Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Problem With Making Your Own Recipes...

Actually, there's many problems with making your own recipes out of thin air:

1)  Your trials often end in errors.
2)  You need to measure as you go to record these made up recipes.
     a) This means you need to also record what you've done somehow while you are cooking.
     b) This means that you usually end up with a piece of paper covered in food bits with scrawl you can't identify on it.
3)  Sometimes, you waste a whole bunch of something.

I'm sure there are many more problems with randomly deciding you are going to cook something, but I guess I'm just lucky to have experienced the above on a few occasions. Especially the whole scrawl of it all.  Oh, my scrawl is on a whole other level.  A monkey writing with his cousin's foot level.  

This is basically just an apology for the forthcoming recipe, on a lot of fronts. Now, at the time I made this concoction I really wanted soup because it was chilly outside and I really wanted something down-home and American. What's more American than corn?  (If someone is even thinking Apple Pie, just stop reading now...)

I wanted something like a chowder.  I wanted a flourless corn chowder.  I wanted a hearty, buttery vat of flourless corn chowder.  So what did I make?  It wasn't really a chowder.  It wasn't really a puree either.  It was pretty chunky; maybe a little more hearty than a soup.  Did I make a corn stew?  Is there such a thing as corn stew?  

I baffle myself sometimes, but even though the outcome wasn't necessarily an appetizing color (a pale yellow) and the texture wasn't quite what I had expected (again, thicker and chunky) I have to say I still enjoyed eating it. Yeah, if I were a chef, this might be marked as a failure, but I don't need my food to fit into perfect categories.  I can't be so picky anymore.  After all, I'm a tad limited so who am I to complain?

I Tried To Make Corn Soup And I Got This Corn Stew Type Thingy
*pictures to be loaded


2 6 ounce bags of organic frozen corn (feel free to use fresh if its in season)
2-4 cups of organic chicken broth (love Imagine brand)
1 cup half & half
2 tbs unsalted butter
1/4 red onion, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp sea salt
pinch sugar

** This is where my scrawl got a tad fuzzy, but I think this is what I did...

Steam the bags of frozen corn in a large, covered, steaming basket over pot with a few inches of broth for around 30 minutes.
Dump fully steamed corn into chicken broth.
Add butter, minced red onion, pepper, salt, and sugar and mix.
Bring to a boil and reduce.
Add the remaining broth (the more broth you decide to add, the thinner your soup will be.)
Bring to a boil, again.
Reduce to a simmer and cover for 1 or 2 hours (depending how much slow flavor you want to draw out.)
Remove from heat and add half & half slowly.
Immediately transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
Serve up with a little minced onion or parsley garnish and enjoy (I hope.)

I'm not hiding this from you, Reader.  We ALL make mistakes.  Sometimes, I make more mistakes to compensate for those who often don't.  But I think it's okay to make mistakes, to own your mistakes, and learn from them.  And in this case, my mistake tasted delicious.  Sure, it's not the prettiest girl at the dance, but it's definitely not the kid who ate glue.

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