Tina’s Corn Chowder (And Why We Southerners Are Pansies)
This post is for my reader, Joe, who really needs to see a tree today .
I’ve been in such a soup and stew mood lately and its all due to our recent delivery of cold weather. You see, it just now got a little bit cold in the south. Now I say a little bit but anyone else around here would tell you its downright frigid. Normally I would be in agreement with them but after having visited Canada a few years back in January, I am now privy to cold on a whole new level, one that is almost unfathomable to a lifelong southerner.
You see, here in the south, we’re complete pansies when it comes to winter. We wait and hope, keeping our winter clothes on standby, often suffering through short sleeves and perspiration as late as Halloween…and then one day it hits. A frost! GRAB THE TURTLENECK!! IT’S SIXTY DEGREES!!! We get all excited about pulling out that part of our wardrobe which we get to wear maybe two or three months out of the year – four if we’re really lucky. Meanwhile folks of the northern persuasion come down to visit during the month of December and look at us all bundled up like Eskimos on a 50 degree evening and go home with more tales of “those crazy people down south.”
Then by the time January rolls around, the novelty has worn off. The skies are overcast and we’ve got a doozy of a case of cabin fever. We were not engineered to handle this. How do others do it? How on earth do you manage a cold season that lasts more than three months? My birthday is in February and that’s about as much as I can take. I can wait til then and maintain my sanity. Come February (most years), daffodils are in bloom and spring is going for her first spin around the block.
Bet you ninety to nothing that we’re complaining about winter not lasting long enough by the time July rolls around though.
This is my only chowder recipe. Chowder has never seemed a southern dish to me, but I sure to enjoy this one. It’s the name that makes it seem non-southern I guess. I picture folks coming in from lobster fishing (or catching…or whatever it is you do to get lobsters) wearing thick sweaters and speaking like the Kennedy’s.
Other than this one, I’ve only had one other type of chowder – clam. My mother is going to die when she reads that I actually ate an entire bowl clam chowder. She does NOT do seafood in any way, shape, or form. Truth be told, I don’t either. However, I was invited to a friend’s house on Christmas Eve (which is, of course, an honor) and they were all excited about their traditional Christmas Eve meal. Now, if there is one thing a properly raised Southerner understands its pride in the dishes you grew up on! The last thing a polite person would do is anything at all that might seem to insult it.
My friend who had invited me did not help matters though. I whispered to her “what does it taste like?” and she replied “Oh its good, but the clams are just like eating old pieces of chewing gum”. ~gulp~
We all sat at the table, the mother said grace and then served us this very pretty looking chowder she had been working on the better part of the day. I am not sure if I actually tasted the chowder because I can’t remember the flavor, I think I blocked it out. But, I do remember eating an entire bowl and gushing every other bite about how delicious it was and how thrilled I was to finally get to taste a real chowder! Now nobody go gettin’ all offended by me not liking clam chowder, or clams…or oysters..or lobsters..or anything else. Anyone who does is welcome to come down south and try some chitlins and THEN we’ll talk ~grins~.
Other than pond raised catfish, I’ve managed to continue avoiding seafood ever since!
(Mama is laughing right now, saying that pond raised catfish is NOT seafood! Hey, its as close as I get!)
This corn chowder is a great meal for vegetarians. Simply substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth and you’re off to the races! It is hearty, filling, oh so warm, and has just the right blend of flavors. I adore it. Special thanks to my sister in law, Tina Jordan, for passing this recipe on to me many years back.
You’ll need: Onion, red potatoes, jalapeno peppers, paprika, frozen corn, milk, green pepper, chicken broth, crushed pepper flakes, and green onions.
You’ll also need flour, salt, and margarine.
The original recipe also calls for a bit of Dijon mustard. I do recommend using this but I didn’t have any and y’all know how I hate to go all the way to the store just for one little ingredient when I can very well do without it.
Chop your bell pepper.
I LOVE Bell peppers. Whenever a recipe calls for one, I usually only out 1/2 to 3/4 of one in because the other part just jumps right into my mouth while I’m cutting it!
Chop your onion as well.
Now this doesn’t just pop right into my mouth, not raw at least.
Melt your margarine in a pan so you can saute all of this goodness in it.
For those of y’all just now joining the Southern Plate Family, I wanna say two things. First of all, WELCOME! We’re so glad you’re here. Secondly, Yes, you can use real butter if you like. I use margarine because I’m cheap. You can find out all sorts of other things about me and the Southern Plate Family by moseying on over to the Frequently Asked Questions Page.
Saute these until they are tender. This will just take a few minutes on medium high heat.
Chop up your red potatoes, leaving the skin on because its s’purty!
I leave mine a bit chunky but you can make them smaller if you like! I just like how hearty the broth looks this way.
Add onions, peppers, and potatoes to a stock pot.
Pour in your chicken broth.
I seldom buy chicken broth on accounta I’m so…..Frugal. Yes, thats it, I’m frugal. Frugal is the new “cheap”. ~grins~
Some of y’all worry when I talk about myself in a derogatory fashion and tell me that I’m not cheap because you feel “cheap” is a little insulting and don’t want me insulting myself. I love y’all dearly for your kindness so I will work on using “frugal” just on your account.
(But before y’all start thinkin’ I’m gettin’ above m’raising, you need to know that I’m really just cheap)
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, cooking for about fifteen minutes.
Chop your green onions.
I just use my kitchen shears for this. They are the best tool!
Cut up whatever you need and toss those puppies in the dishwasher!
I cut all the way down to the little bulb and then throw that part away.
You know, it would be great in the broth, though..
Now I used two jalapenos out of the jar of them but honestly, I think you should twice that, or fresh if you can.
Wee ones were eating this so I opted for less but this chowder is great with a little bite to it!
Chop chop chop. Wash your hands after you do this.
This is common sense anyone should know….
So I won’t tell you why my left eye was burning and red later on in this tutorial.
Add your salt.
Add your green onions and jalapeno.
I am having the darndest time spelling jalapeno today for some reason.
Add your paprika and crushed red pepper flakes.
My goodness this recipe has a lot of steps! Y’all know if I’m going to this much trouble it has to be awfully good!
Add your corn and some of your milk.
Now you can use canned corn in this but frozen really is better.
It just tastes fresher to me.
stirry stirry stirry!
Now you’re going to take 1/2 cup of your milk and add your flour to it.
Stir that up well.
Add to your chowder.
Boil, while stirring constantly, for about two minutes.
And you’re done! Doesn’t that look YUMMY?
My sister in law says she now adds bacon and cheese when she makes this.
Oh my…I need to make this again so I can try that, too!
WHEW isn’t that ingredient list long? Y’all know I wouldn’t have a recipe with THAT many ingredients if it wasn’t good!! Still, no wierd stuff that you wouldn’t be able to use again in another recipe!!
Today is a GREAT day waiting to happen! Get out there and enjoy it!!
It’s better to aim for the Stars and miss,
than to aim for the ditch and hit it.
Submitted by Donna. Submit your quote or read more by clicking here.