Friday, February 8, 2013

The Boat Show - Rosemary Potato & Corn Chowder

Tonight I made my Rosemary Potato & Corn Chowder at the Boat Show at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy.  I was invited by "Bakin'" Bill Johnson to cook a recipe from my cookbook using a Dutch oven, as part of the International Dutch Oven Society's presence at the show.

Although I didn't attract a huge audience, I got to watch the wake boarders next to use, who DID attract a crowd.  A lot of people who sampled my soup asked for the recipe. One guy said he's a Boy Scout leader and it would be an easy dish to make the next time they go camping. He's right; there's no prep work and very little clean-up involved!

I was able to meet the family who runs Grandpa's Kitchen, which makes gluten-free baking mixes. They did a cooking demonstration after mine, and I thought it was pretty interesting! I feel a column coming on ...
Photo by Valerie Phillips

Prep time: 30 minutes
Makes 6 1 ½-C. servings
         Thanks to O'Brien-style frozen hash browns, you can avoid peeling or dicing potatoes, onions and peppers. Packaged bacon bits eliminate the messy job of bacon-frying, and they contain 50 percent less fat than regular bacon. Using fat-free half-and-half further slashes the fat and calories without losing flavor. You could also use skim milk, but your soup will be less thick and creamy.  The rosemary gives a subtle pine-ish flavor.
         2 14-oz. cans chicken broth (or 4 chicken bouillon cubes and 1 3/4 C. water)
         1 28-oz. package O'Brien-style diced hash brown potatoes
         1 3-oz. package shelf-stable bacon bits (or about 3/4 C. of cooked, chopped bacon or 1 C. finely diced ham)
         1 15-oz. can corn, drained
         2 tsp. dried rosemary or 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
         3 Tbsp. cornstarch
         1/4 C. water
         1 1/2 C. half-and-half, fat-free half-and-half, or milk
         1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
         Optional garnishes: grated cheddar cheese, bacon bits, rosemary sprigs
                   1. Place chicken broth, potatoes and bacon in a large pot over high heat.
                   2. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to keep the soup gently boiling about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add corn.
                   3. Mix cornstarch and water to a smooth paste. Stir cornstarch mixture into the gently boiling soup, and continue stirring until soup thickens.
                   4. Turn off the heat and stir in milk or half-and-half and pepper, until mixture is well-blended and the soup re-thickens.
                   5. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as desired. Ladle into serving bowls; garnish each with a tsp. of shredded cheddar, bacon pieces or a rosemary sprig.
         Slow cooker directions: Place all ingredients except cornstarch and 1/4 C. of water in a slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours; on low for 5-6 hours. Mix cornstarch and water into a smooth paste and stir into the soup. Turn the soup to high and leave the lid off, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes, until soup thickens.

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