Fresh Corn Chowder
Be sure to use salt pork, not fatback, for the chowder. Streaks of lean meat distinguish salt pork from fatback; fatback is pure fat. We prefer Spanish onions for their sweet, mild flavor, but all-purpose yellow onions will work fine too.
10 medium ears fresh yellow corn, husks and silks removed
Stand corn on end. Using chef's knife, cut kernels from 4 ears corn (you should have about 3 cups); transfer to medium bowl and set aside. Grate kernels from remaining 6 ears on large holes of a box grater, then firmly scrape any pulp remaining on cobs with back of knife (you should have 2 generous cups of kernels and pulp). Transfer to separate bowl and set aside.
Sauté salt pork in Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, turning with tongs and pressing down on pieces to render fat, until cubes are crisp and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, stir in butter and onions, cover pot, and cook until onions are softened, about 12 minutes. Remove salt pork and reserve. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.
Whisking constantly, gradually add stock. Add potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, milk, grated corn and pulp, and reserved salt pork; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add reserved corn kernels and heavy cream and return to simmer; simmer until corn kernels are tender yet still slightly crunchy, about 5 minutes longer.
Discard bay leaf and salt pork. Stir in parsley, salt, and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Yield: Makes about 2 quarts, serving 6
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