Here at the Landry household fall is in full swing. We have saturated our rooms with the smell of apple spice, and prepared our kitchen for the hearty fall meals that we will soon be preparing. This weekend we received the first hint of cool weather, and Benjamin awoke very jubilant. It has been so warm here that the long awaited duck hunting season just wasn’t meeting his expectations. The ducks were avoiding our humid heat–can you blame them? Luckily, Sunday’s barely nippy morning gave my hunter a new found sense of hope and the waterfowl oasis he had been wishing for. Needless to say he had a great hunt this morning. Yay Ben!
I love summer, I love the beaches and the peaches and everything in between, but when we hit this time of year, when summer’s heat lingers and fall’s breath of fresh air is desperately trying to reach us, I begin to root for fall. My Pop (AKA Dad) and my husband both earn their livings braving the elements (as do many men around here), and bless their hearts, they are getting a little tired of the heat!!! I feel for them around this time and eagerly jump on the scarf and boot bandwagon. It’s time for fall ya’ll. In honor of the wonderful weather that this season is sure to bring, I decided that this week will be dedicated to cool breezes and falling leaves. Think of it as a “rain dance” to tempt fall into coming a little bit faster. Saturday was the first official day of fall and so we will be celebrating all week with pumpkin treats and “stick to your bones” fall friendly meals. I spent some quality time with my Pinterest account this morning, creating my grocery list and dinner menu for the week, and then I spent even more quality time with Wal-Mart. We are now stocked and ready for our celebration! When I posted my dinner menu on our kitchen bulletin board earlier today my mouth started watering thinking about how tasty my planned dishes are going to be. I will share them with you as we enjoy each one, maybe inspiring you to whip up a little bit of fall for your own family.
Tonight’s dish was corn and cheese chowder by my near and dear friend (in my dreams…) The Pioneer Woman. The only think she and Paleo have in common is that they both begin with the letter P, but gosh, I love her. If you have access to Food Network you should catch her cooking show. It plays on Saturday mornings at 9 A.M. Once upon a time before we canceled our Direct TV (that’s for another post…) I lived for Saturday mornings. Coffee and Ree Drummond. It was a beautiful thing I tell you. Now back to our meal, this chowder is such a creamy, rich concoction. It really hits the spot if you’re in the mood for something quick, warm, and cheesy! I added a pound of fresh crab meat once because I had some to spare, and it was pretty much the best thing in the world. If you would like to see step by step photos of the cooking process visit the recipe’s original page here.
4 Tablespoons (1/2 Stick) Butter
1 whole Onion, Chopped
3 slices Bacon, Cut Into Pieces
3 whole Bell Peppers, Finely Diced (red, Yellow, Orange)
5 ears Corn, Kernels Sliced Off (or 2 cans of whole kernel corn)
1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
3 cups Chicken Stock Or Broth
2 cups Half-and-half
1 cup (heaping) Grated Monterey Jack
1 cup (heaping) Pepper Jack
1/3 cup Sliced Green Onions
Bread Bowls (you can find Bread Boules in the fresh bread at your grocery store)
In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onions for a couple of minutes. Add bacon and cook for another minute or so, then add diced bell peppers and cook for a couple of minutes. Finally, add corn and cook for a minute.
Sprinkle flour evenly over the top and stir to combine. Pour in broth and stir well. Allow this to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Stir in half-and-half, then cover and allow to simmer/thicken for 15 minutes or so.
Stir in cheeses and green onions. When cheese is melted and the soup is hot, check seasonings. Add salt and pepper as needed.
Ladle into hollowed out boules and serve immediately.
I leave the bacon out whenever I cook this because I like my bacon crispy…the bacon is left fairly soft in this recipe and I felt awkward chewing my bacon. I usually have Rhodes bread loaves in my freezer, and I will let one loaf rise throughout the day, and then split it in two to bake, creating nice little bread bowls, but today I bought 2 bread boules from Wal-Mart’s “pastry” section. They didn’t taste as buttery and soft as the Rhode’s brand does, but they were convenient! I know that I have a hard time finding monterey jack cheese, so I usually buy the colby/monterey jack mix, which works just as well. I also use the Imagine brand low sodium chicken stock, you can find it at Whole Foods, it’s Paleo friendly, and low sodium. Win win (whatever brand you buy I suggest purchasing the low sodium version, chicken stock is a high sodium ingredient) You can also substitute ghee in lieu of the butter. I occasionally cook with the Challenge brand butter. The cows that are used to produce this butter aren’t treated with the growth hormone rbST. You could substitute almond or coconut flour for the all purpose flour here if you would like, it is merely a thickening agent.
I hope you love this meal as much as we did! Leave me a comment letting me know how it turns out, or if you put your own spin on it. I’m off to grate soap for a batch of laundry detergent while I introduce my husband to The Goonies. How un-American of him. I sure hope there aren’t many people whose childhoods were deprived of The Goonies. If so, it’s $4.99 on Amazon. Treat yourself. I promise it is totally worth it.
I’ll be back tomorrow for day 2 of our “fall rain dance”