Smoky “Chowda” with Fire-Roasted Corn

Serves 4

You’ve got to try this delicious and hearty corn and fish chowder!
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/3 pound smoky bacon, chopped
  • 2-3 ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 starchy potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)
  • 3 cups whole milk or half-and-half
  • About 3 cups frozen fire-roasted corn kernels or, when in season, 3 ears grilled corn on the cob, scraped
  • 1 pound skinless black cod or any sustainable white fish, cut into bite-size chunks
  • Chopped chives and parsley, for garnish
  • Oyster crackers and Tabasco sauce, for serving
Directions
  1. Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat with a turn of the pan of canola oil. Add the bacon and crisp for 2-3 minutes. Add the celery, onion, garlic, potato, bay leaf, thyme, cayenne, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Cook, partially covered, to soften, 7-8 minutes.
  2. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock and milk and simmer to thicken. Add the corn and bring to a bubble. Add the fish and cook through, 3-4 minutes more. Adjust the seasoning and serve topped with the chives and parsley, with oyster crackers on the side and Tabasco for passing at the table.