A few years back, I had a dear friend who always asked me why I referred to the North-Eastern states as ‘New England’ all the time, instead of just saying what state I was talking about. Well, if any of you have ever been to the New England states, you should understand that it is a collective place rather than individualizing the states.
The states of New England hold a special place in my heart, and are as much of a feeling to me as they are a place. The quaintness of towns, cool breezes, foggy rain, sea ports and fisherman, wild and vast mountains… even their clothing has its own culture there.
Well, I was perusing the markets the other day, and came across these adorable dishes…
As soon as I saw them, I instantly wanted a cup of New England chowder.
I love that a simple piece of pottery can immediately take me to a place, or strike a memory that makes me associate it with a food.
So, in honor of the cool, rainy Spring weather we have had this week…I made chowder, cheddar and chive scones….
…and some fried cod to go with it.
The cod came from a local company here, and was super fresh and sweet to the taste.
I found a simple cod batter recipe, and deep fried the pieces for about 3-4 minutes.
I like to make my chowder with a bit of a bisque flavor by adding the sherry and nutmeg.
Feel free to omit these two ingredients if you are not fond of that flavor.
Potato Corn Chowder
4 slices of bacon, cut in 1″ pieces
2T unsalted butter
1 rib of celery, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 1/2t fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
4 ears fresh cut corn, or 1 Cascadian Farm Organic frozen 10 oz pack
2 small russet potatoes, diced with skin on
salt, fresh cracked pepper
1. Heat the bacon pieces in a 4Qt pot over medium heat, and cook until crispy. Remove all pieces but 2 tablespoons worth and set aside.
2. Add butter, celery, onion, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf.
3. Cook until onions are soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes
4. Add in your corn, milk, and potatoes.
5. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
6. Take the lid off the pot, and let it boil for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid a little.
7. Add in the sherry, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
8. Take a potato masher, and mash some of the soup to make it a bit thicker.
9. Serve with reserved bacon bits and fresh thyme on top.