Tag Archives: red pepper

Cajun Corn Chowder

Wow, you guys. I haven’t posted a recipe since . . . since . . .

I actually don’t remember when I last wrote about food. But I think it was sometime in the spring. What with being pregnant, moving, recording an album, and then having this little bundle in October, photographing what I cook and writing long involved stories about how I simmered something has been my last priority. Though for the record, I love reading other people’s long and involved stories about how they simmered something. And I may yet return to such simmerful chronicles at a future date. But for now, my new photographic priority is much more interesting than a half-minced clove of garlic!

And when she does this . . .

. . . oh man. A picture of chiffonading basil is the last thing on my mind.

Altogether, I had no plans of blogging about food this fall or winter. But then, last week, I got America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook from the bookmobile. And I landed on this recipe for corn chowder. I made it, LOVED it, and thought: I must share this recipe with my beloved foodie friends!

It’s worth noting that while there is a recipe and a printable link at the bottom, there are no step by step pictures, but that may be a thing of the past since I’m now cooking like this:

With a baby strapped to me.

I took this picture in the bathroom mirror as the soup was simmering. In fact, 15 minutes prior to taking this photograph I was chopping an onion while breastfeeding my baby hands-free, using the Moby wrap to support her. I couldn’t exactly bend over and mess with her feeding position, so everything had to be accomplished with a fairly immobilized torso, but’s it’s amazing what you can get done wihout bending your back!

And it’s also amazing what you can not accomplish . . . like leaning over the sink to do dishes. Enter: the dish-doing husband wonder.

Anyway everyone, this chowder is easy to make, fantastic to eat, and it’s probably going to be on the menu at our Christmas family gathering. My husband, who is not the chowder type (read: he despises New England clam chowder), loved it. And when I say loved, I mean that soup was gone the very next day. That’s right–we made short work of those so-called 6 servings. Heh heh. Think: spicy but not too spicy. Creamy but not heavy (the secret: blended corn). Delightful little bits of sausage, onion and pepper all swimming in a to-die-for broth. YES. This is what food is all about.

Cajun Corn Chowder

Serves 6


8 cups frozen corn, thawed
3 ½ cups chicken broth
8 oz andouille sausage, chopped
1 onion, chopped finely
1 red bell pepper, chopped finely
1 TBS vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp Cajun seasoning
1 ½ lbs red potatoes, cut in small cubes (about 1/2 inch)
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Put half the corn and 2 cups of broth in a blender, and blend for about 10 seconds; set aside.
  2. Put the oil, sausage, onion and pepper in a large pot, and cook over medium high heat for about 8 minutes, until vegetables are soft and a little browned, adding a little salt and pepper as they cook and stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the garlic and Cajun seasoning and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  4. Add the blended broth/corn, the additional 1 ½ cups of broth, the potatoes and cream, and stir everything together. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Add in the remaining 4 cups of corn, season to taste, and serve.

And on a completely unrelated note . . .

I love unrelated notes. Especially when they’re wearing tiny jeans with little pink bows.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Cajun Corn Chowder

Sweet and Sour Tofu

After sitting in my recipe box on TastyKitchen for a few weeks, this gem of a recipe from this lovely blogger got its turn. Have I mentioned that I have over 180 recipes in there? And that I feel firmly committed to making them all? If I make one per week, it should only take me about 3 and a half years–totally doable, eh?

Anyway, I’m so glad I bumped this to the top of my priority list, because what a phenomenal dish! The simplicity of the stirfry, the perfect balance of sweet and sour in the sauce, the golden brown tofu–I can’t rave enough about it. It’s got some kick–not over the top, but I hope you like things a little spicy! Because if not, you are henceforth banned from this blog forevermore and are no friend of mine.

Wait! Wait! I’m totally kidding! Please don’t go! It’s just my sometimes-abrasive humor–you’re not supposed to take me that seriously! Here, I’ll tell you what–I promise to post some non-spicy recipes asap, just for you. Like Lemon Crinkle Cookies. Okay? Okay?

Okay. I love everyone, The End. Phew. Nothing like tearing up relationships and then making amends to give you an appetite, eh?

And yes, this little conflict was staged just to make everyone hungry and thus more likely to make this stir fry. The lengths to which I go to spread the deliciousness . . . ah, the lengths to which I go. The world may never know.

But enough falderal–back to the recipe we go: I made it with tofu, but if you have an aversion to the block of soy stuff you could easily substitute chicken, pork, beef. Any protein would be great. And the sauce is so good that I’m salivating just thinking about it.


(Serves 3)

For the sauce:

1/4 red bell pepper, minced

3/4 cup pineapple juice

3 TBS rice vinegar

1/4 tsp sesame oil

2 TBS soy sauce

2 tsp cornstarch + 2 tsp water, mixed

1 TBS sugar

1/2 tsp ground white pepper

For the stir fry

1 TBS peanut oil

1-16 oz package extra firm tofu

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 cloves garlic

3/4 red pepper, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

4 green onions, diced

Mince 1/4 of the bell pepper, and assemble all the ingredients for the sauce.

Everyone say ‘cheese!’

Now we’re simply going to add all the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan. The vinegar and pepper . . .

. . . the soy sauce and sugar . . .

. . . the white pepper (this is where the kick lieth; and the kick, it lieth herein) . . .

. . . the water and cornstarch slurry . . .

. . . the pineapple juice . . .

. . . etcetera, etcetera.

Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

The sauce will reduce by half, to about 1/2 cup. Taste and adjust the sugar to your liking–I added an extra teaspoon.

In the meantime, assemble the ingredients for the stiry fry.

Cut the block of tofu into two ‘sheets’ (with the blade of the knife parallel to the cutting board), then into strips lengthwise.

Place the strips between some paper towels and kitchen towels . . .

. . . and put a heavy book on top.

You can probably learn a couple things about formatting your scholarly papers while you’re at it.

Let it sit for about 15 minutes–this will help dry out the tofu, which in turn will help it brown better when fried.

Remove the tofu from the towels and cut it into cubes.

Now for some knife work: chop up the bell pepper and onion, and set them aside; mince the garlic and set it aside; dice the green onions, and set them aside as well. You should have three little bowls of happiness at the end of this chopping fest:

Heat the peanut oil over high heat in a wok or large cast iron skillet. When hot, add the tofu cubes and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

Season them generously with salt and pepper while they’re frying.

Add the garlic and fry for about 1 minute, stirring so that the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the red pepper and onion, sprinkle with more salt and pepper, and fry for about 6 minutes until the vegetables are starting to get tender, stirring frequently.

Pour the sauce into the stir fry . . .

. . . and toss the tofu and veggies so that everything is coated.

Cook for 3-4 minutes, letting the sauce thicken.

Stir in the green onions right before serving.

This is about to make me one very happy woman.

Serve over steaming hot white rice.

Oh yum.

May I have more please, sir?

If you think you don’t like tofu, this could very well be the dish that changes your mind.

It’s that good.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Sweet and Sour Tofu