It’s late September and fresh corn is disappearing. What’s available is mature. The cobs are thick waisted and the kernels are portly, more starch than juice. Yet I hate to miss having fresh corn when it’s still available. Time to make a Corn Chowder with Spicy Shrimp!
¼ cup unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 cups diced onion (about 1 large onion)
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 minced clove of garlic
2 cups dry white wine, not an oaky wine
6 ears of corn, kernels and milk removed
2 Russet potatoes cut int ½-inch cubes
4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 can (15.5 ounces) fire roasted tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound large shrimp (x count), peeled, deveined and cut into bite-size pieces
2 teaspoons spice mix, such as a Cajun, Creole or Jerk seasoning mix
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or saucepot over medium heat.
Stir in the onions and celery, cover and sweat for 5 minutes.
Add the wine, not too sweet or oaky ,the flavors become pronounced as the wine reduces; bring to a boil, lower heat to a good simmer. and reduce liquid to about 1/4 cup.
In the meantime, take your shucked corn and cut off the kernels with a sharp chef’s knife. Then scrape the empty cobs to get at the “corn milk.”
Cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes. If you have French-fry cutter, it’s perfect for this task. Just push those potatoes through and then slice the sticks into cubes. Otherwise, slice the potato lengthwise into 1/2-inch pieces, turn and cut again into 1/2-inch sticks, and then into 1/2-inch cubes.
Once the wine has reduced, add the corn, potatoes, stock, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Stir to combine; raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and adjust seasonings. The soup is ready to serve, or chill and refrigerate for later use.
Dinnertime: If you have chilled the soup, reheat, stirring occasionally; otherwise, keep the soup on a low flame while preparing the shrimp.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium sauté pan. When the butter foams, add the seasoned shrimp. Cook until pink and firm, about 3-4 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the shrimp and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.
For very large shrimp, butterfly and cut into bitesize pieces.