7.23.2016

Santa Fe Chipotle Corn Chowder

Remember a few weeks ago? I mentioned a chipotle corn chowder from Santa Fe, and how the recipe accidentally called for an entire can of chipotles instead of just one chipotle.

Well, I looked up the recipe and it actually says - twice - "7.5 ounce can chipotle chiles." It wasn't an error, but I believe it is a mistake! At least, a culinary mistake.

The reason I looked it up is because I decided to make it for friends coming to dinner this weekend. Looking back at the recipe (which dates to the pre-Markonian era), I notice a lot of things I would change.

Aside from the can of chiles, it calls for a quart of cream, and no other liquid. I can't believe I ate that and lived to tell. Just the thought of that much cream makes my chest tighten and tummy gurgle. ... And cans of corn? I don't think so. Not when there is wonderful fresh corn available. 

So I took matters into my own hands, and created my own version of this flavorful and simple chowder. I have to say that we were all happy with the results!

~ David

Santa Fe Chipotle Corn Chowder

6 ears of corn
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion, diced
1 canned chipotle chile with some of the adobo sauce, puréed together
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Pimentón (sweet smoked Spanish paprika)
salt to taste
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
a few sprigs cilantro, for garnish

Cook the corn. There are many ways you can do this. You can grill it (in or out of its husks), boil it, steam it, or even microwave it in the husk. All methods work, and each will produce a wonderful chowder. Grilling imparts a smokier flavor but, as the chipotle and paprika also have that flavor, the gain is minimal. Simply cook the corn your favorite way.

Once corn is cooked, let it cool, then carefully slice kernels off the cob. I find this easiest if you slice into a large bowl to keep the kernels from flying all over the kitchen.

Heat the butter and oil, then sauté the onion until clear and just beginning to turn golden. At this time, add the chipotle, cumin, Pimentón, black pepper, and a little salt. Cook for 1 minute to enhance the flavor of the spices.

Sprinkle with the flour, and cook for 30 seconds. Then, slowly add the chicken stock, stirring all the while, then the cream. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the corn kernels and continue cooking at a simmer until the corn is warmed through. Taste for seasoning.

Serve hot with either cilantro leaves or chopped cilantro on top. While this is a garnish, the flavor of the cilantro really enhances the soup.

Serves 6-8.

What to do with the leftover chipotle in adobo sauce? Puree the chiles and adobo together, then store in a small, tightly sealed glass jar in the refrigerator. A dash adds interest to any number of routine dishes. 





24 comments:

  1. I wonder how many people made that recipe and used the suggested quantity for the chipotles? Chilli soup, anyone? I recently came across a Croatian recipe for some cookies that asked for 4 tablespoons of nutmeg. No way!

    The ratios of ingredients in your soup look perfect. Not that I've made this chowder before, but I know it probably tastes wonderful.

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    1. When I first made this, I was a pretty inexperienced cook. Now, if I saw 7.5 ounces chipotle chiles, I would know better! 4 teaspoons of nutmeg is a lot. Gotta wonder if it was supposed to be 1/4 teaspoon!

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  2. Oh how I love corn! Sounds delicious, David!

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  3. This looks delicious! Reminds me of the time I made corn chowder for friends one time when we were living in Rome. Everyone was amazed—Italians notoriously dislike fresh corn, but they all love the chowder!

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    1. Isn't that funny, Frank. I found that, as well, when I was in Italy. The only people who wanted fresh corn were those who had lived in the U.S. Me? I want it all!

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  4. We just got a dozen ears of the famous "Olathe Sweet Corn" from a nice Mexican man who gets up at 4 am every day to pick it and then drive 3 hours to our town. I will be making this chowder. I will substitute cashew milk for the cream, however. We are NOT eating any animal products because of heart disease. What could be tastier than sweet corn, Pimenton (I just got a can of sweet and one of hot from Amazon) and chipotle chilis? Yummy.

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    1. My friends who summer in Dolores just got Olathe corn for the first time this season and said it was wonderful. I have never had it, sadly. Caterina - one of my vegan friends suggested coconut cream to thicken the soup. I want to try it with both cashew milk and coconut cream, although not at the same time. :)

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  5. David, this post was really funny and this soup looks so good to me. I love corn chowder and I posted recently about an easy version the soup I've made several times. Your version looks incredible with the fresh corn and those wonderful, chipotle peppers :) I'll follow your adapdation though and avoid using an entire can!

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    1. Thanks, Marcelle - and skipping half the cream is a good idea, too! I love all corn chowders - and the corn this year is fantastic!

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  6. Wow, hope others didn't add the whole can! I think the amount you added is perfect and oh how I LOVE corn and chiles together. And the smoky paprika. Oh my! Absolutely wonderful!

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    1. I fear many might have tried it with the whole can of chiles! And all that cream! I had to show the printed recipe just to show everyone I wasn't seeing things!

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  7. I am always happy when you take things into your own hands! This was a fun post and the soups sounds great! It will be on our table soon!

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    1. Thanks, Susan - the next time I try this, I will even reduce the cream a bit more. Why not keep playing with the recipe, right?

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  8. David, I have seen many recipes from the US that call for "chipotle chile with some of the adobo sauce" and one of my favorite cooks uses that quite often in her recipes too but I have never seen it here or been able to buy it. I should take a look online - it sounds like an ingredient that I should definitely use in my cooking too.
    Viele Grüße,
    Andrea

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    1. Andrea - I am planning on a post showing how to make your own chipotles in adobo. I can send you some dried chiles and then you can make your own! xo

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  9. Very often, updating one of the classic recipes takes nothing more than using fresh rather than canned ingredients, especially when it comes to corn. I'll use frozen before I reach for a can and cannot recall when I last opened one. Although my tolerance for spice is on the upswing, i'm not ready for a chowder with TWO cans of chipotle. Glad you took care of that and reduced the cream. I hope to see this chowder on my dinner table before the last of this season's corn is picked. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I was really astonished that the recipe used canned corn, John. I probably followed it the first time I made it (oh, how young and naïve I was!) but when I took out the recipe to make this, I was appalled. I would never use canned corn for anything. The only canned products you will regularly find in my larder are tomatoes! I am even making my own chipotle chiles in adobo now! Glad to hear your tolerance for spice is getting better - but you can easily use extra smoked paprika and skip the chiles altogether.

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  10. Haha! That original recipe is hilarious! Glad you salvaged it into a fabulous dish!! :) I love corn chowder, btw!

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    1. I am still appalled at the contents of that recipe: all the cream, the canned chipotle amount, and the canned corn! I much prefer my own version, Christina!

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  11. I have to admit, I do use frozen corn in recipes, and canned corn is one of the few canned vegetables that's not offensive to me (along with tomatoes and beans. That might be the full list) But I'm sure it's much better with fresh corn! It sounds like a delicious chowder! I love that chipotle flavor and anything with cream in it.

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    1. You know, Caroline, frozen corn is okay by me. In fact, flash frozen veggies are really fine. It is when things get canned that the preservatives begin to show... With the exception of tomatoes and chickpeas/beans, I just don't think canned is a great idea. And, I am using less of the canned ones these days, too! Frozen corn would work really well in this soup - especially if you roasted it for a while to concentrate the flavors.

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  12. Happy to have the benefit of your adaptation on this! The local corn should be in soon and there is always plenty to have fun with!

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    1. It has been a good corn season here, so far, Inger - I hope yours is as good!

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