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Carnival Chicken Corn Chowder

 

It’s Winter Carnival day here in Saranac Lake. There was a little bit of snow last night, and it’s pretty cold here, but the kids are all having a good time and gearing up for the parade to start soon. I brought my Chicken Corn Chowder up for a meal today, and it will taste pretty good on this chilly day. For this recipe, I used the frozen corn kernels, since fresh corn this time of year is not nearly as good as the summertime. When using the frozen corn, you don’t need to use the flour in this recipe (which is good since I wanted this one to be gluten-free for my sister Kerry).

Chicken Corn Chowder

10 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed, or 2 pounds frozen corn kernels

4 slices bacon, chopped fine

1 onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (if using frozen corn, omit this)

3 cups chicken broth

2 cups milk

3 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried

1 cup heavy cream

 1 1/2 cups cooked, diced chicken

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

Standing the corn on one end inside a large bowl, cut the kernels from 4 ears using a paring knife. Grate the remaining 6 ears over the large holes of a box grater into a separate bowl. Using the back of a butter knife, scrape any remaining pulp from the cobs into the bowl with the grated corn. (If you’re using frozen corn, which I am, puree one pound of the corn in a blender with all the broth until smooth. You’ll omit the flour in the next step and use the pureed frozen corn in place of the grated corn).

Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour (if using fresh corn; if using frozen, see above) and cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the broth and milk,scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the potatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and grated corn. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the remaining corn kernels and cream. Continue to simmer until the corn kernels are tender yet still crunchy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and continue to simmer until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

You can easily make this a meat-free meal by eliminating the bacon and the chicken, and if you want it vegetarian, use vegetable stock instead of the chicken broth. It is a nice, hearty soup to warm you up on a cold winter day.

There’s not much more to add today, since we are getting ready to watch the parade. We’ll be on our way back home to Harriman tomorrow, and probably won’t get home until the afternoon, so I don’t know if I’ll be cooking tomorrow night or not, but I do know that we’ll be discussing the meal plan for next week, so I will definitely be writing about that tomorrow. until then, we’ll enjoy the Carnival and you enjoy your day!

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Soups & Stews

 

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Serving Up Some Shrimp Stir Fry

Today will be the last meal of the Sean choices for the week. I was a little surprised he opted to go for this one, but he knows that one meal has to be a seafood meal, and he likes shrimp, so he opted to go for this one. Today’s dinner will be Shrimp with Hoisin Sauce and we’ll be having Fried Rice again, but will just be using the leftovers from last night’s stir fry dinner (which was delicious by the way, not much left in the way of leftovers for Michelle’s lunch today. I try to use fresh shrimp as often as I can. You can usually find a sale on it somewhere during the week, so buy it the day of cooking or the day before at the most. If you want to buy frozen, which I do on occasion, buy shrimp that are already deveined and shell split, it will make your life a lot easier as far as cleaning.

Shrimp With Hoisin Sauce

1 pound medium-sized fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 thin slices of fresh ginger root, peeled and minced

1 clove garlic, crushed 3 scallions,

cut into 1-inch pieces

Mix the water, cornstarch, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce in a bowl and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger root and garlic and stir continuously until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn the heat up to high, add the shrimp and stir-fry until they turn pink, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the sauce mixture and coat the shrimp, stirring and mixing; cook for about 2 minutes and serve over rice.

The cooking time for this meal is only about 10 minutes. Remember, don’t cook the shrimp too long (or any fish for that matter) or they will get tough and rubbery. if you’ve never deveined a shrimp before, take the time to do it. Starting at the head of the shrimp, make a shallow cut with a knife all the way down the middle of the back. Hold the shrimp under cold running water to rinse out the dark vein, or just pull it out yourself and rinse the shrimp off when you are all done. if you don’t want to use shrimp, you could scallops or another fleshy fish, or I think chicken would work nicely in this dish as well.

We’ll be using the same fried rice as we had last night, so if you want to check yesterday’s blog recipe for it, please do so, or you can use plain white rice instead. I think either will work well here. While I won’t be making these tonight, Sean came across a recipe for Fortune Cookies that we are going to try one night when we have a group over for dinner. It will be more fun to do the fortunes with other people around, but here is the recipe if anyone wants to try it out.

Fortune Cookies

1 cup margarine, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the flour and baking powder and stir everything together to form a ball of dough. Lightly flour a wooden cutting board or flat counter surface. With a rolling pin, roll half of the dough very thin. Use a circle-shaped cookie cutter or the top of a large glass (about 2 1/2 inches wide) to cut circles in the dough. Put a fortune in each circle, off to one side. Fold the circle in half, and then in half again. Pinch the edges to seal the dough. Re-roll leftover scraps of dough to make more cookies out of them. Then roll and make cookies from the other half of the dough. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes on a baking sheet in the oven until they are lightly browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Part of the fun of this, of course, is being creative in making up the fortunes for each cookie. They can be predictions, lottery numbers, old sayings, or just fun, goofy things. You can print out 25 or so fortunes on a piece of printer paper and cut them into strips to use for the cookies. i would suggest about 2 inches long, at the most, so they fit nicely in the cookie.

More easy recipes for the day and that wraps up Sean’s week of dinners. We had a lot fun choosing and cooking everything and they were all quick, easy and tasty meals with little clean up. We haven’t picked next week’s meal plan yet, but that will be tonight’s chore after dinner, so I will post it tomorrow. If you want to print your own meal planner, here’s the document:family_meal_planner We are off to Saranac Lake tomorrow for Winter Carnival, so I won’t be cooking for Friday and Saturday, and most likely Sunday as well since we’ll be getting home Sunday, but i do plan to post some things. I’ll be bringing Chicken Corn Chowder up to Saranac Lake with us, so I will post that recipe on Saturday. if you have any questions, comments or just want to say hello, feel free to leave a comment and I will reply as soon as I can. Enjoy your day today (it actually feels like winter here in New York for a change today) and enjoy your dinner!

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Rice, Seafood

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

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