Julienne’s Roasted Corn and Cilantro Chowder

by Hilary Gauntt on November 1, 2017

Remember Steve Martin’s charming house in “Father of the Bride”? That’s pretty much how all the other homes in San Marino, Cailfornia look. And “Julienne”, the beloved neighborhood bistro in that town, is just as lovely. Susan Campoy is the founder and was chef for many years in addition to running a catering business and gourmet market next door. Her cookbook, which I received as a gift, is a treasure.

I love corn chowder, and this recipe is unique in that they add chiles and cilantro for a little kick. I adapted it as I was using fresh sweet corn instead of frozen, and wanted to skip the roasting step. I also stirred in some grated cheddar at serving time along with some bacon for garnish; as Ina Garten does with her chowder. Best of both worlds I think! The following is my adaptation.

About 6 cups (6 ears) fresh sweet corn, kernels cut from the cob

5 Tbs. unsalted butter

4 leeks (white and green parts only) minced

1 onion, minced

3 celery ribs, minced

6 cups chicken stock

1 cup half and half

1/2 cup canned diced green chiles (mild)

1/4 tsp. dried hot red pepper flakes, plus more to taste

2 pounds red new potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

6 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

Crisp cooked bacon pieces for garnish

Melt the butter in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, onion and celery and saute until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent; about 15 minutes. Add chicken stock, chiles, red pepper flakes, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, add the potatoes and cilantro simmer uncovered over medium low heat about 10 minutes. Add the corn and simmer another 10 minutes or so until the potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the half and half and the cheddar cheese and cook for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve hot with a garnish of crisp bacon. Serves 6-8.
Note: Can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Rewarm, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Freezes well.

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