It’s human nature to have many routines, whether they’re conscious or unconscious! Often, we’re not even sure how long we’ve had them or how they got started. One of mine is cleaning the fridge the night before the compost, recycling, yard waste, (garbage, if you’re not from Seattle) are collected. I’m pretty sure my mom does the same thing. However, now that I have “more time than money” I am very conscientious about the wasting of anything. It’s not that I was not conscious before, but when your unpredictable work schedule takes you away from home 3-5 days a week, you don’t always manage the larder as efficiently as possible; leftovers get tossed, planned meals don’t get cooked, and the freezer quickly fills with foil packets I call UFO’s….unidentifiable frozen objects, that are rarely interesting a month or two later!
Even with the best intentions, sometimes what’s left at week’s end, is pretty drab and has very few opportunities to be repurposed! I’d love to hear ideas for leftover lettuce based salads, as that is one item that fills my compost bucket routinely! Chicken or salmon – easily become next days sandwich with a little help of mayo, celery, bell pepper. Potatoes, vegetable and gravy – perfect set up for Shepard’s pie, or “dinner for breakfast” potato pancakes.
I got lucky this week, when I opened the produce drawer to “clean it out”. I had a few ears of corn, a half-dozen poblano peppers, a couple jalopeno peppers, cilantro and some leftover chicken. I knew immediately I would be making a corn, pepper, chicken chowder. We had onions, garlic, baby potatoes and chicken stock in the pantry, so I jumped right in. This could all be thrown together in a crock pot, but I actually made the base one day, and reheated it with cream the second day. This soup is delicious and will stay in our rotation throughout the winter, even though we will have to sub frozen corn for the fresh.
For the corn, poblano and chicken chowder
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 jalopenos , stems and seeds removed and finely chopped
5 poblano peppers, stems and seeds removed and chopped
4 ears of corn, cut away from the cob
12 tiny potatoes, quartered
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups water
2 cups cooked chicken meat in bite size pieces (from leftover chicken)
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped – retain a few leaves for garnish
1 pint heavy cream
oil for sautéing
salt and pepper
grated cheese for serving – Mexican style
Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, peppers until soft, about 7 minutes
Add the corn cobs, chopped cilantro, potatoes and chicken stock, and allow to simmer at least an hour.
At this point, I added the chicken, simmered it about an hour more and then moved the pot to the fridge. You could easily complete the soup, but I think the extra day with the corn husks in the pot really pumped up the corn flavor! Add salt and pepper as needed.
About an hour before serving, I brought the soup to a slow simmer. I reduced the heat as much as possible and added the pint of cream.
We served this with grated cheese and fresh-baked corn bread. I really hope you’ll give it a try, whether you have the ingredients on hand or not!
Thanks for stopping by and have a great evening.