This weather has just been downright odd. Temperatures ranging from 40 to 80 with storm clouds rolling over the bright blue sky. This has got to be some sort of apocalypse...And with all the cold blustery weather that we've been seeing in Pennsylvania, hearty comfort food is a must. However, unfortunately, hearty food can be cholesterol-laden and calorific, so I opted to try a more heart and waist healthy alternative.
Bring in the CHOWDER! I know, I know....some head scratching is happening I'm sure. Many of you probably imagine a rich, creamy bowl in front of you (stop drooling). Typical chowder is anything if not sinfully delicious. However, my mom taught me a neat trick and that is to make a rue-based chowder with milk/olive oil/flour to fool you into thinking that you are eating something with heavy cream. Trust me, the taste does not fail on this one. We had it for dinner on Monday night and then again for dinner last night (leftovers = awesome). Yum, yum, yum. Bowl licking tasty.
Potato-Corn Chowder w/Bacon
2 medium potatoes, diced into half inch cubes
1 15 oz package frozen corn
2-3 strips bacon, cooked and diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 8 oz package mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme
**up to 1/3 cup flour, stop when reach desired consistency
2 cups milk
2 cups water
2 tbsp butter or butter substitute
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1) Saute garlic, onion, mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil until cooked almost all the way through.
2) Melt butter with remaining olive oil in large stock pot over low heat. Add flour slowly while whisking until the flour makes little pea-sized globs. Slowly add milk while mixing to create a creamy base. Turn heat to medium-low and cook for about five minutes.
3) Add corn, thyme and sauteed mixture...stir. Cook for another five minutes, covered. Add water, stir. Add potatoes and bacon. Cook covered until potatoes are tender. Salt and pepper to taste.