Potato Corn Chowder with Ham and Bacon, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Potato Corn Chowder with Ham and Bacon

Cuisine: Tex Mex
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6-8 servings
Taking advantage of the fresh corn in season to prepare this deliclious potato corn chowder with ham and bacon. Fresh and simple ingredients.

A  fresh potato corn chowder with fresh corn right off the cob, savory ham and crispy bacon. This recipe is hearty and could be served as a main course for lunch or dinner. Adding the cobs of corn after removing the kernels adds a great fresh corn flavor to the soup base. A delicious seafood variation for this recipe would be to substitute the ham for some bay scallops or medium-size shrimp with a cup of lump crab meat.

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 6 strips bacon diced
  • 1 small sweet onion diced
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper seeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 celery stalk sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 2 large ears of corn remove corn from cob, reserve both
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound red potatoes washed and diced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1-2 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese crumbled
  • 6 ounces cooked ham steak diced
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 green onion stalk sliced, for garnish

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Directions

  1. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to large pot. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove bacon from pot and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. In that same pot, add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil and heat to medium.Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to large pot. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove bacon from pot and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. In that same pot, add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil and heat to medium.
  2. Add the onions, serrano, garlic and celery. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cobs, tomato paste and 4 cups of broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the cobs from soup and discard. Add the potatoes, corn and milk. Whisk the masa harina with 1/2 cup of water until smooth. When the soup starts to simmer, whisk in the masa harina mixture, making sure there are no large lumps.
  4. Add the thyme, chipotle and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook just until potatoes are fork tender. Add in the cotija cheese, ham and bacon. Cook for 5 more minutes. Garnish with green onions.

Chef Notes

If you can’t find masa harina, you could thicken the chowder with 4 tablespoons each of softened butter and flour whisked together until smooth. Adding the cobs to the soup/chowder adds a fresh corn flavor. Red, white and yellow potatoes require less cooking time and ideal for soups and chowders.      

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