Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bacon Corn Chowder

This recipe has no exotic Japanese American ingredients. It's all American. As I've said in my Southern biscuits and gravy post, I am heavily influenced by the way the women who raised me cooked, which was my Japanese American grandmother and mother. However, I do switch it up and cook Southern, New Mexican, and American Indian once in a while.

While traditional American Indian food is for another post, it is funny to think about the American Indian influences on modern cuisine today.  Already pish-poshing?  How you liking your popcorn at the movies?  Corn cultivation and domestication is all thanks to the indigenous people of the Americas. We tend to forget when we sit down to beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry, and turkey every year, but American Indian influences go beyond Thanksgiving.

And let's not forget the potato, which may seem like an old European staple, was brought back from the Americas by the Spanish.

In fact, according to What's Cooking America, the first chowders in America were eaten by American Indians. However, you cannot necessarily say that they introduced Europeans to chowder, because chowders are in every culture.

Bacon and pigs, however, was introduced to the Americas, and made it a better place. hehe!

This recipe is actually not bad on the calories, especially if you use turkey bacon it has less than 300 calories per serving. I know this because this was originally a recipe from a Weight Watchers book, called the BLT Chicken and Corn Chowder, that had lettuce and tomatoes and a whole bunch more chicken in it. While the original recipe is good, I am not that fond of chicken, and the lettuce and tomatoes get soggy in reheating. And this is one of my bento stars along with mapo tofu, where I make a batch and split it up for bentos throughout the week. This chowder refrigerates great!

this looks soupy but it will reduce and turn thick
Bacon Corn Chowder

4 slices of bacon (or more if you want) diced
6 green onions, sliced
3 cups fat free milk
2 tablespoons flour
1 yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into ~1/2" cubes
2 cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
1/2 teaspoon each salt and thyme
1/2 cup cubed cooked chicken breast (more if you want)

Fry the white parts of the onions and the bacon in a large saucepan over medium until the bacon is cooked through. Mix the flour into the bacon fat and let brown a little with the fat to form a roux (if you are using turkey bacon, whisk the flour into the milk because there won't be enough fat). Pour in the milk, corn, potato, seasonings, and half of the green parts of the onion. Turn the heat to high until boiling, then reduce to a simmer and simmer until the potato is tender, approximately 5-7 minutes. Add in the chicken and continue simmering until the chicken has warmed up.  Serve with the rest of the green onions on top.

See Also:
Mapo Tofu

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