Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sweet Corn and Poblano Chowder - Caity

Brendan and I caught Rick Bayless Fever on Brendan's first trip to Chicago nearly two years ago. We visited his restaurant Xoco for lunch and ordered the Carnitas Caldo and a Choriqueso torta. I drool, even now, as I think about that meal! Unfortunately we haven't been back to Chicago since then. But last month we did find ourselves in the Chicago O'Hare Airport where conveniently Rick Bayless does have a restaurant. I ordered this Corn and Poblano Chowder to take on the plane and it was amazing! So amazing that even the men sitting on either side of me asked what I was eating and where they could get some. I was happy to find the recipe online even before the plane took off because I knew I needed to have this soup again soon. 

This Sweet Corn and Poblano Chowder makes a light meal or a great first course or you could dress it up with a couple grilled shrimp, scallops or chicken. 

Serves 4-6

what you'll need: 

1 small yellow onion, sliced into 1/4 inch half moons
1 large fresh poblano chile, stemmed, seeded and large diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups corn kernels, freshly cut off the cob if it is in season
2 cups of tomatillo salsa
2-1/2 cups of chicken broth
2 Tbsp. masa harina
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro 
Crumbled cotija cheese (optional)
A drizzle of Mexican crema  (optional)

In a large saucepan, saute the onion and poblano in olive oil for 5 to 6 minutes or until both are tender but not browned. Add 1 cup of corn kernels and both cups of tomatillo salsa and stir. Using an immersion blender (if you have one, if not transfer to a blender or food processor), process until smooth. 

Stir in the broth and partially cover. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the masa harina with 1/4 cup water and stir until there are no lumps. Pour slowly into the saucepan, stirring the soup continuously all the time. Continue to stir until the soup thickens. Add in the remaining 1 cup of corn kernels and cook until the kernels are warm. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve in bowls topped with fresh cilantro, a drizzle of Mexican crema and crumbled cotija cheese if desired. 

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