Thursday, November 12, 2009

Corn Chowder and Kit Killing

I made more stuff :-) Today ended very badly (from a pain perspective) but the day itself was almost back to pre-injection pain levels which sure as heck beats flare-ups.

Since I'm still working on simple things like sitting at the table, leaning forward etc. I can't access my scrappy supplies scattered throughout the house. Times like these are awesome opportunities to switch gears, do something a little mainstream and if you've got them, pull out your scrapbook kits.

This month-in-review LO was based on a recipe by Brenda Carpenter and uses a page kit from The Scrap-room (TSR). If you want a closer look please click HERE.


For dinner I made Vegan Corn Chowder from Vegan with a Vengeance. It is one of my favorite recipes; the sweetness of the corn, carrots and peppers is a heavenly match for the tartness of the lime and heat of the jalapeno. Rice has been such an issue since we moved to a high elevation. White rice cooks perfectly, but brown rice is always a disaster. I've tried baking, steaming, boiling, traditional stove top, crock pot - you name it. I finally settled for buying it at Pei Wei (a week's worth costs about two bucks). Now we are on our budget, driving to a restaurant for rice isn't our speed so I've gone back to white rice. Can you tell I feel guilty about it?


I found the recipe published on Chow.com so here it is with my variations:

Corn Chowder
Makes: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium-size onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and thinly sliced; use just one if you like less heat. (We use a half and it's good for the kids)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
A few dashes fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups vegetable broth or water
3 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 5 ears of corn) (I use frozen corn)
2 medium-size russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch chunks
1 bay leaf
Pinch cayenne
Juice of 1 lime (To taste. I add half a lime and serve the rest at the table for people who like more lime)
1/4 cup plain soy milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup (I don't add this as it is always quite sweet from the carrots and onions)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In stockpot sauté the onions, bell peppers, carrots, and jalapeños in the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.

2. Add rosemary, thyme, black pepper, and salt; sauté 1 minute more.

3. Add the broth, corn, potatoes, bay leaf, and cayenne. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

4. Uncover and simmer 10 minutes more to let the liquid reduce a bit.

5. Remove the bay leaf and puree half the chowder either using a handheld blender or by transferring half the chowder to a blender, pureeing till smooth and adding back to soup.

6. Add the lime juice to taste, and the soy milk and maple syrup, and simmer 5 more minutes.

7. Let sit for at least 10 minutes and serve. Tastes even better the next day.

We serve this over rice with crushed tortilla chips, (vegan) sour cream and lime wedges.

3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Have you tried parching it? It's the only way that we like brown rice (the flavor ends up nuttier), but I suggest it because it's a two-stage cooking method, and the first stage is NOT constrained by the boiling temp of water.

Step 1: in a hot, dry pan, saute the dry rice (no oil) until the kernels start to toast and turn a bit brown. Stir lots, and keep an eye on it; it won't take long, and it'll move from toasted to charred pretty quickly if you're not paying attention.

Step 2: Boil or whatever. (Yes, that's vague; I don't think it really matters. I'd suggest doing whatever was least disaster-like in your trials to date.)

The other suggestion I'd have is to try a pressure cooker. I don't know that it'd cancel the effects of altitude, but you'd think it would, wouldn't you?

MaryC said...

Nicole, I am glad you are holding up as well as you are.
On the rice, I am pretty sure the bowl in the pressure cooker method would cook your rice without the altitude issue. You can see how this works here: http://fastcooking.ca/pressure_cookers/how_to_cook_rice_in_a_pressure_cooker.php
I will have to try that corn chowder it looks delicious.

Lain said...

This looks delish!!! I am def. making this.