Summer Squash & Corn Chowder

My friends and family in California are dealing with fires and ridiculous heat, meanwhile, I’m making soup for dinner.  But it’s soup with ‘Summer’ in the name, so it’s not as bad, right?

This recipe is from Cooking Light, August 2010.

Substitution made, noted below.

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Summer Squash & Corn Chowder

2 slices applewood-smoked bacon
3/4 c sliced green onion – divided
1/4 c chopped celery
1 lb yellow summer squash, chopped
1 lb frozen white and yellow baby corn kernels, thawed and divided
2 1/4 c 1% low-fat milk, divided – I used 2%
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c shredded extra-sharp cheese

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Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over med-high heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 tsp of the drippings in the pan.  Crumble bacon, and set aside.  Add 1/2 cup onions, celery and squash to the drippings in pan; saute 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Reserve 1 cup corn; set aside.  Place the remaining corn and 1 cup milk in a blender; process until smooth.  Add remaining 1 1/4 cups milk, thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to the blender; process until just combined.  Add pureed mixture and reserved 1 cup corn to pan.  Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.  Stir in 1/8 tsp salt.  Ladle about 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1 tblsp bacon, 1 tblsp onions and 1 tblsp of cheese.

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cartoon-strawberry-9The sweet corn makes this soup.  Know how a good Pina Colada tastes like the beach?  This soup is a tastes like the best of summer produce.  Forget the heat and have some soup for dinner!

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Smoky Chicken Corn Cakes

Sorry y’all for the unintentional break.  Life gets crazy sometimes.

This recipe is from Real Simple Magazine, May 2007.

A few slight substitutions were made, noted below.

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Smoky Chicken Corn Cakes

Chicken Mixture
1 3.5 to 4 lb rotisserie chicken
1 tblsp choppend canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
3 tlbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1 small red onion, thinly sliced – I used a white sweet onion
4 Roma (plum) tomaotes, diced – I used grape tomoatoes, halved
1/3 c fresh cilantro leaves – I skipped this

Using a fork or your fingers, shred the chicken meat, discarding the skin and bones.  In a medium bowl, combine the meat, chipotle, line juice, 1/4 tsp of salt, onion, tomatoes and cilantro; set aside.

Husband is not a fan of tomatoes, and I’m not a fan of raw onions.  So – I combined everything but the onion, tomatoes and cilantro.  I then spread the chicken mixture on a large baking sheet and put in a 200 degree oven, just to warm it up.  The onions I sliced and put in a small saute pan on low and left them to caramelize.

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Corn Cakes
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 large eggs
1 c part-skim ricotta
10 oz frozen corn, thawed
2 tsp canola oil

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and remaining salt.  Stir in the eggs and ricotta until no lumps remain.  Fold in the corn.  Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  For each corn cake, spoon about 1/4 c of the batter onto the skillet and cook until golden brown and set on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the cake and cook 1 minute more.

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Divide the cakes among individual plates and top with the chicken mixture.  Serve with sour cream if desired.

cartoon-strawberry-9We made these for dinner one night when some friends were visiting, and were enjoyed by all.  And although we had a wonderful dinner, I felt like something was missing.    Whip up a creamy chipotle sauce to go over the top?  Add some cheese and put under the broiler for a minute?  For me, it was a little dry and needed something to push it from good to amazing.