Side Dishes

Corn and Fingerling Potato Chowder with Bacon

So many summer meals growing up were just corn from my dad’s farm. I imagine that isn’t all that uncommon for midwestern farm families (sorry, carb haters — just telling it like it is).

These days, corn is usually a side dish, but it is still a must-do on my summer table. I love this chowder recipe: a few fresh, seasonal ingredients that complement one another, and just filling enough without being heavy.

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Corn and Fingerling Potato Chowder with Applewood-Smoked Bacon

Adapted slightly from Cooking Light
Serves 5

2 slices applewood-smoked bacon
1 cup finely diced yellow onion
3 1/2 cups fresh (uncooked) corn kernels (about 6-7 ears)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
8 ounces fingerling potatos, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
1/4 teaspoon salt (or more)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more)
Thyme sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble.

Add onion to drippings in pan; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add corn, chopped thyme, and garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, milk, half-and-half, and potatoes; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

Transfer 2 cups potato mixture to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape; secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid to avoid splatters. Blend until smooth; return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in salt and black pepper. Season to taste, if necessary.

Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

Coconut Oil-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Holy sweet potatoes, Batman!

I eat roasted sweet potatoes at least once a week. Clean carbs, quick, go with everything. Done.

Today, I switched the olive oil for coconut oil on a whim. It takes it to an entirely different level. I feel a little silly calling this a recipe, but it’s too good not to share.

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Coconut-Oil Roasted Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
Freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt
Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread sweet potato cubes on a heavy-duty baking sheet. Drizzle potatoes with oil; sprinkle generously with pepper, salt and cinnamon. Toss to coat.

Roast for 20 minutes or until tender.

Caramelized Apples

ApplesApples are one of my favorite foods. They have a long shelf life, and you can find good ones year-round (though they’re still best in season, September-October, and pick them if you can!). They are versatile for cooking, and also great by themselves. Pretty fantastic.

This dish is great as a filling for crepes, used in bread pudding, paired with bacon, sausage, pancakes or biscuits, or by itself.

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Caramelized Apples

From The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, by Amy Traverso

Makes about 3 cups

3 Tbs salted butter
2 1/2 pounds (about 5) firm-sweet apples (such as Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Jazz, or Jonagold), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup fresh apple cider
1/2 cup maple syrup, divided
2 Tbs granulated sugar

Melt the butter in a 12- to 14-inch skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the apples and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are softened and lightly browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the apple cider and cook, stirring often, until the cider reduces to a glaze, about 3 minutes. Add half the maple syrup and the sugar and cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened and glossy and the apples are tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Finish with the remaining maple syrup, stir, and serve.

Caramelized apples will keep, covered, for several days in the refrigerator.