Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa Caucus Corn Dinner

Maggie says:
In anticipation of all things Iowa tonight, I've planned a corn-themed dinner to full-on embrace my inner nerd. Along with some roasted chicken and a salad, this soup will be perfect for tonight's cold weather and light enough so it won't interfere with hyper coverage-surfing. Enjoy!

Iowa Caucus Corn Chowder

For more kick, add cumin and red chile. I already have two spicy soups in my fridge, though, so tonight I'm going traditional. I think Iowans would approve. ;-)

2 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil, plus a splash at the end
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup flour
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups heavy cream
2 big potatoes, peeled and diced
6 ears corn
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Heat the butter and olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme (sprinkle in leaves only) and cook until the vegetables are good and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Dust the vegetables with flour and stir to coat everything well. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add the cream and the potatoes, bring to a boil again and boil hard for about 7 minutes, until the potatoes break down.

Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the parsley and give it another little splash of olive oil. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

And for fun:

Missing New Mexico Blue Corn Muffins

1/2 stick butter
3 tbs onion, very finely diced
garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup
red bell pepper, very finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, very finely diced
1/4 cup corn
1 tbs
cilantro, finely chopped
3/4 cup blue cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat to 400 degrees F. Grease a 6-slot muffin pan with non-stick vegetable spray.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, bell pepper, jalapeno, corn, and cilantro. Whisk in the butter mixture.

In a separate bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and sugar. Mix into the liquid mixture.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffins slots and bake for 16 minutes or until set, turning the pan once for even baking.

Okay, admit it, you're pumped... Now who's ready for some caucus viewing?!