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Charred Corn and Chouriço Chowder

I know, I know...where have I been? Well alot has been happening here at Casa Castro. Lots of new ventures and commitments.

July is quickly coming to an end, which is so strange for me. In the UK summer holidays do not start until late July, the 23rd. of July for my kiddos, so it always feels so short. We soon will be off vacationing in Portugal. So exciting and I am already packed!

You all know how I love to cook while on holiday. Going to the grocery stores in other countries is heaven for me. Portugal however is my home so it won't be foreign, but I will get to cook with all the wonderful gourmet and artsinal products I can't get here. Oh, and let's not forget the wines....bliss.

Today's recipe is a fusion between my much loved American favourite and a little latino flair. It is amazing how something so seamingly humble can turn into such a gourmet tasting dish, sure to impress.

It is the perfect summer soup and tastes just as good cold as it does warm. Gorgeous to serve as a first course and you can even step it up with some chargrilled shrimp drizzled with chilli oil. My version is multi-step, no blender is required as I use canned creamed style corn, but it comes together very quickly. Easy! I hope you all have a fabulous summer and I will be sure to share all the delicious food I have while away.


Charred Corn and Chouriço Chowder

Serves 6

To grill

4 Ears of naked corn, husks and silks removed and slathered in salted butter

For the stock

4 Corn husks after you remove the charred kernels

2 Rashers of streaky bacon, optional

8 Carrots, unpeeled and roughly chopped

3 Shallots, unpeeled, cut in half

3 Spring onions, whole

2 Bay leaves

2 Garlic cloves, whole

1 tbsp. Whole black peppercorns

1 tbsp. Course sea salt

6-8 Coriander/ cilantro stalks only

4 litres Chicken or vegetable stock, I prefer chicken stock

For the chowder

80 ml. Extra virgin olive oil

1 Large onion, diced

1 Garlic clove, minced

2 425g. Cans of creamed corn

2 200 g. each (approx) Cans of sweet corn kernels

4 Potatoes, medium sized, peeled and cubed

( place in a bowl and cover completly with cold water until ready to cook to prevent browning)

Strained stock you reserved

1 tbsp. Chipotle paste

To finish

200 g. Chouriço sausage, peeled and cubed

1 clove of garlic

50 ml. of Sherry, I used Pedro Ximénez "PX" variety

Coriander/cilantro leaves roughly chopped

1 lime, cut into 6 wedges to serve

1. Heat a cast iron grill pan on high heat. You can also use a charcoal or gas bbq.

Place buttered corn on grill, grill on high heat turning often, until corn is nicely charred on all sides. Approximately 10 minutes.

Remove to plate and when cool enough to handle cut the charred corn kernels off and reserve to finish chowder. These will only be added at the very end.

Do not discard cobs as they will be used to make stock.

2. To make stock, place all stock ingredients in a large stockpot and cook on medium heat for 45-50 minutes.

Strain and reserve stock, discard solids.

To make chowder

3. In another stockpot on low heat, add olive oil, diced onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent.

Drain potatoes from water and add to onions along with creamed corn and corn kernals from the can. ( not the charred corn you reserved yet), chipotle paste and

strained stock. Cook on low heat, stirring often until potatoes are cooked, about 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings, adding salt and black pepper to taste.

To finish soup

4. In a frying pan, on high heat, add the cubed chouriço, clove of garlic and fry until crispy. Add the sherry and let reduce 30 seconds. Set aside.

5. Add charred corn kernils to soup and stir to heat through, ladle into bowls, divide chouriço among bowls evenly. ( carlos loves the garlic so he always gets this clove in his bowl :)! ) Sprinkle with coriander/cilantro and serve immediately with lime wedges.

I served this with a grilled sourdough and chouriço sandwich. It was a fantastic lunch.

It is fantastic paired with a chilled Rosé, anything heavier will compete with the sweetness of the corn. The heavy paprika and chipotle element could handle a red, Pinot Noir, perhaps but I love the freshness of the Rosé.

Enjoy my darlings

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