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3 ways to 
orn chowder by Cindy Alvarez
1 2 3

When it's cold outside, there's nothing like hunkering down inside with a big bowl of hot steaming soup. You don't have to simmer and stir over the stove for hours, either: these three corn-based soups are fast, and easy to throw together from a can and odds and ends from the refrigerator.

Corn is one of the few vegetables that is at least as good canned and frozen as fresh (the sugars in corn quickly degrade, but corn that is destined for canning or freezing is often processed within the same day, while "fresh" corn might take 2-3 days to show up in the produce aisle of the upermarket. These recipes all center around a single 16-ounce can of corn.

creamy corn chowder
This rich, buttery corn chowder with just a hint of heat just screams out 'comfort food'. Takes about 20 minutes to prepare and makes 2 meal-sized bowls.

1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp bacon
4 oz. Cream cheese
1 potato
1 16 oz can corn
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
2/3 cup milk (or 1/3 cup cream + 1/3 cup water)
1 Tbsp olive oil

Chop onion and garlic. For the bacon, you can either chop up one whole slice, or more practically, keep a big package of bacon in your freezer and hack off bits when you need to. A little bit of bacon goes a long way in flavoring soups, vegetable dishes and rice dishes, and it will keep in the freezer for months and months.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan and add the bacon, onion and garlic. Fry for about thirty seconds, then add the cream cheese in chunks. Stir continuously until the cream cheese softens (2-3 minutes), then add the corn and milk and stir.

Poke holes in the potato and microwave on high for 5 minutes, then cut into cubes and add to the soup. Pour the chunky soup into the blender and puree until smooth; return to the saucepan and add the chili powder and simmer another five minutes.

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