Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Peanut Corn Chowder: Comfort Food for the College Cook

This was one of my post-Thanksgiving meals. My two college student eaters flipped out. It was hard to get them to share. If you are a stove cooker, you can see that this is an easy recipe. If you are a rice cooker cook, you can see that this is easily adapted.

For rice cooker cooks, you can probably leave out the celery and just use the frozen chopped onions I recommend. Don't add the cream till the end, after the soup has stopped boiling. Otherwise, it can curdle.

Confession: I used milk because I didn't have the luxury ingredient.

Isn't it great to know that you can make comfort food yourself? Without the overly-solicitous parent?


2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups canned corn, drained
1 cup light cream or half-and-half
Salt to taste

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped celery and onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until it has melted.

Return the pan to the heat and gradually stir in the stock and corn. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat to medium-low and sim­mer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the cream or half-and-half and heat gently. Add salt to taste.

Ladle into warm bowls, garnish with celery leaves and serve.

From The Best American Recipes 1999 edited by Fran McCullough and Suzanne Hamlin (Houghton Mifflin). Originally copyrighted 1998 by Trisha Meckler and published in More White Trash Cooking (Ten Speed Press).

Remember: ask Santa for a rice cooker!

The recipe, incidentally, is from More White Trash Cooking.This is a wonderful book, a work of folklore, in fact, that should be studied by every student. While I wouldn't eat the potato chip sandwiches, I would eat some of the other recipes. It's a great read.

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