Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday: Corn Potato Chowder with Sausage

Please go to The Fairy Blogmother for more What's Cooking Wednesday participants.

As many of us are only too aware, yesterday was the first day of school in Michigan. And like many other moms, I wanted the dinner after the first day to be something I knew my son would enjoy, as well as something that would be healthy and filling.

Being a teacher, I know just how exhausting that first day can be, and comfort food at the end of it can be a blessing.

C is a carb boy, and when I saw this recipe in this month's Cooking Light, I knew it had his name on it.

The recipe, however, had some issues that don't work quite as well for my family. One, I knew C would like it much better if it had meat. The rest of the recipe seemed to be a great match for sausage, and C loves the chicken apple-gouda sausages by AmyLu. At only 110 calories and 5 grams of fat per link, it's a luxury I can afford (calorie-wise) as well, but I wanted to bring the calories down a bit to both add the sausages and suit my own needs.

I removed the red pepper (which C only likes raw), cut back a bit on the onions (again, for C's tastes), cut back a bit on the butter and switched to 1% milk (which didn't hurt the consistency in the least). I also changed the proportions of the corn in terms of plain kernels to pureed kernels, and I added a bit of shredded cheddar to C's portion, since he's a huge fan of shredded cheddar. I also dispensed with the grilling and earlier Cooking Light recipe steps because a. I'm sure the taste is wonderful, but it was kind of fussy, and b. I wanted to get dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time. The final product was rich and delicious, and we've all decided this one is a "keeper".

Serve it with a fresh salad and some bread, if you feel the need (D and C felt the need).

To make this vegetarian, just remove the sausage or use something like this - I don't think the recipe would suffer - the sausage just adds a nice, smokey flavor.

Corn Potato Chowder with Sausage


6 medium russet or 12 small (red or new or purple) potatoes (a variety of types works best here), cut into 2" - 3" inch chunks (roughly cut - size is just to get them to cook a bit more quickly)
1TBS butter
kernels from 4 large ears of corn
4 chicken sausages, halved and sliced (I used apple-gouda sausages by Amy Lu)
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 cup half and half
3 cups 1% milk
sprigs of thyme (optional) or 1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
chopped chives (optional)
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

1. Cook the potatoes in salted, boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool them.
2. While potatoes are cooking, strip the kernels off the corn, process 2 cups of the kernels in a food processor until they are completely pureed. Chop onions and cut up the sausages.
3. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot. Saute the onions for a minute or so, and add the sausages. Cook another two minutes. Add the corn kernels. Add the 1/2 and 1/2, milk, corn puree, salt to taste and the thyme. Bring to a simmer.
4. While the soup is coming to a simmer, cut the potatoes into small pieces. Add them to the soup.
5. Simmer the soup for 20 minutes stirring from time to time so that it doesn't skim over. Remove the thyme sprigs when the chowder is finished.
6. Serve with lots of freshly ground pepper, and either the chopped chives, shredded cheddar, or both.

Serves 6 generously.

Nutrition Facts:

Amount Per Serving

Calories 370.0
Total Fat 14.3 g
Saturated Fat 7.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.0 g
Cholesterol 61.2 mg
Sodium 478.2 mg
Potassium 969.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 45.0 g
Dietary Fiber 5.2 g
Sugars 11.1 g
Protein 19.1 g

As always, nutrition information supplied by the recipe calculator at sparkrecipes.com.

Photos: Corn Potato Chowder with Sausage. All photos by Jennifer Shikes Haines.

If you don't mind leaving your comments/votes for this piece at my other gig, it would be greatly appreciated!


Goofball said...

I like C...I crave for carbs too and please do cut down on the onions too for me!

sausage soup....sounds heavenly

why start school on sept 7? isn't that a bid of an odd random day?

Keri Mikulski said...

Yum. :)

Luisa Perkins said...

I make something very like this. As comfort food, it cannot be beat.

Jen said...

He started on the 8th, Goofball. In Michigan they're required to start the day after Labor Day, which is a holiday that always falls on the first Monday in September. It's late this year. The reason for this start is so that folks are encourage to spend their tourist dollars up to the last minute of summer.

Thanks, Keri!

Luisa, this recipe seemed like something you might enjoy!

Brian Miller said...

lunch can not get here fast enough...giving this one to T when i get home. yum.

Logan is in his 3rd week. homework started last night...joy. he could have used some comfort food. smiles.

Ivy said...

You remind me of the way I cook, trying to please everybody, adding the ingredients they like best. The chowder sounds delicious and I like the idea of using chicken sausages. Shall try it soon.

Meg said...

In Ohio we're now starting school before Labor Day. It just seems so wrong.

Pam said...

Your dishes look superb!

Jen said...

Brian - I can't imagine this being the third week! I especially don't understand why they start school so early in the south, where it's beastly hot. I hope that you and T enjoy this!

Ivy - I think it's a nurturer thing, don't you? But you notice I made it healthier and it fits my needs, too. Just like you're doing these days!

Fantasy - to me it seems wrong waiting until after Labor Day. We used to start on Tuesday and then have a four day weekend (three day school week) and then the week after Labor Day was four days, then the FOLLOWING week was five. Everyone had time to ease into it.

Pam - thanks so much!

Madam Crunchypants said...

Sounds amazing. I may have to try this on my days off.

If I ever get any, again.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A wonderfully comforting dish! So droolworthy and tasty!



Unknown said...

This looks amazing. I've been craving hearty soups and meals like these for weeks. I made a beef stew last night, and I would LOVE to give this a shot this week too.

Shan said...

Oh this looks delicious,

anno said...

Mmmm... this sounds like an ambrosial combination of comforts. Just delicious.

Anonymous said...

Oh I love a good chowder, this looks excellent!

Dingo said...

I love chowder and being in the New England area it always seemed like sacrilege to not use cream. But I'll take your word for it that the 1% milk doesn't change the consistency. This recipe sounds fantastic!

Anonymous said...

That's total COMFORT food! LOVE it, and I love that sausage, too. Have you tried the anduoille ones? Those are really good, too.

Brillig said...


That is all. :-D

Mariposa said...


I think I have my appetite back!

Núria said...

Aaaaaahhhhh I have missed you too, darling!
You are such a caring good mom! Now that days are not so hot anymore and that we need to get strong for the day activity, the Corn Potato Chowder sounds super to me!

Thanks again for all your support in you know what and just for your info, everything is ok now. So we are all happy :D.
Hugs to you Jen!

Jen said...

Thalia, this seems like a great match for BC fall weather.

Thanks, Rosa!

Sandy, that's so funny - I have stew meat thawing as I write this. We've had such an abrupt change in the weather her in MI that I've really been craving warmer meals.

Thanks, Shan, Anno and Newlyweds!

Dingo, I think what makes this work is the corn puree - it gave a rich, sweet silkiness to the soup.

Burp - I LOVE andouille and this would be my preference here, but C doesn't like spicy stuff, sadly.

Brillig and Mariposa - THANKS!

Nuria - I'm especially glad to hear that last part - wonderful! And again, I'm so glad you're back!!!

JennyMac said...

This looks SO fantastic. I heart Potato Corn Chowder...and the sausage adds color and incredible flavor I am sure. Will have to try.

Dingo said...

It won't let me vote! Is this a Michigan thing?

Jen said...

JennyMac - Thanks for the kind words! And thanks for visiting - I'll come check out your place later today.

Dingo - they hate me. ;-( No, seriously, there are some site bugs. Thanks for letting me know - I've passed this on to the powers that be.

BusyDad said...

It's only healthy if you don't eat the entire pot. I would eat the entire pot.

Brittany | the Home Ground said...

This looks so damn good! I definitely agree with C.

Diana Dyer said...

I might eat the entire pot, too! However, I would add a smidgen of smoked paprika instead of sausage to have a hint of the delicious smoky flavor. Yum!

eye laser treatment said...

Delicious! I'm positive that this is something to cook for. I might try your recipe one of these days.

Jen said...

Busy Dad - yeah, I think there's the "not eating the whole pot thing" in terms of nutrition.

Thanks, Brittany!

Diana - I'm with you. D and I are already thinking that we might make this when C isn't home and use kale, which would also be great with it. The paprika would be just the right touch in that version!

Thanks, Eye Laser!

Lori E said...

Thanks for your kind works on my guest chef recipe at Lola's. I look forward to seeing all that you cook on here. This soup is something to chase away the fall weather here in B.C. I'll hang on to it.

the twins said...

that looks so good! i love chowder. i used to be so obsessed with potato and bacon soup, i ate it like everyday for lunch =) but it was just canned stuff, so no where near as good as your corn potato chowder with sausage.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A fabulous chowder! That is a dish I still have not made... Anyway, I'm sure I'd love it!



Unknown said...

I'm not sure how I missed commenting on this one! But this sounds delightful. I've been craving soups and chowders recently, and this sounds simple enough even for me :)

Jen said...

Thanks so much, Sandy! I also greatly appreciate your coming by and commenting - do you also have a blog where I can come and see what you do?

Melita said...

this looks fantastic. my boyfriend and i recently made some potato soup (which i have never been fond of). we gussied it up with some carrots and sausage and i enjoyed it for the very first time.

peter said...

It's getting to be chowder season, that's certain. Yesterday was Milo's first full day of Kindergarten, and today is his birthday, so I'm making him something special.

Jen said...

Melita, it's amazing what gussying things up can do!

Peter, I hope Milo had a wonderful day. I'm sure he'll have a wonderful supper!

Jen said...

Lori E - thanks so much for stopping by - and the words on your post were earned! I'll definitely be putting you on my regular reading list - I'm just disorganized this week!

Twins - this is really an easy one, and I think you'd both love it!

Rosa - it's a good fall dish. Maybe it's still too warm where you are?