One of the more delightful things about colder weather in Japan is that the vending machines start selling warm drinks. But they don’t stop at just coffee and tea; some also offer sippable canned soups, the most common variety being corn potage. So about a week ago, as I sat drinking from can of hot coffee in one hand and a can of corn potage in the other, I was suddenly inspired to draft a new recipe: porter corn chowder.
I finally got around to making it tonight, and I must say it was rather delicious, and perfect for the dismal weather we had today.
Note: I hardly ever measure anything when I cook, so the key phrase in all my recipes is “to taste.” I’ll include approximate measurements where I can, but they’re certainly not absolute.
So, without further ado…
Porter Corn Chowder
2 ears corn
about 1.5 cups creamed corn
about 1 cup heavy cream
chicken stock or vegetable stock
about 12 ounces English porter
1 large carrot, chopped
4 small potatoes, chopped
oyster crackers or saltines, crushed
1 small onion, diced
1 clove myoga or 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
- Halve both ears of corn lengthwise and arrange kernel side up on a baking pan. Splash with soy sauce and add a pad of butter to the top of each piece. Roast under the broiler or in a toaster oven until browned (some char is okay). Scrape the kernels off each ear of corn using a knife or spoon. Set aside.
- Prepare stock (about three cups should do) and use it to lightly parboil carrots and potatoes.
- Melt butter for sautéing over medium-high heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add myoga or shallot and onion and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned.
- Add carrots and potatoes to soup pot along with about a cup of stock. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often.
- Add corn and creamed corn. Reduce heat, add cream, and stir to combine.
- Pour in the porter (save a few sips for the chef). As for what porter to use, anything well-balanced should do. Buttery, umami, and molassesy notes are a plus. Avoid anything too hoppy. I used Sam Smith’s Taddy Porter and it worked splendidly.
- If using dried herbs, add them now.
- Combine well and bring to a boil, allowing corn to soften slightly. Add crackers and/or additional stock until chowder reaches desired consistency.
- If using fresh herbs, fold into soup and allow them to wilt.
Ladle into deep bowls, top with shredded Gruyére or Asiago cheese, and garnish with fresh parsely. Serve with crackers or warm toast.