One of my favorite things to do is create dishes based on the ingredients that are available in the appropriate season. As I strolled into the Davis Market in LaVerkin, Utah, there was a giant bin of corn that was from Enterprise, Utah. They were cheap and beautiful. I quickly filled a bag, unsure of exactly what I was going to do with them.
After strolling through the store for a while longer, I stumbled upon some plump, meaty poblano peppers. In the basket, they went. I then saw some cotija cheese, and it hit me! A corn chowder that is loosely inspired by Mexican street corn, or elote. This soup turned out far better than I had imagined.
Refer to the green chile article from a few weeks ago if you are unfamiliar with how to process them. They are what add a meaty element to the chowder. Roast, steam, peel, and seed the chile’s ahead of time and cut them into one-inch cubes. Reserve some of the seeds to add back to the soup if you want more heat. Poblano’s are not very hot; if you want more heat, roast a jalapeno, mince it, and add to the soup.
7-8 ears of corn sliced from cob
6 poblano peppers
1 medium onion diced
4-5 cloves of garlic minced
1 stick of butter
1 cup of cream
1 large potato cut into ½ inch cubes
3 quarts of chicken stock
Cotija cheese crumbled for garnish
Cilantro for garnish
Lime segments for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
To begin, melt butter in a pot over medium heat, add onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another five minutes. Add the corn, potato, and chicken stock. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked and have started to break apart. The potato is added as a thickening agent rather than a substantive ingredient. If you would like to add more, you certainly could. I chose not too because I didn’t want it to become too thick. Remove from heat to add the cream. Don’t add cream to boiling liquid because it will be more likely to curdle. I like to temper the cream with some of the liquid before I add it to the pot. Put the cream in a larger measuring cup and add a ladle-full of the broth, then pour it in. You can add more cream if you wish. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cilantro, cotija cheese, and lime wedges. The cotija cheese is very salty so be aware of that when seasoning.