In my October 30 Recipe-of-the-Week Newsletter, I invited my subscribers to share their recipes with us--that is, to send them for possible publication in my weekly newsletter or my blog. (If you don't receive my FREE weekly recipe newsletter, why not sign up on the right column of this blog?) Joe, of Winter Garden, Florida, responded with an intriguing story and a recipe that sounds great. Joe writes:
I used live in Northeastern Massachusetts with my wife of 35 years, 2 cats, 2 macaws and a cockatoo. Our three kids have all started families of their own, and the grandchildren all love to come to "Grumpy's" house for dinner. This recipe came to me through at least 3 generations of grandmothers. I make this dish primarily in the winter. New England winters can be cold. The kids used to say that one bowl of this chowder for supper would keep your feet warm all night. Have it with your favorite bread and don't be shy about dipping...
Joe's Foot Warmer Corn Chowda
1/2 pound thick sliced bacon (as lean as possible)
(Salt pork is the traditional way, but I like it better with bacon. Lean salt pork is difficult to get unless you make your own.)
3-4 medium onions (coarsely chopped)
6-8 potatoes (washed, skin on, cut into large bite sized pieces)
4 Tbs. butter or margarine (Nanna made her own butter)
1.5 tsp. salt
3 (15 oz.) cans creamed corn (your favorite brand; of course, Nanna made her own from her ownhome grown corn)
3 (15 oz.) cans whole kernel corn, drained (see note above for cream style)
4 to 5 cups whole milk or Half & Half (I like the Half & Half as it gives a creamier feel on the tongue--Nanna used whole milk straight from the cow, not this processed and remanufactured substitute we call milk today!)
Fresh ground black pepper
Cut the bacon into squares about 1" X 1" and toss it into a large, preheated pot, (if the pot is heated the bacon won't stick). Cook stirring occasionally until just before it starts to crisp. Drain the bacon grease and discar (don't be too fussy about trying to get it dry). Add the chopped onions, potatoes, salt and barely cover with water. Bring to a low boil and cook until potatoes are barely tender. Stir in the creamed corn, and whole kernel corn and bring it back to a very low boil. Stir in the condensed milk or Half & Half. Bring the temperature back to just below scalding for the milk stirring constantly and remove from heat. Cut the butter into pats and drop onto the surface, but do not stir at this time. Sprinkle the entire surface of the chowder with black pepper as lightly or as heavily as your pallet permits. Cover the pot and let it rest for about half an hour. Stir and serve in large bowls with chunks of fresh baked bread (for dipping). Serves 10 to 12 people. (Leftovers freeze well!)
Hope you all enjoy this as much as my family does!
Joe, Winter Garden, Florida USA