Thursday, May 6, 2010

Healthy Corn Chowder

My husband and I registered for the cookbook Essentials of Healthful Cooking from Williams Sonoma for our wedding. We got it and I was very excited. Sadly, it has taken me over two years to crack it open and start trying some of the recipes. The first one we choose was this corn chowder and it did not disappoint. I was eating leftovers for days and it seemed to get better each day. My husband was a little worried about the use of tofu but when it was done he and I both loved it.
I made this at the beginning of March so there was not any sweet white corn in the store so I used frozen white corn. I just boiled the frozen corn in the water and went from there. Now that white corn is popping up everywhere, I am going to try it with the fresh corn. I would imagine it would be even better.

Corn Chowder

4 ears corn (I used 2 cups of frozen white corn)
1 cup (8oz) silken tofu
1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 boiling potato, about 6 oz, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Pinch of ground cayenne
1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) chopped green (spring) onion tops
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 slices preservative free bacon

Husk the corn ears and carefully remove all the silk. Hold 1 ear upright, stem end down, in the center of a wide, shallow bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice straight down between the kernels and the cob, rotating the ear a quarter turn after each cut. Then, using the dull side of the knife blade, run the blade down the length of the ear to extract the "milk" and bits of corn remaining on the ear, again rotating the ear a quarter turn after each stroke. Repeat with the remaining 3 ears. Put all of the corn and the corn cobs in a Dutch oven or large saucepan.

Add 6 cups water to the pan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and boil gently, uncovered, until the corn is tender, 10-20 minutes; the timing depends on the tenderness of the corn. Remove and discard the cobs. Pour the contents of the pan through a sieve, serving both the corn and the corn broth. Return half of the broth to the pan. Set half of the cooked corn aside.

In a blender, carefully combine the remaining broth, remaining cooked corn, and tofu, and puree until a creamy mixture forms, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Add the yellow onion, potato bell pepper and cayenne to the pan holding the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook,uncovered, until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Pour in the corn-tofu mixture, stir in the reserved corn and green onion tops, and heat through. Add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (the lemon juice eliminates any tofu "bean Flavor"), then stir in 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste, and season with black pepper and with more lemon juice, if needed.

While the soup is cooking, in a frying pan over medium heat, fry the bacon, turning the slices as needed, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Ladle the chowder into warmed soup bowls. Cut the bacon slices in half, then crumble 1/2 slice int the center of each bowl. Serve at once.

Makes 6 servings

120 calories
5 g protein
18 g carb
3.5 g fat
1 g sat fat
5 mg cholesterol
3 g fiber
180 mg sodium

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