t have worried.

No one anticipated that Sandy would be as devastating as she turned out to be, so Monday was not a terribly heavy day for us, emotionally speaking. It was cold, rainy, and EXTREMELY windy outside, and this spicy chowder kept us warm and cozy for the afternoon.  It’s quite delicious and I would definitely recommend it.  And when you make it, may you not be awaiting a natural disaster!

Another (outstanding!) food blogger Jennie, who lives in Brooklyn, wrote a great post with links on how to help out in the aftermath, so I’m linking to it HERE. Definitely check it out. I’m adding some links as well, so if you can give anything or help out in any way, please do. The impact and devastation are very real.

This is where I donated blood this morning, check it out.
Of course you can and should donate to the Red Cross, they can use any amount you can afford to give.
The ASPCA needs donations. They are rescuing pets that were separated from their owners during the storm, and in the months to come, it is highly likely that people rebuilding their lives and homes won’t be able to keep their pets, so the ASPCA will have an influx of animals that need homes. Click here to help them out.
Also, a great NYC and Long Island no-kill animal shelter, Bideawee, is also doing pet rescue after Sandy. Matt and I adopted our three kitties from this shelter so I can vouch for them. We adopted our first two cats in fall of 2005, and the shelter was taking in Hurricane Katrina rescue pets. They are a fantastic operation, consider helping them out.
Click here for a comprehensive website specific to Queens. It has information on donation centers and needs, along with volunteer opportunities.
City Harvest is asking for donations to help distribute food to those ravaged by Sandy.
Not trying to get political here, but Occupy Wall Street has formed a volunteer effort called Occupy Sandy and they are providing much-needed services to those in affected areas in NYC. They are also in New Jersey.
As I hear of more I will update this list. And please feel free to leave any ideas, links, etc. in the comments section.

Source: adapted from Dave’s Dinners, by Dave Lieberman

3 tbs unsalted butter
Flesh from a 3-4 lb. sugar pumpkin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, diced
3 tbs flour
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 lb. frozen corn kernels
2 chipotle peppers in adobo
1/2 cup heavy cream
Leaves from 5 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and black pepper
Handful of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Heat the butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pumpkin and onion and cook 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir into the onion and pumpkin. Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring all the while.
Add the corn, chipotles, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low to low, and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the bottom does not scorch. You want the pumpkin to be fork-tender but not falling apart.
Shut off the heat and puree the soup until smooth using an immersion blender. Alternately, you can puree it in batches in a regular blender.
Add in the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro.