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3 ways to corn chowder 
by Cindy Alvarez
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mexican spicy corn chowder
Corn chowder isn't an authentic Mexican dish, but the combination of the corn, spices, chorizo and chiles is tried-and-true. Traditional Mexican stews are often served with a little plate of garnishes: chopped onion, cabbage and sometimes finely sliced radishes, lime wedges, and cilantro. This is an optional but delicious way to enjoy this soup as well.

Takes about 30 minutes to prepare and makes 2 meal-sized bowls.

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp each oregano, cumin, salt, pepper
1/4 cup chorizo
1 jalapeno
3 cloves garlic
1 can chicken broth
1 can corn
1/3 cup half and half
1/4 cup grated pepper jack cheese
2 Tbsp cilantro to garnish

Chorizo is a traditional spicy Mexican sausage; you can buy either beef or pork chorizo. Like the bacon tip mentioned above, chorizo can be stored in the freezer for months in a resealable plastic bag. It's got quite a heavy flavor, so I use it a little chunk at a time.

Chop up the jalapeno, garlic, and chorizo (it's hard to cut neatly; just get it into smaller chunks). Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the jalapeno, garlic, chorizo, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper and fry for about thirty seconds. Add the corn and chicken broth and simmer over medium heat for about fifteen to twenty minutes.

Pour soup into the blender and puree until smooth; return to pan and add the half-and-half and grated cheese. Stir and simmer another five minutes or until cheese has melted.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

Cindy Alvarez lives in San Francisco, where she can often be found browsing through dusky ethnic markets and produce stands or taking on challengers in amateur "Iron Chef" competitions. She works as a software interface designer, still hasn't learned to drive, tries to read 100 books a year and gives private cooking lessons

check out these related articles: 
stock tricks | soup 101 | chicken soup days

more articles by Cindy Alvarez:
salad days 

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