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who wants chowdah?

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Right now, I’m making my Black Friday plan (it’s a family tradition!), but I wanted to share the recipe with you that could possibly make a love connection.  Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving—enjoy!

Last Monday when I returned home from my trip, it was so dreary and dark, complete with chilly temperatures and lots of rain.  I was already suffering from the post-vacay blues.  It was if the skies had opened up and were reflecting my mood.

One of the only things I wanted, all day, was soup.  A nice, hot bowl would warm me up, melt away my blues.  The only question:  What to make?  I wanted something hearty but light, with lots of flavor.  And I knew I wanted to make cornbread.

I checked a few of my favorite blogs, and I finally settled on Potato and Corn Chowder from Rachel (from Shape).

DSC05988  The ingredient list was simple enough, and I only needed to buy a few things from the store.  (Which, as you may remember, turned out to be a much more interesting trip that I could have ever imagined.)  My camera battery died shortly before I started getting my food prepped, so there aren’t really any pictures except for of the finished product.  And that’s all that really matters, right?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • An onion, chopped
  • A celery stalk (or several small ones, like I used), chopped
  • Minced garlic
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 4 cups water or broth (I used 2 cups water, 2 cups low-sodium broth)
  • 2 or 3 red-skinned potatoes, diced
  • 3 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (I used light sour cream instead)
  • parsley (I used dried)

It all started with a little butter.  Isn’t that how all the best things begin?  Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven.  Cook the celery and onion and it will smell UH-mazing.  Seriously.  Whenever I smell cooked celery I think about the first time I made real, authentic, homemade chicken noodle soup.  Mmmm…so good.

When the veggies are soft, add the water and broth and the potatoes.  Bring to a boil, then take heat down to about medium for about 15 minutes.  (This is when I started prepping my cornbread.)  Add the thawed corn, and cook about 5 more minutes.

Here’s where the only tricky part comes in.  It’s not so hard if you have an immersion blender, but  I don’t, so I used the blender.  Puree the soup (on low) in small batches, being careful around the hot liquid.  I left some of it still in chunks.  (that’s what she said?)

Shortly before serving, add the milk, or if you’re me, the sour cream.  I don’t really like whole milk, and I didn’t want to have a quart just lying around, so I made this substitution.  Honestly, I’ve not had it the other way, but it was pretty damn awesome this go ‘round.

For the cornbread:

Pre-heat the oven to about 400.  Oil up your skillet with some oil or butter (I usually use my Misto and spray my down a little bit) and then place it in the oven to heat up.  I used the recipe on the back of the Aunt Jemima’s bag.  Cornmeal, milk, eggs, unsweetened applesauce instead of oil.  Oh, and no sugar—what Southerner in her right mind would put sugar in cornbread???  They’d take away my cast-iron skillet.

Funny story about cast-iron skillets:  Back around the time I first moved, my mom gave me one of hers so I could make some cornbread.  It was one she’d had forever, and it was already seasoned.  (You know, where it has ages of grease just steeped into it, all piled on top of each other?)  So I’d made dinner, and my roommate decided to do the dishes. 

“I did the dishes!” said my roommate with obvious pride.  “I even washed your skillet.  I had to soak it for a while to get all the grease off.  It was really dirty.”


So, this cornbread.  I also added some coarse salt, rosemary and thyme to the batter.  Let me tell you.  It made all the difference.  Anyway, take the preheated skillet out of the oven, pour in your batter, and then pop it back in for about 15 minutes or so.  I halved the recipe, so it didn’t take as long as it normally would.

DSC05991  This was an epic meal.  Just what I wanted!


Roomie Reagan declared this the best thing I’ve ever made.  (I slightly disagree, but I did agree that I am, indeed, awesome.)  It made me feel all warm inside—a task that I’m sure my suitor from Publix wanted to complete, but alas, I’m taken:  my heart now belongs to this soup (and Jonathan).  But if you’re single, put on your grocery-store best and head out to the market—this could be the soup that gets you laid.


9 responses »

  1. I found a chowder recipe that used “oat drink” as a base, and it was incredible! I think that’s the stuff that they make by soaking oats in water then wringing them out. They like to sell it as a non-dairy non-soy milk alternative.

  2. So glad you tried the recipe!! And mmmm…that cornbread! I wish we were friends in real life and could really share recipes like this.

  3. Ok, let me preface this comment with two things. First, I’m Mandy’s roommate – Hi! Second, your cornbread looks like one that could get me (not usually a cornbread person) to enjoy it! The main reason for this post? That story about your roommate scrubbing your cast-iron skillet sounds exactly like something I would accidentally do to Mandy! Thanks to this blog post though, I can now say I won’t. Mandy (en absentia) and I both thank you. 🙂

    • Haha, I’m glad this proved a nice tutorial on what NOT to do! You should definitely try this cornbread; it’s super easy and has lots of flavor. My number one rule: no sugar. NONE.

  4. As for the cast iron skillet… just cook bacon in it over and over. That’s what I did to get mine back to a glossy sheen.

  5. Pingback: drinkin’ around, the christmas tree… « that's what summer said.

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