Monday, November 14, 2011

Corn Chowder with Turkey Sausage

Last year during my Food Channel/Cooking Network Frenzy (Yes, I'm capitalizing the F in frenzy because that point of time shall now be described as a proper noun and will be known for all time, at least for me, since it was the advent of my cooking adventures. Please stop looking at me in that pathetic manner.) I would watch anything on either channel (Ok, so maybe not Down Home with the Neelys, come on now.) and one show I picked up was From the Kitchens Of. I actually felt it was more of a paid programming type of show since it centered around supposed Chef Brigitte Nguyen going to the kitchens of different companies and then  taking their foods or appliances and cooking with them in her own kitchen. (By her own kitchen I mean Cooking Channel's Kitchen.) 

So one day I watched her go to Hillshire Farms and come back and make Corn Chowder with Smoked Chicken Sausage. The reason I was interested in the show was because she made such simple recipes but had a twist to them. When I watched her make the corn chowder I was impressed with how facile it was. I had once made corn chowder sans the sausage and it was a lot more work than what she had done.

Knowing Hubby enjoys himself some thick, potato soups I decided to give it a try. I often buy turkey sausage and am always looking for new recipes to make with it and felt this would be perfect. I followed the directions to the tee and it was a big mistake. The recipe calls for one medium onion and Hubby is not a big fan of onions, so I was hesitant to put it all in the soup. I stared at the massive amount of chopped onion on the cutting board contemplating should I put it all in or not? I felt like was channeling Auguste Rodin's statue The Thinker as I pondered over the onion. Alas, I decided to throw it all in there and trust the writers of the recipe. Big mistake. Hubby liked the soup but could not finish it because it was too oniony

So I was looking for a simple recipe and decided to make the soup again but minus the massive amounts of onion! Instead of an entire onion I used 1/4 of a  medium sized onion and the results were a success. I tried a small amount of it (Without sausage!) and it tasted like soupy mashed potatoes with corn. Good stuff! Hubby thoroughly enjoyed it as well as Bambino. She enjoyed herself a heaping helping!

1 packaged pre-cooked sausage (I only buy lean turkey sausage, but use whatever kind you prefer.)
1/4 cup olive oil (I tried to cut back on the oil, but it made it difficult to make the roux, so don't hold back)
1/4 medium onion, chopped 
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
4 cups milk (I used 1% milk.)
1- 16 oz package frozen corn (I would have preferred to use corn off the cob, but corn is very much not in season as seen by the browned corn cobs at the grocery store.)
2 cups cubed potatoes
chopped parsley, shredded cheese (Optional garnish, I did not use.)

1. Boil chopped potatoes until tender. Drain and set to side.

2. Cut sausage into small pieces. Pan fry in a non-stick skillet 5-10 minutes, until browned. Set to side. (This is an optional step that I added in.)

3. Cook olive oil in pot over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add flour, salt and pepper. Cook stirring constantly until golden brown. (About 1-2 minutes.)

4. Add milk. Increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil and then continue boiling for one minute, stirring constantly. Add sausage and corn.

5. Add in potatoes and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are heated through. 

6. Serve with cheese and parsley, if desired.

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 3
This is a simple recipe. While yes there a few steps with cooking the potatoes and the sausage (Leading to more dishes to wash!) it truly isn't too much work. I highly request this one for a easy, hearty dish.