So, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from blogging. For past six weeks I’ve been going through some “stuff”–you know, the kind of “stuff” that we humans all go through from time to time–the result of which was that I didn’t feel much like blogging. Oh, I made some food, ate some food, even took some pictures of food. When it came to blogging, however, I just couldn’t muster the creative energy.
The happy news for me is that I’m on the other side of the “stuff,” or at least on a different side of it, and ready to blog again. As an act of penance for ignoring my readers for so long, I have included not one but two recipes in this post. 🙂
It’s summer in Maine and in lots of other places, so sweet corn is on my mind. Since local fresh sweet corn has been surprisingly expensive this year, I’ve been satisfying my corn cravings with frozen sweet corn. You can do almost anything with frozen corn than you can with fresh, so I frequently use frozen sweet corn kernals to save myself some of the trouble involved with shucking, cleaning, and cooking fresh corn.
Today for an early supper I made a pot of sweet corn chowder, and baked some biscuits to serve on the side. While this is in no way a low-calorie meal, I am rather proud of the fact that it is entirely homemade and contains some very healthy and interesting ingredients. The chowder is my own recipe, which I painstakingly wrote down as I created it today. The biscuits are adapted from “Baking Illustrated,” which is the best resource for home baking I have ever found. The chowder is a delicious New England-style chowder (not thick, not overly rich) with chunks of bacon, onion, and corn simmered in a delicious broth. The biscuits are made with whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and flaxmeal for a nutty flavor and a tender, delicate texture. These were fairly easy recipes to make on a lazy Friday off from work, and it turned out to be the perfect mid-day meal. I am envisioning what to add to the chowder next time: clams, or perhaps a bit of lobster? 🙂 The biscuits, too, are so light and tasty that I think they’d be delicious underneath some berries and whipped cream for a lovely summer shortcake.
Wheat Germ and Flax Biscuits
Adapted from Baking Illustrated
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup raw wheat germ
1/4 cup flaxmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
3/4 cup plus 4 Tablespoons plain, nonfat yogurt
Preheat the oven to 450F.
In a large bowl, blend flours, wheat germ, flaxmeal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the yogurt until dough gathers into a ball . Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured surface. Quickly form dough into a ball. Cut ball in half, then cut each half in half again to make a total of 4 evenly-sized quarters. Cut each quarter into 3 even pieces. Working quickly, gently shape each piece into a ball and place on an ungreased baking sheet. The biscuits can be baked immediately, or covered in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.
To bake, place baking sheet in preheated oven. Bake about 12 minutes, or until tops of biscuits are light golden brown. Serve. (Makes 12 biscuits.)
Becky’s Own Sweet Corn Chowder
8 oz. of bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16-ounce bag frozen sweet corn
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large skillet or pot, render bacon fat over medium-high heat until bacon is browned and crunchy. Pour off all but two tablespoons of bacon fat and return skillet (with bacon in it) to heat. Add onions to bacon in skillet and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic to onion-bacon mixture and cook, stirring contantly, about 30 seconds. Add frozen corn to skillet (no need to thaw prior) and cook over medium heat until corn is thawed and hot, stirring frequently, 5-8 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and simmer about 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the milk. Heat the chowder until hot, but DO NOT BOIL. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve. (Makes enough chowder for 3-4 hungry people.)