Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cheese! Chowder! What More Could You Want?

Long time, no blog. Not that I haven't been cooking, but I have been incredibly lazy when it comes to chronicling said cooking adventures.

Tonight, I bring you fridge clean out chowder. At least that's what it started as, the first time I made it a few months ago. I had a bag of potatoes, some corn, and a pint of milk that were teetering on the brink of unusableness (is that even a word?), so together I threw them and this chowder was born.

It's potatoey. And corny (ha!). And cheesy. And laden with sodium, fyi, but it's delicious so just try not to think about it. I don't, not hard, anyway.

To make this chowdery goodness, you will need the following:

-1 cup milk (I highly encourage you NOT to use skim)
-1 can cheddar soup
-1 can cream of mushroom soup
-at least 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar (or whatever cheese you fancy)
-1-2 cans whole kernel corn (or a bag of the frozen stuff)
-3 medium-large potatoes, cut into cubes (or 10 small potatoes. Or 2 really big potatoes. Whatever. So long as there are potatoes)
-1 pound bacon, diced (you could probably also use ham steak or hamburger if you wanted)
-1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

In a crock pot or soup pot, combine your canned soup with the milk. Let it simmer on low heat while you chop your potatoes. You can do this ahead of time, or if you're like me, you can do it during Say Yes to the Dress commercial breaks (don't judge me!).

Whenever your potatoes are ready, toss them in with the corn and give it a good stir. Dance, because chowder always tastes better if you do a little jig while making it. At some point, you'll want to fry up your bacon. You can chop it before or after it's cooked, although I usually do it before. Allow the bacon to drain, but reserve the grease. You'll fry up your onion in the pan you used to cook the bacon. You don't need to carmelize them, just cook them unto they're soft and translucent.

Bacon and fried onion can get stirred into the party. Throw in some shredded cheese and stir again, vigorously. Top with the remaining cheese and let it do its thing with the lid on. Sit and be tormented by the delicious smell for 1-3 hours, depending on how large your potato pieces are. I chop mine very finely, so an hour on high or 2-3 hours on low is usually enough to cook the potatoes through. Possibly spoil your appetite with chocolate ice cream. Eat chowder anyway, the stomach ache is worth it.

(The chowder of my labor.)

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