Sunday, October 28, 2007

Makin' Some Chowdah

Now that Karen has left for the airport to head back to the Bay Area, I can share my next recipe with you. (You see, I want to have a little surprise for her when she gets home.)

Using the chicken stock that I made yesterday, I put together a simple chowder, again adapting a recipe that originally called for turkey. Made with some of Karen's favorite foods, including bacon, wild rice, and sweet corn, I thought that this soup would make for a nice "Welcome Home" meal.

Before starting to work on the soup itself, I had to prepare some wild rice. I had just enough wild rice in my pantry for this recipe, though it looks like I will need to put in an order to Minnesota for another 10 lbs bag. After the rice finished cooking, I put it aside and started the work on the soup. I started by browning up some bacon my trusty Dutch oven. The recipe called for pancetta, but unfortunately Safeway is a bit challenged when it comes to specialty items such as this.

After browning the bacon, I drained it on paper towels and removed some of the excess fat from the cast iron pot. Then, I threw in some cremini mushrooms and cooked them for a few minutes in the rendered fat.

After the mushrooms were cooked down, I remove them from the Dutch oven and began softening some diced celery, carrots, and shallots in melted butter. I cut down the amount of butter called for in the recipe in half, since I didn't see the need to use an half a stick of butter for this. After the vegetable mixture had softened up a bit, I put in some flour. As I had reduced the amount of butter, I also reduced the amount of flour proportionally.

After the roux had cooked for a couple of minutes, I returned the mushrooms to the pot and added the chicken stock and some dried rosemary.

Once the stock and vegetable mixture came to a boil, I lowered the heat and simmered the soup for 15 minutes or so. Then, I added in wild rice, the reserved bacon, the meat from the chickens that I used to make the stock, and some sweet corn.

After allowing the soup to simmer for another 10 minutes to meld the flavors together, I added the final ingredient, a cup of heavy cream, to finish off the dish. I tried some of the soup with a simple garnish of flat leaf parsley.

The chowder was delicious, very hearty with a nice silky finish. It'll definitely keep you warm on a cool, autumn evening.

As I was making the chowder, I was simultaneously baking some Amish friendship bread using a starter that Karen gave me.

Does anyone want any bread starter?


Anonymous said...

You should move back to Boulder. Our Safeways have pancetta!

Doctor No said...

That last one was from me. Stoopid fat fingers.

Loren said...

No worries about the double post, Dr. No. I attribute your fat finger syndrome to the water retention due to your salt intake from said Safeway pancetta.

tesha said...

I do. I do. Want a starter, that is. Thanks for the friendship :)

Loren said...

Ta-da! Now you have a starter! :)