When you think of a country, chances are you have some preconception about the food there, regardless as to whether its accurate. Its pretty common to hear people declare their love for corned beef and cabbage when thinking of Irish food when, really it is an immigrant interpretation of bacon and cabbage. France has its snails, frogs legs and baguettes. England has its fish and chips, bangers and mash and Spain – tapas and paella. Sometimes though, these preconceptions are wholly on point and that is a joyous thing.
There are a few foods that are ubiquitous with New England – Lobster, cranberries, blueberries, clams, peaches and corn to name but a few. From pictures of cranberry bogs dotting the New England countryside to the many seafood shacks along the coast, the rumors are true. Food in New England is fantastic!
Corn is high up there on my favorite foods list. I have always loved it but there is nothing like the taste of freshly picked corn straight off the ear. Its sweet, juicy and delicious. As we are in peak season right now, I am using it as many ways as possible. Corn succotash with grilled chicken, corn pancakes topped with poached eggs and this bad boy. Hopefully I can come up with more ideas soon!
New England Corn Chowder:
- 4 slices of bacon cut into small lardons
- 6 Ears of Corn (or a bag frozen corn if you must!)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium size potatoes, peeled and cut into even sized chunks
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 600ml of good quality chicken stock
- 300ml water
- 300ml milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp chopped thyme
- Salt and Pepper
- Heat a large casserole dish or saucepan on a low heat. Add the chunks of bacon so the fat renders out slowly.
- Meanwhile, cut the corn kernels off of the ears, trying not to waste too much corn. Set aside with the potato chunks.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Add the onion and butter. Turn the heat down low and place a lid on the pan so the onions soften but don’t brown.
- Once the onions are soft, add the garlic and stir for a minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the flour to the pan and stir. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock until you have a thick sauce.
- Add the rest of the liquid along with the herbs, corn and potatoes. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Test the potatoes to ensure they are soft but do not let them overcook.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if required. Serve with some crusty bread.