Chipotle Corn Chowder
I had this friend once, years ago, who used to live under the Franklin Bridge in Los Angeles. A bridge that is rumored to have been Anthony Kiedis muse for the Red Hot Chili Peppers Under The Bridge. I can’t even remember how I began my friendship with a skinny, old, homeless man named Clarence. A friendship that was unlikely to say the least, but I’ll never forget the last time I saw him. He took up residence on a pile of cardboard on my route home from the gym, and I had a neatly pack care package for him. Socks, a sewing kit, two bananas, a copy of Sea Biscuit, and a small first aid kit, all packed into a black and white Sephora bag.
I parked at a near by gas station, and met him half way between my car and his make shift bed, his huge smile contagiously lit up my own face. We stood on the corner of Franklin and Cahuenga, talking about the days since I had seen him last.
"Jackie, I’m a blessed man." His dark unwashed skin hung from his boney frame, "I live in the best city in the world! I have friends like you! I found a church that don’t mind me, a place that I can get me some coffee every day and I’m healthy as a horse!" As the sun began to set over LA on an overcast February evening, he went on to detail for me how life had lavishly blessed him. A man who had holes in his shoes, no shower in the foreseeable future and whose worldly possessions I had just double with a small gift bag, was telling me how blessed he was.
This was a conversation that changed my life, and the way I see every situation I’m in. Could I find joy with so little? Why not? A truly happy person can find joy in very little, an unhappy person will always be that way. Since this conversation I take time, nearly every day, to find the lavish blessings in my own life.
Maybe you’re dealing with a lot right now, maybe the hardships are outnumber the blessings. But I’ve learned that the thing with counting blessings is that it tends to multiply them, or at the very least amplify them. The same applies to hardships, so be careful.
Taking the time to make some chowder on a lazy summer afternoon, I could not have felt more blessed. At home with my little family, we’re all healthy, I get to cook with fresh ingredients and the chowder turned out amazing. And anyone who spends time developing recipes can tell you that there are days when that feels like noting short of a huge blessing.
Serve this warm, hot or even chilled. I hope you love it as much as I did. And I hope the 30 minutes it takes to makes this will give you time to count all those blessings in your life.
Chipotle Corn Chowder
- 4 cups of corn kernels cut off fresh ears of corn (about 6 ears, I used sweet white corn)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup shallots, chopped (about 1 to 2 large shallots)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable, either will work. Do not use beef broth)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
- 1 tbs adobo sauce from chipotle chili can
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- In a large pot or dutch oven, add the oil, shallots, corn, salt and pepper. Saute over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until shallots are opaque. Add remaining ingredients and adjust heat to maintain a simmer, do not boil. Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes or until the corn kernels are soft. Remove from heat. Using a food processor or blender, puree until smooth. Taste, adding additional salt, pepper or chipotle to desired levels.
*Note: it is impossible to predict the heat level of any chili, including chipotles, since the heat level varies widely from pepper to pepper. Use the smallest chili in the can to start, add additional chilies to raise the heat level at the end.