So maybe it’s not national corn day (National Corn on the Cob Day is actually June 11, so I’m about two months late), but it’s still summer, and the corn is juicy and sweet.
Mom and I collaborated on corn chowder. Using Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian as a guide, I made some corn stock from corn cobs (I cut the kernels off beforehand) cooked in water for half an hour. I squeezed the cobs and poured that liquid into the stock. My mom fried some bacon until crisp, removed the bacon, and sauteed chopped onion in some of the residual bacon fat. Herbs de provence was added (we didn’t have any thyme) along with the corn kernels and the corn stock. Once the corn was crisp-tender, 2% milk and some half-and-half was added. The resulting corn chowder was more of a corn soup (it was pretty thin), but was delicious all the same. The corn was crunchy and bright, with a sweet milkiness that was supported by the soupy bits. The crumbled bacon on top was delicious (of course). It would have been nice with some cubed potato to help thicken the chowder and add more chunky texture, and green onions to brighten it up a bit.
Mom had this idea to use cornbread mix to make waffles, and we decided to make it a corn dinner (besides some green beans sauteed with garlic, but we’ll conveniently ignore that for now). The food forums I looked at suggested adding more liquid to the batter, since cornbread batter is thicker than waffle batter. I added more oil and buttermilk (I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough milk for the chowder, so I used a mix of milk and buttermilk in the waffles). These waffles cooked faster than regular waffles, probably because they were thinner and had a higher sugar content than normal. The waffles were oddly disappointing. They had a different flavor than when they’re made as straight cornbread; I suspect it’s due to the additional liquid throwing off the ratios (and therefore flavor). I did like the instant gratification, though, since cornbread takes a significant more amount of time to bake.