The Last Stalk Standing
This, as they would say, is it.
This past weekends’ offering of sweet corn will probably be our last. You can begin to taste the age in the fading yellow kernels as you bite into them a little less anxiously than in the beginning of August.
Still juicy, sweet and delicious, but just not the same.
Thankfully we’ve all enjoyed corn at it’s peak. You know when it is, mid-summer when dinner consists of well, corn and a good slathering of butter. Those are the moments when most good eaters are wiping their chins and thinking about floss, and me, I eat one and high tail my way back to the market for more.
There’s something about perfect corn. The season is so short, you really can’t get sick of it.
When the time is right I buy what I can fit in my biggest stockpot to blanch and freeze for pure necessity and moments of longing. Soup is almost a must when preparing to freeze the best of the summer. Watching as the milky juice drips from the cob as I cut the kernels off with my sharpest knife, I want to keep it all. Scraping up what I can and maneuvering every drop into an awaiting pot makes the extra effort of preserving so worth it.
With the corn season coming to a brisk end and the cool nights beginning, I can help but to hang on to every last corn silk I can.
CHILI CORN CHOWDER
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 White Onion, finely diced
2 Potatoes, diced (Yukon Gold)
5 Ears Corn, blanched and shucked to yield about 2 Cups
1 Bay Leaf
2 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
4 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 teaspoon Salt
Crack of Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1 teaspoon Cumin, ground
1/2 teaspoon Coriander, ground
1 Dried Red Chili, crushed (1/4 teaspoon chili flakes)
1 Cup Soy Milk
Dice the onion and potatoes.
In a large stockpot, heat the oil to medium/high.
Add the onions to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the potatoes and garlic, stirring regularly to keep from sticking, about 2 minutes.
Add the salt and spices and pour over the stock.
Add 1 1/2 Cups of the corn kernels and any juice collected from scraping the cobs.
Allow to simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 – 20 minutes.
Add soy milk.
Purée soup by transferring to a food processor, or with an immersion blender.
Add lime juice and cilantro.
Taste and adjust salt and spices, if necessary.
Ladle into bowls and top with reserved corn.