Sunday, September 28, 2014

Corn & Cheese Chowder and Cornbread

Bev had a dozen ears of good, fresh, young corn and since the weather had cooled, she decided to make it into corn chowder.  She checked the web and decided she liked the recipe from Pioneer Woman for Corn & Cheese Chowder, but she adapted it a quite a bit - click on the link for the original.  I would like Ree’s site if she didn’t show a half dozen photos of adding salt to a dish – a slight exaggeration.

Corn, Potato & Cheese ChowderAdapted from Pioneer Woman

12        ears corn, or less depending on taste and kernel size
4 T.      butter (1/2 Stick)
1 T.      bacon fat
1          medium onion, chopped
3          whole bell peppers, finely diced (red, yellow, orange)
5 T.      all-purpose flour
5 C.     chicken broth, homemade (if you have it)
4 C.     waxy potatoes
2 C.     half-and-half
2 C.     cheddar cheese, shredded

Notes:  We used about twice the recipe amount of corn - maybe 4 cups and Bev wanted the flavor that grilling it adds.  Bev thought the addition of potatoes was a must.  The recipe calls for 3 slices of bacon in the soup, but she prefers it as a crispy garnish so we added some bacon fat for the flavor instead.  We had no green onions to put in the soup so we used chopped chives as a garnish.

1. Shuck corn, rub with oil and grill over high heat to caramelize a little.  Cool enough to handle, cut kernels off cobs, and scrap the cobs with a knife edge.  Set aside
2. In a large pot, melt butter and bacon fat over medium-high heat. Cook onions for a couple of minutes, then add diced bell peppers and cook for a couple of minutes. 
3. Sprinkle flour evenly over the top and stir to combine. 
4. Slowly stir in broth and and allow this to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes, then reduce heat to medium.  It should be pretty thick as the liquid from the potatoes will thin it.
5. Add the potatoes and cook until almost tender.
6. Stir in the cooked corn. 
5. Stir in half-and-half, then cover and allow to simmer/thicken for 15 minutes or so.
6. Stir in cheeses and green onions (Bev forgot these). 
7. When cheese is melted and the soup is hot, check seasonings and add salt and pepper as needed.
8. Check thickness and add a little corn starch mixed with a little half and half to get it where you want it.

To go with the chowder, Bev decided to make a batch of her Mexican cornbread , baked as muffins and she had bacon, red onion, chives, and cheese as garnishes.  I first made up my dish but since it hid the pretty muffin, I made Bev’s differently.

The soup and the cornbread were each delicious but I mixed mine all up together (southern style) and I thought it was way good this way.  While we really liked the soup with Bev's changes, I'm confident the Ree's original would also be very good.  As an aside, we have a retired electrician friend who gladly trades us electrical work for a pan of this cornbread.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


9/22/14 meal date

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Arroz Con Pollo (Rice With Chicken)

When I saw this recipe on Chris’ Nibble Me This blog, I knew I wanted to try it and I considered it for my BD dinner but it didn’t satisfy my easy, little mess criteria.  Chris made it with the goal of replicating the version he had eaten at the Knoxville Pelancho’s Restaurant - the place that contributed the most to my margarita recipe. 

We basically followed Chris’ recipe with three deviations:

1. We used chicken breasts as that’s what we had.
2. We had no sazon spice and made our own  - ½ t coriander, ½ t cumin, ½ t garlic powder, ½ t salt, ½ t paprika (or turmeric for yellow)
3. We made the queso sauce with what we had on hand and needed to use. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Green Chile Lasagna

As soon as I saw this recipe on Heathers blog, Rocky Mountain Cooking, my first thought was this had to be tried with the roasted Hatch green chiles we had in the freezer from last fall’s western trip – Heather actually took us to the place we bought them in Denver.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Birthday Dinner & Football

Like most families, Bev grew up in one that insisted your birthday meal be something special and she still likes to do that – ala Pat’s recent meal.  She’d been asking me what I wanted and several things were considered but I finally decided I wanted something good but very easy for both of us with little mess.

And a couple of days before the meal, rotisserie chicken with vegetables, all cooked on the grill, showed up on Penny’s blog at Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen and it looked like a great solution to my meal criteria.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Steak, Green Beans, and Horses

The other night, I was in the mood for steak and Bev found some green bean bundles in the freezer from last year’s garden.  I grilled them both on the charcoal grill to get this.

We have a vacuum sealer and I continue to be impressed with the more-than-a-year-old food that we discover and eat.  The beans were as fresh and tasty as they would have been after just a month in the freezer and they were very good grilled - everything is better wrapped in char grilled bacon.  The steaks had been in there awhile as well and I consider the vacuum sealer a must for our lifestyle - we wore out a FoodSaver and now have a commercial grade one from Cabela's. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Humor - USRSF

I saw this on Facebook and being from both WV and TN, so after a chuckle, just had to post it here.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Chicken Marsala for Pat’s Birthday

We managed to let Pat’s (SIL) birthday slip by us and to make up for it, we offered to cook her a meal of her choosing and she selected chicken Marsala and invited four of her friends for the event.