I tend to overbuy corn at the farm stand this time of year and end up with a surplus. Yesterday evening after we saw the last of our weekend guests off, I realized we were out of anything to grill and pretty much at the bottom of the barrel on every count. But I did have corn and an onion (and as I always say, if you have an onion, you have a meal), as well as a few potatoes, chicken broth, a green pepper and two strips of bacon. So I made corn chowder, which I Mexican’d up, as I like to do, with a garnish of some cilantro, avocado, cotija (the crumbly Mexican cheese, though any cheese would do, including cheddar, pecorino, or parmesan), and a few leftover tortilla chips. It was a kind of corn chowder meets tortilla soup. Delicious, and it only took about 15 minutes. Here’s what you do:
1. Saute one onion with a glug of olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. I happened to use yellow, but white or red would be fine as well.
2. Add two slices of chopped bacon, cook until it starts to get golden. Add chopped bell pepper, saute until soft.
3. Add chopped yukons or any small potatoes. I only had three, though would have added a few more had I had them on hand.
4. Add chicken broth, a cup and a half or so, and another cup of milk, let simmer a bit.
5. Add the corn cut from four ears. Add salt (a heaping TS at least), a couple of turns of pepper, and a dash of cayenne.
It’s ready when the potatoes are done. We garnished with avocado, cheese, chips, and cilantro. My kids like different combinations of these garnishes, but they soup flavors on their are so innocuous that most kids would eat this and anything with tortilla chips is a surefire hit. The garnish just takes it to a new level for adults and looks good enough to serve when you have friends over.