Smoky Hatch Chili Corn Chowder
Corn Chowder gets super-charged with wood-smoked corn and chile peppers, and a fragrant homemade corn stock.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 shishito peppers or 1 bell pepper diced*
- 1 jalapeno pepper diced (optional, if you don't like spicy heat)
- 4 ounce can Hatch chilis or 2 fresh Hatch chilis chopped
- 2 cups corn stock or vegetable stock (see notes for corn stock)
- 3 cups corn kernels preferably smoked**
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup half and half or non-dairy substitute cashew milk is nice
Heat the oil in a 4 quart Dutch oven or stock pot over medium until shimmering. Add the onions and celery and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the smoked paprika over the vegetables and stir to combine. Add the chile peppers and saute briefly.
Blend the stock with 1 cup of the corn kernels (preferebly smoked) until smooth. Skim off any foam. Add to soup along with the remaining corn kernels. Bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Stir in dairy (or non-dairy option). Taste, and add more salt by the big pinch, if needed. Serve immediately.
To smoke ears of corn:
Remove the husks and silks from the cobs, and trim the stalk ends so they'll fit on your grill. Wash the ears under running water.
Gas grill: preheat one side of grill to high. Charcoal grill: pile hot coals on one of side grill.
Wrap drained wood chips in a flat foil packet, and use a knife to cut slits into the top side.
When grill is hot, place the foil packet over the flame side of the grill (gas grill) or directly on the coals (charcoal grill).
When you see tendrils of smoke streaming from the slits in the foil packet, place the ears of corn on the unheated side of the grill. On a gas grill, close the lid. On a charcoal grill, open all the vents, and position the lid so that the smoke will flow over the corn and out the vent in the lid (if it has one).
Let the corn smoke 20 to 30 minutes. Check periodically to ensure that flames are not reaching the ears and singeing the kernels. The smoking process is finished when the kernels are lightly burnished. Remove from the grill and let cool.
- * If you're wood-smoking corn for this recipe, go ahead and throw the chile peppers in, too. Roast them over the flames, so that their skins will be easy to remove.
- ** For more tips on wood-smoking corn: see this post, as well as to see the recipe for corn stock.