I recently started a love affair with America's Test Kitchen. I bought their heavy duty "family" cookbook a few weeks ago. So far we've only tried a few recipes (in addition to the magazine size Best Recipes of 2010 that I've been using), but they have been FANTASTIC. STUPENDOUS. If you do everything they tell you, it will turn out perfectly. And there are pictures. Go buy it.
While you're waiting for it to arrive at your house, here is one of our favorites. Bridget and I refer to Brian as The Great Cornholio because the man can put away up to eight ears of corn on the cob in one sitting. To me corn on the cob is too much work for too little pay off. Plus, corn in my teeth is not cool. All beside the point. For three nights after we had this chowder when I asked Bridget what we should make for dinner she said, "I liked that corn soup. We should have corn soup."
10 ears fresh corn, husks and silk removed
4 oz. bacon
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. all-purpose flour
3 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 c. whole milk
12 oz. red potatoes (about 2 medium sized) scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried
1 c. heavy cream
2 T. minced fresh parsley
Salt & Pepper
1. Standing the corn on end inside a large bowl, cut the kernels from 4 ears using a paring knife. (You should have 3 cups.) Grate the remaining 6 ears corn over the large holes of a box grater into a separate bowl. Using the back of a butter knife, scrape any remaining pulp from teh cobs into the bowl with the grated corn.
2. Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. slowly stir in the broth and milk, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the potatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and grated corn. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Stir in the remaining corn kernels and cream. Continue simmering until the corn kernels are tender yet still slightly crunchy, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
*I just realized after typing this up that we used the recipe in my pamphlet rather than this one. it called for 6 ears of corn and 2 cans of whole kernel corn. After cutting the corn off the 6 ears, that recipe instructed me to add the cobs to the soup until I was ready to add the cream, then I took them out. Much easier? Maybe. Probably great either way.