Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder

I get almost all my cookbooks as gifts. My husband surprised me at my birthday a few months ago with a great Slow Cooker cookbook. I went through it without marking any recipes to try and almost forgot about it in my cookbook cabinet.

Well, my husband did NOT forget that I hadn't tried any recipes from it, so he gently reminded me that I had a whole new cookbook I hadn't broke in yet. "Hey, ya gonna use that cookbook I bought you?" is about the gentle nature of that conversation.

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder
recipe adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker cookbook

1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 medium-size russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used homemade)
1/2 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
2 cups milk
3 cups frozen corn kernels

Use a medium or large round slow cooker. In a medium-size skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring a few times, until the onion is translucent but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
While the onion and celery are cooking, put the potatoes in the slow cooker. Scrape the onion and celery into the cooker along with any remaining butter. Add the broth, bay leaf, paprika, thyme and pepper. If the broth is unsalted, add the salt. Stir the top layer of the ingredients very gently, trying not to disturb the potatoes, which should stay submerged (If the potatoes are above the broth, they will turn brown - not very pretty!) Cover and cook on LOW until the potatoes are tender, 5 to 6 hours.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the water by mixing in a small bowl. Add the cornstarch mixture, milk and corn to the slow cooker. Stir, cover and cook on HIGH until the chowder is heated through, about 1 hour. Taste and if necessary, add more salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

The verdict?

I put this together right after lunch, so I knew it was going to be a time crunch at dinnertime to make sure it was done, so I ended up cooking the potatoes for 1 hour on High, then 3 hours on Low. I added the last ingredients, let it cook for about an hour, then it sat on Warm for about 20 minutes, waiting for us to finish a project in the backyard. It was nice to walk in the house and sit down for dinner almost immediately.

To make sure the cornstarch/milk/corn mixture would get heated without waiting hours, I heated up the milk and corn in the microwave so I was adding hot ingredients into hot.

I would have loved more potatoes, and even though I am usually the salt fiend of the family, even my husband agreed it needed more salt at the end, but it went over really well with everyone in the family. We ate the leftovers a few days later, and it was still just as good heated up.

I'm sharing this at What's on the Menu Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday and Mommy's Kitchen Potluck Sunday.

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

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