Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

This is a thick and creamy chowder without all the added fat that chowders are usually prepared with.  Using a combination of chicken broth and low-fat milk lowers calories, and blending part of the soup helps thicken it.

Great flavor is achieved by sautéing lots of celery and onion in a small amount of butter till softened, then adding the flour and cooking to incorporate it.  Add the corn, diced potato, chicken broth and seasonings and cook until potatoes are tender.  Then about 1/3 of this mixture is blended in a blender and returned to the soup kettle along with the milk and shrimp.

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To make this a gluten-free meal, omit the flour.  The soup may be a tiny bit less thick, but still deliciously seasoned and filling.  This makes four generous servings with calorie count only 394/serving, and fat at 8g.

We love this soup, and summertime is the perfect time to make it with summer corn at it’s sweetest.  However I made it recently because I ended up with an opened package of frozen corn to use up.  Mr. D. suggested I make corn chowder, so that’s the back story of why I made it now.  Although frozen corn is not ideal, it still gave thickness and corn flavor that was satisfying.

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At serving time I added some chopped green onion, (green parts only) and chopped celery leaves for garnish.  A salty cheese would also be good sprinkled on top such as queso fresco, cojita or feta.  This will add calories and fat so be mindful of that if you are counting calories.

SHRIMP AND CORN CHOWDER

Yield:   Makes 4 servingsIMG_9182

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 3 medium or 4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepperIMG_9184
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 bunch scallions, green parts only, chopped
  • celery leaves, chopped

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Directions:

1.  Melt the butter in a soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Stir in the celery and onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften.

2.  Stir in the corn and potatoes, then stir in the flour until incorporated.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, thyme and bay leaves, plus 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Cook until potatoes test done.

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3. Remove bay leaves;  transfer about 1/3 of this mixture to a blender and puree until smooth, then return to the pot.

 

IMG_9187 Return to a simmer, add the milk, and shrimp.  Reduce heat to low, and cook until shrimp are pink, about 4 minutes.  Season with additional salt if needed.  Soup may be thinned with additional chicken broth if it’s too thick.

4.  Divide among serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped scallions and celery leaves.

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

 

SOURCE:  a major adaptation of a recipe from Cooking Light

 

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Texas Corn Casserole

Texas Corn Casserole

Texas Corn Casserole

Things in Texas are big!  That’s what we always hear isn’t it?   The state is big, people live big, and they eat big!

This corn casserole is well named for Texas.  It’s big in every way.  The recipe makes a 9″ x 13″ casserole, but the flavor is fantastic.

Sweet with corn, savory with peppers and scallions and spicy with seasoning.  Oh, Yeah!

Sweet with corn, savory with peppers and scallions and spicy with seasoning. Oh, Yeah!

I made this recently to take to a large gathering that included people of all ages from 2 year olds to folks in their eighties.  Not one person had anything but compliments to say about it.  A young boy came up to me and said, ” I really liked your cornbread.  Could you give the recipe to my dad?”   Wow, that made me feel so good!   I know something about children who are picky eaters, so when a youngster likes a particular food that is somewhat out of their “comfort zone”, I know it’s a keeper.

There’s just a little bit of sweetness to this that the corn and corn bread contribute, but enough variety in flavors to make it really interesting.  The recipe calls for Creole seasoning which I didn’t have, so I used Cajun seasoning instead, putting in only 1 teaspoon.  The resulting spiciness was apparent, but not too much, for my taste and the children’s.  You can adjust the spice/heat level to your liking, but do try this unique cornbread casserole.  It’s great to bring to a pot-luck picnic, or as a side dish to a summer meal.

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TEXAS CORN CASSEROLE

Yield:     Make about 10 to 12 servings, or more if cut smaller

Uses convenience foods for fast preparation.

Uses convenience foods for fast preparation.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1  ( 14 1/2-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 1  (14 1/2-ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (7-ounce) box corn bread mix
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, plus more to sprinkle on top

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400*F.  Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

Transfer batter to prepared pan.  Sprinkle top with Creole seasoning.  Bake casserole until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Golden brown on top, moist inside.

Golden brown on top, moist inside.

So Good!

So Good!

 

SOURCE:  Country Living Magazine

 

Corn Chowder

Yesterday was a day that I definitely wanted to stay indoors.  Outside we had torrential rain and strong gusty winds.  Even though the air was humid and warm it put me in the mood for a hot soup for dinner.  Remembering the corn I had cut from cobs and froze, I decided to make a corn chowder.

Corn Chowder

There are any number of recipes out there for corn chowder, and I have tried several, but the one I keep coming back to is this one which includes bacon.  I like the smokiness it adds, and the bits of color in the finished soup.  This version also includes potatoes, and they make it a bit more hearty, especially  if served for a dinner meal.  This could easily become a vegetarian meal by omitting the bacon and using a vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

CORN CHOWDER

YIELD:   about 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices thick bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced

    Ingredients for Chowder. One can of chicken broth, not two.

  • 3 Tablespoons coarsely chopped red or green pepper
  • 1 can chicken broth (approx. 2 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 medium potatoes, cup into small chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • chopped parsley, optional

DIRECTIONS

1.  In a large saucepan, cook bacon till crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain.  Reserve bacon drippings in pan.

2.  Add onion, celery and pepper to saucepan. Sauté over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes.  (I didn’t have any peppers so I added some roasted red pepper at the end with the corn).

Add broth, water and potatoes, salt, pepper, basil, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer covered 10-15 minutes or just until potato is tender.

3.  Stir in  milk, corn,  and bacon;  return to a simmer, stirring occasionally and cook just to warm through.  Do not allow to boil.  Prior to serving sprinkle in chopped parsley if using.

Corn Chowder and Rustic Whole Grain Bread: True Comfort Food.

When I haven’t made this chowder in a while I forget how good it is, but one taste is all it takes to make me know how much I love it, and why this is the one recipe I make over and over.  I’m so happy to share it with you.  You must make it on a damp chilly day and serve it with a hearty loaf of rustic bread.  True comfort food!

SOURCE:  This clipping has been in my recipe box for ages.  I don’t know it’s origins.

Stuffed With Good Stuff

Looking back over my more recent blog postings I was struck by how many contained the word “stuffed”:  Stuffed Peppers, Stuffed Zucchini, Stuffed Mushrooms.  I didn’t realize until now how many vegetables I prepare with a stuffing that seems to make the base veggie  as well as the stuffing itself so much better–one enhances the other.  Well, if you can stand another such recipe this one uses those nice big tomatoes fresh from the garden.   You know, the ones that could be a meal in themselves.

These big boys are juicy and tender, and contain a filling on the order of a salsa, but better because of the cheese and breadcrumbs.  I served them with a fillet of tilapia, lightly crisped with a cornmeal crust, and a mixed greens salad.  This was so good my husband has requested that I make it all again very soon. I only made two but next time I will make the full recipe of four, as I think they would make a great lunch just rewarmed in the microwave.  The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make only half, or double it and make 8 if you’re feeding a larger group.

TOMATOES STUFFED WITH CORN AND BLACK BEANS

SERVES     4

INGREDIENTS

  • 4  beefsteak tomatoes, or large heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels ( from one ear of corn)
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts separated, and thinly sliced.
  • 1/2 to 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar, divided
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs, divided.  I used prepared seasoned bread crumbs, 1/2 cup total, divided.
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • salt and pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Coat an 8″ square pan with non-stick spray.

2.  Cut top 1/2 inch from each tomato, and scoop out flesh and seeds.  Turn upside down on paper towel to drain while you prepare the stuffing.  Don’t waste a bit of these delicious tomatoes–use the flesh you scoop out here to make a simple bread to go along with your meal.  (see below)

3.  In a medium skillet heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat.  Add corn and scallion whites and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the jalapeño, black beans, 1/4 cup cheddar, 1/2 cup bread crumbs (or 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs) and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the filling ingredients all together.

4.  Turn the tomatoes right side up.  Sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper, and spray or brush the skins with olive oil.  Place in baking dish.  Fill the tomatoes with corn mixture.  Combine remaining 1/4 cup cheese, 1/2 cup bread crumbs (1/4 cup seasoned crumbs),   and 2 teaspoons oil.  season with salt and pepper and divide among the tomatoes.

5.  Tent loosely with foil and bake 10 minutes.  Uncover and bake until tomatoes are soft and breadcrumb topping is deep golden, about 5 minutes more.

PAN CON TOMATE

This is a simple Spanish appetizer, and the name means Bread with Tomato.  Here’s how to make it:

Spread reserved tomato flesh on rustic bread–a crusty loaf, split in half lengthwise.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of herbs (any).  Bake in a 450 degree oven until the edges are brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.  Watch carefully  so it doesn’t get too browned.  Serve with more olive oil for dipping.

SOURCE:   Everyday Food