Friday, April 17, 2009

When You Need "Incentive"

Last night my husband took my youngest on a walk (OK...he walked, she scooted). The typical path is to take a road into a development behind us which leads to several options for a nice walk. The only problem is that right turn puts you on a road that is down hill...which means an up hill walk on the way back.

When they got home, my husband asks me..."do you know what Beanie uses as a mental image when she needs incentive to get up the hill?" Well, knowing my youngest, it could have been a plethora of things, most undoubtedly involving a high concentration of sugar. My guesses, however, were wrong.

Apparently, my youngest, in imagining her carrot at the end of that hill, was imagining...a bowl of my corn chowder. Who knew?

So, if you need a "carrot" to see you to the top of your hill, consider Corn Chowder with Bacon. I will readily admit I stole the recipe from Chris at Notes from the Trenches making some changes that were my own. I also don't bother to do it in a crock pot because, IMO, it's more work. I'm home during the day and can keep tabs on it. And actually, in reality, by NOT doing it in the crock pot, I can have it ready in about 1 1/2 hours by preparing it on the stove top.
So, enjoy. Be sure to leave a note for Beanie, why you understand her "carrot".

Corn Chowder with Bacon

10 slices of bacon (or more...I used...gulp...1.5 lbs of thick cut bacon)
two 1lb bags of frozen corn (I made sure one bag was white's sweeter)

3 cans of creamed corn (I used 2...that's all I had on hand. 3 will work I'm sure)
6-8ish cups of diced potatoes (I think I used 6-7 medium sized was fine)

1 small diced onion
1T sugar
sea salt, to taste
couple shakes of worcestershire sauce (optional, I omit)
½ tsp cayenne pepper (this is an alteration from the adds just a tingle at the back of the's subtle and you can add more if you don't have children who will refuse to eat it if it's too spicy. Or you can leave it out completely. IMO without it was bland)
½ finely chopped red pepper (another alteration. Adds color to a somewhat monochromatic meal)

The original recipe calls for this to be done in a crock pot. My issue is that it also calls for the potatoes to be "browned" (so that they don't fall apart) in the bacon grease and since I'm home during the day, it was nothing for me to just do this on the stove top in a stock pot and not dirty the crock pot. So, if you need to be gone all day, feel free to put in a crock pot.
Peel and chop potatoes.
Fry bacon. I did this by cutting the bacon up (while in a sliced slab into 1 in pieces, breaking up) and frying it in a stock pot. Normally when I do bacon I do it in the oven but it takes much longer and means me dirtying another why? (see me being lazy) When bacon is done, take out and drain (and crumble if you left in slices). Then you will dice up the onions and potatoes and fry them up in the bacon grease. Brown them slightly, just enough so that they will hold together while cooking in the crockpot and not turn into mashed potatoes.
Meanwhile, put all of the corn in the crockpot with your sugar, sea salt, and crumbled bacon. About 10 slices of bacon. Dump the potatoes and onions in the crockpot as well. If you're just keeping everything in the stock pot, just start tossin' stuff in...the bags of frozen corn, and cream corn, sugar and spices.
On the stove, it really doesn't take long...maybe 30-45 min. I like the bacon to not go quite so mushy so I usually wait til the last 15 min to put it in. I put it in with the red pepper (it adds color). If the chowder seems to thick (which in my opinion, it is), I add 1-2 cups of fat free (yes, I know...with all that bacon, why bother or use some milk) half and half. Heat til hot and serve. It really is fast and easy if you do it on the stove top. I haven't tried it in a crock, but I'm sure the flavors will meld well given the time. Cook on low in a crock pot for 6 hours or so. Serve with a salad and some crusty bread.

Now the funny part? We had already eaten dinner. And it wasn't Corn Chowder.

1 comment:

  1. I think I would probably do anything for that corn chowder too!!