Austin360Cooks: Easy corn chowder is the perfect dish for a rainy almost-summer day

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Simmering corn cobs is the secret to this rich corn chowder. Photo by Addie Broyles.
Simmering corn cobs is the secret to this rich corn chowder. Photo by Addie Broyles.

Simmering corn cobs is the secret to this rich corn chowder. Photo by Addie Broyles.

The biggest produce news of last week was that Fredericksburg peaches are in season and the crop is looking pretty good, but I was also happy to hear that we’re starting to get some fresh sweet corn. Liz Baron, the co-owner of Tacos and Tequila, shared her recipe for the Mexican street corn that they sell at the restaurant while I was working on my own corn creation.

I don’t make corn chowder very often because it’s rare for me to crave a warm soup on a warm day — and the best corn comes in the warm weather months. But with the rainy, even cool, days we are having, I was craving soup on a day I had good corn on hand.

I also had leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge, so I decided to make a simple soup that, I must say, blew my socks — er, sandals — off.

Because I was cooking on the fly, I’ll write the recipe that way: Saute half an onion in butter or ghee (clarified butter), adding a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cut the kernels off three cobs of corn, but instead of throwing the cobs away, throw them in the pot with the onions. Continue cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes and then add the corn kernels to the pot. Thaw some of that turkey or chicken stock you put up in the freezer over the winter and pour it over the corn, cobs and onions. (I used a quart and then added a few more cups of water, but if you don’t have any stock on hand, use bouillon.)

Bring the liquid to a simmer and continue to cook, cobs and all, for about 10 minutes. Remove the cobs and add between one and three cups of leftover mashed potatoes and a spoonful of sour cream or Mexican crema. (Feel free to skip the potatoes or sprinkle in some instant mashed potatoes at this point.) Bring to a simmer and serve with sliced avocado and kielbasa, which you can quick-fry in a pan or heat in a microwave.

Don’t hesitate to adjust this recipe to incorporate other leftovers you might have: roasted or grilled vegetables, sauteed greens, pulled pork, grilled chicken, sliced roast beef, etc.

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