Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sweet Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Sweet Corn and Shrimp Chowder
Recipe by Adapted From Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home

In remembrance of Charlie Trotter, September 8, 1959 - November 5, 2013

  • 3 - 4 Ears Sweet Corn
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2/3 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 3 oz. Bacon, julienned
  • 1/2 Small Onion, diced
  • 1 Small Potato, diced
  • 10 Large Shrimp, peeled, deveined, and halved cross wise
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Cut the kernels from the corn, reserving the cobs.
  2. Place the cobs and bay leaf in a stock pot with two quarts of water, Bring to boil and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Combine the cream and half the corn kernels in a sauce pan large enough to hold all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook until the cream is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.
  4. Puree the corn and cream mixture. It will be very thick. Set aside, covered.
  5. In a medium saute pan cook the bacon until it begins to crisp. Add the potato, onion, and remaining corn and cook over low heat until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Add the shrimp and cook until they begin to turn pink.
  7. Add the shrimp mixture to the cream and stir to combine well.
  8. Add enough corn broth to achieve a pleasing consistency. In my case It took about 2 cups.
  9. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors, season to taste and serve immediately.

Charlie Trotter is probably best known for his complex restaurant cuisine, packed with exotic ingredients and served with intensely flavored emulsions, foams, and oils. In this he was certainly in tune with his time. In 1988 Trotter was introducing complex degustation menus in Chicago just as Ferran AdriĆ  was taking sole charge of the kitchen at elBulli.

In 1990 Trotter published "Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home", a collection of relatively accessible recipes that any reasonably skilled home cook could easily reproduce (as this post shows). Free of exotic ingredients and well suited to mid-western tastes, the book nevertheless is a fine introduction to the concepts (and some of the techniques) Trotter used to develop his cuisine.

Whether or not he would have opened another restaurant is a question that will never be answered but the chefs he helped train, his books, television series, and of course his flavors will remain.

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