Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Julia Influence

Okay. I know. I'm taking this Julia Child stuff too far. I'm even cooking!

This recipe is from Cooking for Two 2009: The Year’s Best Recipes Cut Down To Size by America’s Test Kitchen.

Pantry Corn Chowder

Serves 2

Note: If you have not thawed the corn, quickly defrost it in a bowl in the microwave.

  • 1 pound frozen corn, thawed (see note)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 slices bacon, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • Table salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces red potatoes (about 3 small) or 1 russet potato, cut into into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Ground black pepper

Process half of the corn with the milk in a food processor until smooth, set aside.
Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the pureed corn, broth, potatoes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, bring to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining corn; return to a simmer and cook until the corn is warmed through and the potatoes are tender, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, remove the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with the reserved bacon and serve.

Now, what changes did I make? I had buttermilk left and used it. I used vegetable broth rather than chicken broth and I didn’t use any salt - the bacon was enough. Mr. Dragon gave this chowder 5 stars (and he wasn’t very excited about it when I said we were going to have Corn Chowder for dinner). Enough left over for another meal. Our bowls must not be as large as the Test Kitchen’s!

This leads me to what I've finished reading - My Life In France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme.

From Julia’s introduction: “This is a book about some of the things I have loved most in life: my husband, Paul Child; la belle France; and the many pleasure of cooking and eating. It is also something new for me. Rather than a collection of recipes, I’ve put together a series of linked autobiographical stories, mostly focused on the years 1948 through 1954, when we lived in Paris and Marseille, and also a few of our later adventures in Provence. Those early years in France were among the best of my life. They marked a crucial period of transformation in which I found my true calling, experienced an awakening of the senses, and had such fun that I hardly stopped moving long enough to catch my breath.”

I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this book. Part of it, I'm sure, was the pleasant memories I had of watching Julia on television, but the book is just good. The Childs were big letter writers and the letters, wonder upon wonder, were kept and these form a basis for the book -- at least for the memories Julia recalled. From Paul's job, politics, Julia's father, living in France, Germany, Boston, finding the pleasures of cooking, to writing the cookbook -- a wonderful read.

I read Julie Powell's book "Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living," shortly after it was published in 2005. While I enjoyed it and laughed a lot, it just doesn't hold a candle to My Life In France (in my not so humble opinion) -- but a fun read. Julie still has a blog and you can catch up on the opening of the film and all the stuff that goes with it here.

Eat something wonderful today!

Joy to You!


Barb said...

Thank you for the recipe - we love corn!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I've read that book...picked it up because we were in the areas Julia was talking about. Kind of like getting immersed. It was fabulous! Down to earth and so true. I love corn chowder (formerly of the South and a mean meal we always had). Sounds super good!

Carolyn said...

Mmmmmm...I love corn chowder! Thanks so much for posting the recipe! I want to see the Julia movie too!

Thanks for visiting me at my new blog with my crazy idea!
My heart just wasn't into my original blog which is why i will be taking it down to focus on my photography. I look forward to sharing my photos with you!

Janet said...

I try to avoid the kitchen at all costs! And that's to everyone's benefit as I'm not a very good cook. But I love cookbooks and watching the Food Network, and I'm waiting for this movie to open. Thanks for the heads up on the books. I haven't read either one of them but now they're on my list.

Kim Mailhot said...

What yummy stuff ! The hubby loves corn chowder and this looks easy enough !
The Julia Child book sounds like a hoot, just like she was ! Thanks for the cool review!
Bon Appetit, ma Cherie !

Maria-Thérèse said...

Now I'll teach you one of my favourite recipes:

1) put on pink tulle dress
2) visit people
3) open mouth, put in chocolate, coffee and mango slices :-D

sherry ♥ lee said...

That recipe sounds wonderful and thank you for adding the changes you made. Especially about the salt because of the bacon. I do that too -- I find bacon salty enough! I'm copying this one -- something my whole family would enjoy.

And thank you for your thoughts on Julia Child's sounds like something I'd love to read (book marking it now!). Can't wait to hear what you think of the movie. I want to go tomorrow when it opens but I'm not sure I'll have time (leaving the next day for vacation)...if not, I'll see it when I'm in South Carolina!

Pat - Arkansas said...

Oh, yum! Your corn chowder has a bunch of stuff in it that I really, really like! Thanks for the recipe.

Julia said...

Hi Snap,
I thought you meant me, LOL...
Thanks for the lovely comment on my new look artblog, and will show you photos soon of my new look artroom... Yummmy, wish I had a processor to do the chowder...xx

Lissa said...

If it wasn't so late/early here I might actually try to whip up a batch. I am hungry for snack and a comfort food would do the trick. Thanks for stopping by. Please know that I haven't forgotten you and hopefully will be back to blogging regularly in September. Miss you much:)

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

I do love chowder. I even enjoy cooking from time to time. I know I enjoy eating! Thanks for your suggestion about the Pitt pens, I actually have some, bought for the Shades of Grey course I never took (definitely on my list in the fall) and I will look for some mod podge my next trip to the art store, which, in my opinion is long over due! Happy weekend!

Tink *~*~* said...

I haven't had corn chowder in... I cannot even tell you how long! I used to use a recipe from Southern Living. And then I became fat and cholesterol conscious, so that was that. Maybe I need to whip up a batch anyway, just for old time's sake.

Tink *~*~*

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Wow, this looks so good. I think I would like to make it sometime this coming week! I will let you know if I do! :)