Smoky "Chowda" with Fire-Roasted Corn

Serves 4 servings

Originally aired

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil 
  • 1/3 pound smoky bacon, chopped 
  • 2 to 3 ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped 
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped 
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 1 starchy potato, peeled and diced 
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 3 tablespoons flour 
  • 1 quart chicken stock 
  • 3 cups whole milk or half-n-half 
  • 1 bag, about 3 cups, frozen fire-roasted corn kernels or when in season, 3 ears grilled corn on the cob, scraped 
  • 1 pound skinless black cod or any sustainable white fish, cut into bite-sized chunks 
  • Chopped chives and parsley, for garnish
  • Oyster crackers and Tabasco sauce, to serve

Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat with a turn of the pan of canola oil. Add bacon and crisp for 2-3 minutes. Add celery, onions, garlic, potato, bay leaf, thyme, cayenne, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Cook partially covered to soften, 7-8 minutes.  
Stir in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Add stock and milk, and simmer to thicken. Add corn and bring to a bubble. Add fish and cook through, 3-4 minutes more. Adjust seasoning and serve topped with chives and parsley, with oyster crackers on the side and Tabasco for passing at table.