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Sunday, December 13, 2009
Why I'll Never Be a Food Blogger
or a cookbook author.

The other night I made a chowder for dinner, and Jim suggested I post about it. He also reminded me how bad I've become about posting. While he's right about the second part, the first part is much harder.

First, I never think to take pictures while I cook or even of the finished product.

Second, I'm very bad about measuring. I'm very much a toss in what's in the frig type of cook. Usually, this produces a very good end result. Also usually, it's hard to reproduce.

I had some cream in the garage refrigerator that I knew I need to use. I'd bought it to make creamed corn for Thanksgiving, but missed the step about soaking the corn overnight and never made it. It starts with a box of dehydrated corn that I received as gift. Apparently, it's a popular Pennsylvania item. I read on a food blog about this being a must-have for their Thanksgiving when I remembered I had a box in the pantry that I've never known how to prepare.

Anyway, I digress...just another reason while I'll never be a food blogger.

I also knew that we had a bag of potatoes that didn't have much life left and 1/2 a bag of corn in the refrigerator. The corn I'd shucked and frozen in August. It was in the frig and thawed, so I needed to use it up. We also had about 3/4 pound of grilled chicken that Jim had grilled a few days before.

To me, that all sounded like chowder.

I diced up about 1/4 lb of low-sodium bacon and rendered it in the bottom of my LeCreuset dutch oven. Have I ever said how much I love my LeCreuset pans? I have three, and they're all fantastic. I put the bacon aside and sauteed about 1/4 of a gigantic onion, maybe 3/4 cup in the bacon grease. Then I added cubed potatoes. I cubed up one gigantic potato and about 4 small ones. Maybe 2-3 cups. I also added the corn. I decided the thawed corn didn't look like enough, so I added part of a frozen bag, too. I'm guessing about 1 1/2 - 2 cups.

Starting to see the problem? Not really good with measuring. I then added Trader Joe's low-sodium, organic chicken broth. How much? Enough to cover the potatoes. I also put in a little cream, maybe 1/2 cup, and some kosher salt & white pepper. I brought it up to where it was just about to boil, covered, and reduced to simmer for about 15 minutes. This cooked the potatoes almost completely through.

While the potatoes finished cooking, I added the leftover grilled chicken. If I'd had any more leftover vegetables, I'd have added them, too. Oh, did I mention I found a small container with about 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes? I added them, too. They did a great job of thickening up the soup into a more chowder-like consistency. I also used my potato masher to mash up the cubed potates once they finished cooking. I didn't mash them completely. It's more like I broke them up a bit.

To finish, I added another splash, about 1/4 c, of cream and the remnants of three opened bags of cheese I found in the frig. It was Mexican-blend, mild cheddar, and colby-jack blend. Tasted to see if it needed more salt, and served.

It was delicious, and like most soup/stew like meals, even better the next day for lunch. Though by then, it could probably have used a bit of thinning out with some more broth.

Now how in the world do you recreate that much less write a recipe?



Blogger Two Pearls said...

That recipe would work for me! I'm this kind of cook too. When I want to try something new, I scour for recipes and then tweak it from there. BTW, I LOVE my Le Creuset pots too. I just got the boulliabaisse (sp?) one - on clearance at the outlet for 70% off. They are pricey, but worth every penny - as I plan to have them for the rest of my life!

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