Fresh Corn and Roasted Poblano Chowder
This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.
They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup salt pork (or panchetta), diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 large box (48 oz) chicken stock
3 cups milk
1 cup water
2 large (or 3 small) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 ears of corn (mixed white and yellow)
1 Poblano pepper, roasted and peeled
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Shuck and silk the ears. Place the ear in a large bowl. With your knife, cut downwards towards the bottom of the bowl slicing off about 1/2 of the kernel. Rotate the ear about 20 degrees and cut. Continue rotating the ear and cutting until you have cleaned off the ear. Repeat for each ear.
Taking the soup spoon, hold the ear upright and place the bowl of the spoon at the base of the ear and scrape the ear to remove all the remaining corn pulp and juice. – Set aside.
Char the poblano pepper in the oven and place in a zipper bag to allow it to sweat. (the skin will slide off easily after about 5 minutes in the bag.) Finely chop the roasted poblano pepper and set aside.
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the salt pork and cook until the fat is rendered and crispy.
Add the onion, garlic and thyme, and cook until the vegetables are soft – about 7 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, coating the vegetables and cook just until the flour begins to turn golden.
Raise the heat to high, add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the milk and the potatoes and boil hard for about 10 minutes,or until the potatoes begin to break down (I actually like to sweat the potatoes in the micro for about 4 minutes first.) Add the corn and bring back to a boil Taste and adjust the salt as necessary.
Add the pepper and chopped poblanos and simmer until the corn is soft – about 15 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Serve it up in really big bowls with hot, homemade cornbread