shrimp and corn chowder with homemade corn stock

Are you throwing out the corn cobs from your summer corn?

Stop it.  Stop it right now.  This stock is so easy to make…and it absolutely makes this chowder shine (not to mention it smells pretty darn good while it’s simmering).

First make the corn stock:

6-7 fresh corn cobs, shucked and kernels removed (save these-you will use them in the chowder)

Break the cobs in half, if necessary, so that they will fit in the largest stock pot you own.  Fill the stockpot with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes.  Remove cobs.  Reserve 2 cups of stock for the chowder.  Let the remainder of the stock cool and freeze in 2 cup portions.

shrimp and corn chowder with homemade corn stock

6 slices center cut bacon (my bacon is pasture raised and comes from here), chopped

4 cups fresh corn kernels (or frozen, but make sure you thaw first)

1 cup chopped white onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 clove fresh garlic, mashed

2 cups corn stock

1 pound medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined (remember to make good seafood choices)

1/3 cup half and half

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp salt

Heat large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat.  Add bacon to the pan and saute until the bacon begins to brown, about 4-5 minutes).  Remove approximately 2 slices of bacon to drain on a paper towel and reserve for garnish.  Add onion, celery, thyme and garlic to pan with bacon and saute until onion just begins to soften, about 2-3 minutes.  Add corn and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add corn stock and bring to a boil.  Continue to cook for 4-5 minutes.  If you have an immersion blender, use this now to puree the mixture slightly.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, remove approximately 2 cups of the chowder and place in a blender.  Be extra careful, as the mixture will be hot.  Blend until smooth and return to the pot.  Stir in the shrimp.  Cook until shrimp are cooked and opaque, about 3 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp.  Stir in half and half, salt, and pepper.

Remove from heat, ladle into bowls, and top with reserved bacon.

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