Roasted peppers are my latest obsession at the farmers market — Billy’s roasted peppers. They’re only going to be there for a couple more weeks, but they’re simple to freeze to use later. The wonderfully smoky aroma that fills the market when they’re roasting gets me every time. One whiff of that and I’m a goner. The whole experience provides such a pleasant jolt to all my senses. Billy has poblanos, anaheims and bells — red, orange & yellow. Try a couple of each to find your favorites. Peppers of every shape, color and size are plentiful this time of year so you can also roast or grill your own.
Last week I bought a couple poblanos and several anaheims. I made a quick casserole by stuffing them with steamed cubed potatoes, lots of grated Beecher’s Just Jack cheese and smothered the whole thing in a variation of Sally’s brilliant roasted tomato sauce adding some tomatillos and a little cinnamon at the end. Bake for around 30 minutes at 350 degrees. If you like the cheese bubbly, turn on the broiler for a few minutes at the end. Fresh, fast, local, filled with flavorful goodness, now that’s hot.
And what’s not hot? I’m sorry to say, in my opinion, it has to be corn. At the end of the season it’s still good but I’ve had my fill. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing better than that first ear of fresh corn each summer. The tiny white kernels are so tender they can be scraped right on a salad without any cooking at all. But now, if it were just up to me, it wouldn’t even make it into our kitchen except that I’m married to a man from Iowa and Lily seems to love it.
I ended up with two perfectly nice ears of corn last week destined to be my last until next year. I put together a soup using the corn & my new fav roasted chilis and it was the perfect blend of the two. Best of all, I used the corn cob and silk to make the lovely broth — what a surprisingly sweet way to end the corn season.
Corn & Roasted Chili Soup Recipe
2 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob and reserved. Save the cobs and silk (minus the brown tassels) for the broth
4 cups of water
1 large onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 pieces of bacon, chopped into 1″ pieces (you can omit the bacon and just use butter or olive oil instead)
2 roasted chili peppers, seeds and stems removed (I used Anaheims but Poblanos would add more spice to the mix)
3 small potatoes, cubed
Juice of one small lime
Chopped fresh cilantro
Put the cobs, silk and water in a medium saucepan with 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, them simmer covered for 30 minutes. Strain broth using a fine mesh sieve.
While broth is simmering, cook bacon in a medium saucepan. When it’s crisp, remove the bacon and add the onions and garlic to the bacon fat, cooking until lightly browned.
Chop chili peppers coarsely and put in a blender or food processor with 2 cups corn broth and half of the corn kernels. Blend until smooth.
Add corn chili puree to onion garlic mixture along with the rest of the corn broth and the potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the remainder of the corn kernels and simmer until tender, another 3-5 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in bacon, cilantro, lime juice and salt to taste.
Inspired by Kemp’s Creamy Creamless Chile Corn Chowder recipe at Gourmet. com
Bye corn. See ya next year.