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XO’s Friday Foodie: Sarah’s Zippy Corn Chowder, now Gluten Free!

Category : Healthy Eating

Sarah R is this week’s Friday Foodie who recommended we try this delicious, simple corn chowder. Like any soup, we tweaked it to suit the contents of our kitchen and the sensitive taste buds of our kids. I added the garlic, omitted a teaspoon of salt and skipped the optional ingredients and made it gluten free (GF) on Anne M’s suggestion to use 1/2 as much corn starch as the flour originally called for. It was the perfect warm and savory dinner for a cool spring evening.

The recipe makes 8 cups. A 1 cup serving has 200 calories, 3g fiber, 7 grams protein, 34g carbohydrates and just 4 grams of fat. Using unsalted butter, I’ve reduced the sodium to just 300mg/serving! Adding a diced, precooked chicken breast or other protein could easily make this a one-pot meal.

1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 to 1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped (Sara advises the Red Bell Pepper!)
1 clove garlic, minced (I used 5 of Eben’s tiny cloves)
2 tablespoons butter

2 cups or 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) vegetable or chicken broth
2 large red potatoes, cubed

3 cups frozen corn (an entire 1lb bag)
3 cups skim or 1% milk, divided

2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (any mustard will work)
1/2 teaspoon paprika

optional ingredients for those who like spice (and don’t have kids):
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (Sarah recommends!)
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
4 green onions, chopped (AKA we didn’t have these in the kitchen!)

In a large heavy saucepan saute the onion, bell pepper and garlic in the butter until tender. Add the broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, about 10 – 15 minutes.

Next, add 2 1/2 cups milk, the corn, mustard, paprika and your choice of the optional ingredients and bring to a boil. Mix the corn starch into the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and stir into the pot. Simmer, stirring often, for 2 minutes until thickened. Each person could salt to taste, but we found it plenty salty. Being the spice guy, I added ground chipotle for a hot-smokey flavor.

I also wanted to answer the unasked question about what that mustard is doing in there. Thanks to Ken J, I can tell you that mustard emulsifies the butter (or oil) in a recipe so it doesn’t separate and float up to the top. That explains why you see it in some salad dressing recipes.