This is one of those recipes that you can make any time of the year but will only be at its best if you have fresh sweet corn available typically in the late summer months. For more information, check out my article on how to buy and cook sweet corn.
You can make a really good quick corn chowder from scratch that takes less time and fewer ingredients but I want to share with you a really rich, full flavored version that will keep you coming back for more. We always have a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer so making this chowder on the fly is no problem.
It means using homemade chicken stock in place of the water and a combination of milk and cream rather than just milk along with a few other additional ingredients.
The result? Well, I’ll let you be the judge.
Corn and Shrimp Chowder Recipe
3 cups of fresh sweet corn kernels - 7 to 10 ears depending on size (Jersey corn is my preference but then again I'm partial)
1 large red or yellow onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chicken stock
6 new potatoes, cup up into small cubes
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut into thirds
Salt, to taste
How To Prepare At Home
Start by removing the corn kernels from half the corn cobs. Why only half? The other half will be grated to produce a pulp that has tons of flavor and helps produce a smooth texture.
The fastest way to remove the kernels from husked, uncooked corn is by either standing the corn on its end and slicing down or laying the corn cob on its side and slicing across. Either way is good but be careful not to cut yourself. Stay focused!
Another way to remove the corn is to first blanch it by boiling the ears for a couple of minutes and then cut off the kernels. This helps keep the kernels from flying all over the place when you remove them. It's also a great way for removing corn for other dishes like salsa or succotash.
Either way you decide to remove them, you will end up with strips of corn that can be separated with your knife.
With the remaining ears of corn, use the large holes of a box grater to take off the majority of the corn. Do this over a bowl so you don't loose any of the pulp and juices. If there is any remaining corn on the cob, scrape it off with the back of your knife.
As long as you are grating the corn, why not grate the onion? This will also help give the chowder a smoother, creamier texture. If you don't want take the time, just chop it finely.
Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy bottomed soup pot and sauté the onion until translucent.
Add the chicken stock and then the potatoes. Bring this to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Now add milk, the grated corn pulp and juice only, and thyme and pepper. Let this simmer for about 8 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Add the whole corn kernels that you removed from the corn cobs and the heavy cream. Let this simmer for 5 or 6 minutes until the corn kernels are cooked. Be careful not to overcook them.
Add the shrimp. They will only take a few minutes to cook in the hot liquid but watch them so they don't overcook.
Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
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