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Sweet Corn and Shrimp Chowder

I'm not complaining, but I seem to have cobs of corn coming out the wazoo.  I actually look forward to my wazoo overflowing about this time every year.  I've been a corn on the cob fiend ever since I was able to pick it up with my own two hands.  I can still remember how distraught I was when I was able to eat it because my teeth were either too loose or missing altogether.  My youngest is experiencing that right now.  I do think it's kind of fun to break out the knife and shear sheets of corn from the cob, though.  But it's so much more fun to go typewriter on a few good cobs.  While the whole family prefers it over an open fire or on the grill, there are times when we cook it inside, as well.  Preferably under the broiler (just something about that smoky, charred taste), but occasionally steamed or simmered.  The other day, with a dozen and a half ears waiting to be eaten, my neighbor handed a huge brown bag over the fence...and it was filled to the rim with more corn.  She said she couldn't look at another cob for awhile.  I will happily be on the receiving end of that!  So, we've been not only eating it from the cob, but slicing it off to make creamed corn and casseroles and soup!  

While I had high hopes for this bowl of chowder, it wound up being just okay.  We liked it.  We ate it.  But it probably won't be something we make again.  But if I do, I'll use at least double the shrimp and the corn.  It wasn't the pretty yellow I imagined it would be either.  Oh well.  It wasn't our favorite meal of all time, but it was pretty good...totally edible.
Sweet Corn and Shrimp Chowder
adapted liberally from Jamie's Food Revolution
serves 4-6


1 medium onion, diced
1½ lb. potatoes, peeled & diced
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, & diced
1 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 Tbs. fresh thyme)
1 quart + 1 pint chicken broth
~7 oz bacon, diced
2 c. fresh sweet corn (from ~3 cobs)
½ lb. shrimp, raw
1¼ c. heavy cream
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
oyster crackers
cilantro or parsley, chopped
Peel, clean and tail your shrimp and cut the corn from the cobs.  Place the shrimp shells and tails, and the cobs (milked with the back of a knife) into a pot with the chicken broth.  Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer ~15 minutes.  Strain out the solids and return to heat to keep warm.

Heat a large Dutch oven (or other heavy soup pot) over medium heat and add your bacon.  Cook until done, and lift out with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel-lined plate.  Set aside.  Pour off all but about a tablespoon of the bacon grease, then return pot to the heat.  Add onion, potatoes, jalapeño, and thyme to pot and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, 3-5 minutes.  Add corn and about a quart of the hot broth.  Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Add shrimp and cook another five minutes.  Stir in the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.  If you wish, pulse with an immersion blender a few times.

To serve, ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle each with the reserved bacon, some oyster crackers, and some fresh parsley, cilantro, or other green herb of your choice.
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