Corn Chowder

I have abandoned some of my main criteria to share this recipe with you.  It is not quick or healthy... but most definitely worth the time and calories.  The tale of this corn chowder started last summer.  I was out of town and Mr. Hungry and one of his friends from school decided to treat themselves to a meal at Mark's in Houston.  If you live in the area, you might be familiar with the fact that this is one of the nicest restaurants in Houston.  It is located in an old church and the food is known for being fabulous.  Ever since that summer night, I have heard about this corn chowder that is just inconceivably amazing.  I of course had to research further and read reviews of the restaurant where most critics and patrons say they have a hard time not ordering this chowder for all four courses.  I just keep thinking...this is corn chowder... not osso bucco or foie gras... I can do this.  
So I started my search to find a way to make this at home (even though I have never had it).  Well, my research did not take long before I figured out that Mark himself has posted the corn chowder recipe on his restaurant's website... or so he says.  I was immediately thrilled and thought there would be nothing to this... that is, until I read the recipe.  I quickly found that there were ingredients listed in the ingredient list that were not mentioned again in the recipe.  I won't even go into the fact that the soup is called roasted corn chowder yet there was no mention of roasting anything OR ever even cooking the corn.  I was not defeated by this though, because I at least had a list of ingredients to start with and tweak as necessary. 
 So I will give credit to Mark's for this recipe, but I stand by the fact that this is very loosely adapted and I give myself a huge pat on the back for coming up with the way to roast the corn which really developed the flavor.
p.s. In case you were wondering... Mr. Hungry and his friend Daniel who had dined with him at Mark's both agree that this soup is pretty darn close to what they had at the restaurant.

Corn Chowder
Recipe Notes
If you do not have a hand blender, a blender will work.  Wait until soup is completely cooled and
1 cup (4 oz) maple or apple smoked bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup baby red potatoes, skin on, chopped
3 to 4 ears of corn (enough for 2 cups of kernels)
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
Step by Step
Remove all husks and strings from the ears of corn.  Lightly coat each ear of corn in olive oil and lightly salt.  Wrap each ear of corn in foil.  Heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Place ears of corn wrapped in foil in dry skillet.  Turn each ear a quarter turn after about 5 minutes of cooking and repeat until all four sides have been exposed to heat.  Peel back foil and remove from heat when corn is lightly blackened on each side.  Set aside to cool.  After corn is cooled, break ears in half in order to make removing corn easier.  Stand each piece of corn up and remove corn kernels with a sharp knife.

Boil 2 cups of water in a sauce pan over high heat.  Add potatoes and cover.  Reduce heat a little and allow to boil for 15 to 20 minutes.  Pierce potatoes with a fork, and when they are tender remove from heat, drain water, and set aside.

In a heavy sauce pot, over medium heat, saute the diced bacon until crispy and golden brown.  Remove bacon from pan and reserve.  To the bacon drippings, add garlic, yellow onions and celery.  Add potatoes and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the processed corn to the potato onion mixture.  Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Add heavy cream and bring to a boil for 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and add thyme, lime juice and bacon.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Using a hand blender, lightly blend soup mixture until a thick soup forms, slightly chunky, but remove any big bites of potato.  Garnish with bacon and green onions and serve.


  1. Wow, I have never been to this restaurant you are talking about, but I know good corn chowder is worth the time. I will have to try this! Also, chowders do freeze well so it's alot of effort, but you could have it for a couple of months.