April 18, 2011

Corn Chowder with Smoked Turkey (or Ham)

It was SO cold last Friday night!  The bedroom Jeffrey and I share was probably meant to be a second story summer sleeping porch, since it's built directly over the house's ground floor front porch, and has a bank of windows all the way across the front and on another two sides.  What this translates to, is that the floor isn't very well insulated.  Most of the time I love sleeping in a cold room, but Friday was just a little too arctic!

Consequently, I was in the mood for some stormy day comfort food Saturday.  Jeffrey had to go into work, so I had the pleasure of a a day all to myself.  I have the kind of personality that gets recharged from being alone, so this was double good!  I pulled out some classical CD's and made soup for both lunch and dinner today.  The first soup was a random try to be creative, since Jeffrey's had so much good luck doing that with his cooking lately.  I think this soup would also be good with diced ham, so I'm filing this recipe as a possibility to help use up any leftover Easter ham we might have.

Corn Chowder with Smoked Turkey (or Ham)

8-ounce block of cream cheese
2 cups whole milk
1 15-ounce can creamed corn
2 tablespoons fresh snipped chives
1 1/2 cups of diced smoked turkey breast (3/4 - 1 pound)
1 cup frozen peas (about 4 ounces by weight)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 sprigs fresh thyme

Soften the cream cheese- the easiest way is in the microwave.  I discovered that my microwave has a setting for just this purpose!  If you don't have a microwave, you can heat the cream cheese in a medium saucepan on medium low heat.  Either way, the softened cream cheese is now placed in the sauce pan.  Stir in the milk and creamed corn and stir until the cream cheese is incorporated.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.  Heat through until peas and turkey are warmed.  Remove the thyme sprigs.  Serve with a garnish of fresh-ground black pepper.

Notes:  I went to HyVee's deli counter and had the butcher cut a slab of unsliced smoked turkey.  While I was at the store, I looked at what passes for fresh chives.  Not impressed- what they were selling looked more like what you might plant in the ground- thick and dry, almost looking like coarse lemon grass.  If you don't grow your own chives, do yourself a favor and buy a little plant this year.  If you are an apartment dweller, just place the plant in a small flower pot that you can keep in a sunny spot.

Also, here is what I mean by a "sprig" of thyme:

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