A few years ago I found a great-looking recipe for Mexican corn chowder in one of my favorite cookbooks. The problems: 1) It took me forever to make on my own because it required me to cut all sorts of fresh ingredients – just so I could cook them down. This made no sense to me whatsoever. 2) It appears that my lungs prefer not to be exposed to fresh jalapeno. The moment I cut into it I could barely breathe. I started to panic as I have never experienced this before. Thankfully my husband was able to finish and clean up so I could return to the kitchen. I will never do that again!
While I was enjoying the fruits of my labor later in the evening, I couldn’t stop thinking “There has to be an easier way to make this!”. A few weeks later I was ready to try it again. This is what I came up with:
It now takes me less than thirty minutes to make our family favorite!
I cheat… I use two one pound bags of frozen corn, a jar of Black Bean Salsa, a container of half & half, and shredded cheese! It is so easy my kids could do this!
I pour one bag of frozen corn into my blender and add the entire container of half & half. I ‘smooth’ this mixture until it resembles corn ice cream. Pour the mixture into a stock pot, with 2/3 of the jar of salsa, and the second bag of corn. Heat on medium-high until near boiling. It is important to stir frequently so it doesn’t burn. If you don’t think you have the focus to cook on such a high temperature, use whatever temp. you are comfortable with.
Once heated through, add two-three cups of shredded cheese. Stir well while the cheese is melting into the chowder. Once the cheese is set, I allow the chowder to simmer until we are ready to eat. This can be anywhere from ten to thirty minutes. How long I simmer really depends on how much time I have on my hands until everyone expects to be fed. *TIP: If you are going to simmer longer than fifteen minutes, add 1/2 – 1 cup of milk. This will prevent the chowder from condensing down to a ‘dip’ consistency.
I serve this chowder topped with more cheese (yes, I’m a mouse at heart), salsa and sour cream, with a side of tortilla chips. My kids love dipping their tortilla chips in their chowder so the chips really aren’t optional.
Variations: If you are looking for something heartier, add a can of rinsed black beans to this meatless meal! If I am up to it, I make my own tortilla chips and roast the second pound of corn in the broiler. It doesn’t make a big difference but it does add a little something extra on date night.
*If you don’t have a food processor or blender, substitute one pound of corn for two-three cans of creamed corn.