Comfort Food

Comfort food is an antidote for so many ailments- depression, boredom, winter and sickness. Now that I’ve been “asked” to take a leave of absence from work until I get better…I’ve applied for disability [sickness] and am waiting on the decision of the insurance company [boredom]. Meanwhile, there’s an ice storm along the East Coast today and, given the lack of income and the high heating bills, my house thermostat is set as low as I can tolerate. I’m bored, sick and cold but not too depressed. I’m finding myself getting hungry and suddenly having a craving for corn chowder! A thick, hot, creamy soup laden with calories that will hopefully raise my body temperature. Now fancy this…last night’s meal was voted by the house curmudgeons to be ‘noodles with the cheese sauce you make, mom!’ So I have a small pot with a hefty leftover amount of the cheesiest cheese sauce that I can’t bear to throw away. Perfect. I will repurpose it to corn chowder! Here’s the recipe for one of my favorite soups. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

M

Cheesy corn chowder, repurposed..

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion diced

2-3 small carrots diced

1/2 red pepper diced

1 cup of  cheese sauce (see below for recipe)

1 cup milk

2-3 large white potatoes cubed

1 can (29 ounces) sweet corn

pinch of nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

 

DIRECTIONS:

Warm the left over cheese sauce on low. Warm the  milk in the microwave for 1 minute. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 6 quart saucepan. Saute the onions in the melted butter until caramelized. Add the carrots and red pepper to coat with butter. Add the prewarmed cheese sauce and the prewarmed milk. Add the potatoes, corn, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix well and add up to another cup of milk to cover all of the vegetables. Bring to a boil and immediately lower the flame to low/simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. At this point I use an immersion blender to achieve a thick, creamy texture which my family prefers. Serve with warmed french bread and enjoy!

feeds 4-6

CHEESE SAUCE

This recipe can be used to make 16 ounces of elbow noodles for a tasty Mac and Cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons)

1/4 cup flour

1 cup milk

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (or any available) white cheese

1/2 cup cream cheese

pinch of nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

Form a roux by melting the butter in a small saucepan on high heat then adding the flour immediately (try not to let the butter brown). Whisk the butter and flour constantly until incorporated and immediately add prewarmed milk, continuing to whisk on high heat until the milk thickens and is smooth without lumps. While whisking, add each cheese in turn until it melts and a thick sauce forms. Lower the heat to medium and add the nutmeg and salt. Whisk slightly and cover, leaving on simmer until the noodles are ready. I do not mix this sauce into the noodles, rather everyone adds as much as they want to their plate. I use the refrigerated leftover sauce for other recipes the next day.

serves 4

 

 

 

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