Handy Corn

September 11, 2020

It seems like the past several weeks I have made too many treks to the farmer’s market to buy corn, now at the height of the season and at its best. People rip through the corn bin, shucking ears just to make sure no little critters are lurking anywhere. And at close to .70 an ear, you can’t blame them. Makes me wonder if all this scrutiny results in a plate of just plain old boiled corn served with lots of melting butter and salt. Nothing wrong with that but corn can surprise you in lots of other ways and add flavor to dishes you never thought of, especially if you use the cobs as flavor. Corn is such a handy ingredient that once you start cooking with it, there is no telling what you can come up with and that is a-mazeing.

Corn and Bok Choy Chowder
Serves 8-10

4 large ears of cooked corn on the cob
1/4 cup diced pancetta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 cups chopped bok choy
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 medium zucchini, diced
3 tablespoons flour
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups reserved corn water
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
Grinding black pepper
Dash of paprika

Strip the corn kernels from the cob and set aside. Place the cobs in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook 10 minutes. Discard the cobs and reserve 2 cups of the water.

In a soup pot cook the pancetta in the olive oil until the pancetta begins to render its fat. Stir in the onion, bok choy and sweet potato. Stir well, cover the pot and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in the zucchini. Sprinkle the vegetable with the flour and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the evaporated milk, heavy cream and reserved corn water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper; stir in the parsley and thyme. Serve hot.

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