Roasted Corn Chowder with Scallops and Bacon

originally published Oct. 11, 2009

Roasted sweet corn with poblano peppers, onions, seared scallops and smoked bacon..

Roasted Corn Chowder with Scallops and Bacon

Roasted Corn Chowder with Scallops and Bacon

(informed by a recipe by Rick Bayless)

3 cups fresh corn kernels, divided
1/2 small white onion
1/2 large poblano chile
1 red Fresno chile
1 clove garlic
1 cup fresh whole milk
1 cup fresh cream
6 oz dry sea scallops
4 oz smoked bacon, diced
1 teaspoon cultured butter
1/4 teaspoon smoked chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Roast the poblano, Fresno, onion, garlic and 1/2 of the corn in a 450 degree oven until the peppers are blackened.  Place the peppers in a paper bag or under an inverted bowl to steam a bit- the skins will peel right off.

Pulse the uncooked corn in a blender with the milk, cream and smoked chili powder, then transfer to a heavy pot set over medium-low heat.  Stirring frequently, allow to simmer until reduced by 1/4.

Chop the roasted peppers, onion and garlic and add to the pan.  Stir to combine.

Meanwhile, sauté diced bacon over medium-high heat until well browned.  Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of fat and add 1 teaspoon butter, paprika and cilantro.  Add the scallops and sear until golden brown on both sides.  Transfer to the soup, stir to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper if necessary and serve steaming hot.


Smoked Beef Brisket

Hickory-smoked local, pastured beef brisket with chili BBQ sauce..

Smoked Beef Brisket

Smoked Beef Brisket

Trim a beef brisket of most fat and all connective tissue.  Rinse and pat dry.

Liberally coat all sides with your favorite dry rub (I use smoked chili powder), cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Place seasoned brisket in a hickory chip-impregnated smoker bag along with 1/4 cup of filtered water and some coarsely chopped celery, yellow onions and carrots.

Seal the bag and place in a 500 degree oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and continue to cook until meat is tender, about 2 hours for a 3-pound brisket.

Remove brisket from bag and allow to rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the vegetables and juices from the bag into a blender and pulse until smooth.  Add tomato paste to thicken, a little molasses for sheen and chili base for flavor.

Carve brisket against the grain into 1/4 inch slices and serve with chili BBQ sauce.

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Smoked Chili Powder and Chili Paste

(This is part 1 of a 2-part post- part 2 is here. You might also like this post about achiote paste)

Made from 16 kinds of peppers, herbs and spices, here’s a homemade smoked chili powder unlike anything you’ll find in the store..

Smoked Chili Powder

Smoked Chili Powder

I strongly recommend that you wear a pair of disposable gloves while doing this..

Gather a selection of dried chiles with different flavor profiles (hot, mild, fruity and smoky).  I’m using Pasilla, Petines, Arbol, New Mexico, Chilhuacle negro, Mulatto, and both Dorado and Morita Chipotles.

Using a pair of scissors, snip the tips off the peppers then split lengthwise.  Spread apart and remove the stem and seed clusters.

Arrange peppers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and roast in a 350 degree oven until fragrant and crisp, about 15 minutes, or (even better) smoke the chiles outdoors over mesquite.  Allow the chiles to cool.

Meanwhile, lightly toast cumin, coriander, anatto and cinnamon in a dry skillet over medium heat.  Allow to cool.

Working in batches, process the chiles in a food processor with the toasted spices, dried onion, garlic, cilantro, Mexican oregano and sea salt.

Pour all into a bowl and stir to combine.  Store in an airtight container away from direct light up to 6 months.

To make a paste for use in soups, stews or bean dishes, add a tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice (especially good with chicken or pork) to the chili powder and work into a thick paste.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months..

Fresh Chili Paste

Fresh Chili Paste

This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter