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The Recipe of the Week from The Happy Chef: Farmhouse Style Corn Chowder

It’s chilly out there and things are changing! The weather is changing, the leaves are changing, the air is changing. Most of the time I feel spirited and in tune with the change and I want to get out and change with it. I put on my jeans, sweat jacket and my cowboy boots and I attack new projects, get involved in all the new activities and enjoy the rhythm of the new yet familiar fall season. But sometimes I have a tendency to feel weary and yell, “NO!” I desire to hide under the covers, close my door to the cold and stave off the change. Well, if we as humans decided when things were to change, for some each day would be radically different from the next and for others one place in time would continue for centuries (I might have never made it past ten.) Thank God that for the most part, change happens with or without our consent. We are given so many great surprises – a new landscape to behold while traveling, new friends met and made in unexpected places and the amazing hope and wonder so often found in new beginnings. So my tomato recipes might be waning but some new incredibly delicious foods wait in the wings like apples, pumpkins, potatoes, soups, roasts – the comfort of warm food given by a loving creator who comforts us through the cold and all the other changes in life. So here’s to the first chilly fall day recipe! (Of course it’s from not-so-fast-to-change me so it has some leftover summer corn in it to warm you up!)

3 Cups Corn

6 Ounces Slab Bacon, diced into 1/4 inch cubes

1 Large Sweet Onion (such as Vidalia), diced small

1 Large Leek, cleaned thoroughly and sliced thinly into half-moons

1/4 Cup Red Bell Pepper, diced small

1 Pound Yukon Potatoes, peeled and diced small

2 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted

2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

4 Cups Chicken Stock

2 Teaspoons Cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tablespoons Water

1 Cup Heavy Cream

Salt and Pepper, to taste

-Heat a 4-quart heavy pot over low heat and add the diced bacon.

-Once it has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase the heat to medium and cook until the bacon is crisp and golden brown.

-Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat, leaving the bacon in the pot.

-Add the butter, onion, leeks, bell pepper, thyme, and cumin and saute, stirring occasionally until the onion and bell pepper are soft.

-Add the corn, potatoes, and stock.

-Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Use a spoon to mash some of the potatoes and corn against the side of the pot.

-Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the slurry of cornstarch and water.

-Return to boil and cook until the chowder thickens slightly.

-Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the heavy cream just before serving.

By Leigh Sackett

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