Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Their loss, your gain

This week's Stylist magazine is the Made By You issue. Everything from cover to cover has been produced by the readers. Among other things, I submitted this recipe for Bacon and Sweetcorn Chowder. Unfortunately, they went with a recipe for mushroom risotto. Mushrooms continue to be the bane of my life!  

Rather than leave my recipe sitting on my hard drive gathering virtual dust,  I figured I'd share it here. This chowder is the ultimate winter comfort food and is both easy on the pocket and brilliantly simple to make. It’ll leave you feeling so warm and cosy you won’t even need your cashmere slipper socks. (You can still wear your cashmere slipper socks if you want to!) 

Serves 4-5

Boneless smoked bacon/gammon joint - 750g
Large onions - 2 
Garlic - 3 cloves 
Olive oil - 3 tbsp
Softened unsalted butter - 1 tbsp
Fresh corn on the cob - 3 uncooked ears 
Large potatoes - 6
Milk - 1 pint 
Good quality chicken stock - 1.5l
Double cream - 100ml
Flat leaf parsley - Small bunch 
Ground black pepper 
Salt (only if needed just before serving) 
Water (for boiling joint) 

Place the bacon joint in a deep, heavy pan and cover with enough cold water to just cover the meat. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. Top up water if reducing too quickly. Once fully cooked, set the meat aside to cool completely and discard cooking water. 

Finely chop the onions and garlic. Carefully remove the sweetcorn from the cobs, cutting as closely to the core as possible. Holding the top of the cob and cutting downwards with a serrated knife usually works best. Peel the potatoes and cut into bitesize pieces. Once the bacon joint has cooled, cut into rough cubes of approximately 2cm in size. 

In the same pan used to cook the meat, melt the butter into the oil and add the onions, garlic and pepper. Sweat until the onions are translucent before adding the corn and bacon pieces. Mix thoroughly and cook for a further three to four minutes. 

Pour in the milk and simmer. Add the potatoes and the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then bring down to a simmer and allow to cook until the potatoes are tender. 

Turn off the heat. With a wooden spoon, crush a few of potatoes against the side of the pot. Stir and continue crushing until the chowder thickens to your liking. Allow to cool slightly. Season to taste and stir in the cream and chopped flat leaf parsley just before serving. 

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