Fresh Corn Chowder

Fresh Corn Chowder with Chives
Every spring rolls around and a whole new world of food and cooking opens with the availability of beautiful fresh produce. I am envious of those who have places like "" and get local shipments of produce direct from local growers on a regular schedule. It isn't available to us here but I would love it if it were!!

Instead I haunt local Farmer's markets and butcher shops as well as the groceries looking for the best in freshness and quality for my food dollar.

I buy all of my bacon at Rivertown Butcher as well as almost all of my meat. There is just no comparison to having your burger ground for you as you wait for freshness and flavor. Or having you roast or steaks cut right while you are standing there!!

Did you ever break open a package of ground beef from the grocery and notice a color variation? Sort of a darker brownish cast to the inside beef and a red bright outside?

My conclusion when I see this is that air causes the color change and the meat in the middle has been left and not been sold so it is packaged or reground inside the fresh bright recently ground beef to move the product along. That will not happen at a good butcher shop.

(The reason I say almost is that i like on the bone chicken breasts and my butcher does not normally offer these so I buy them elsewhere.)

Well anyway I was fortunate to find wonderful fresh corn and wonderful thick sliced platter bacon as well as some Yukon gold potatoes and a big vadilia onion this past week and that spells fresh corn chowder at my house. Here is how it goes:

6-7 slices thick cut platter bacon, cut into 1/2" dice
2 T. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
6-8 small to medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3-5 ears of fresh corn, shucked and cut from the cob
1 quart half and half
3 C. milk
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper

Using a heavy bottomed soup kettle add the oil and heat to medium high. Cut the bacon into 1/2" dice with a kitchen scissors into the heated oil and stir, cooking until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel to drain and add the peeled and diced onion stirring and cooking for about 4-5- minutes. Add the peeled and diced potatoes and cook another 2 minutes.

Add the half and half and milk and reduce to a low heat. The pot needs to be brought to a low and slow boil to cook the potatoes, but you need to watch it and not scorch the pan by cooking it too hard. It should take the potatoes about 10 minutes to become fork tender.

When the potatoes are tender add the red pepper flakes, the corn, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to slow boil for another 10 minutes. 

At this point I add the bacon back to the pot and ladle the soup up in mugs garnishing with chives or green onion tops. Some folks use the bacon as garnish but I prefer the smoky taste it adds to the broth when it steeps in the bowls.

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