Southwest Summer Corn Chowder

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I love so much of the produce in the summer… Berries, stone fruit, fresh veggies… But the summer corn might just be my favorite! The corn I saw this week was huge and beautiful! I tried to take it home by the armful, but restrained myself and only took home 8 ears. Mind you, there’s only two of us, so that’s a fair amount of corn for the week. But it allows us to create delicious corn chowder! Now, I know our last recipe also had “southwest” in the title, but y’all are just going to have to deal with that theme for the week.

This chowder recipe really highlights the delicious summer corn. If you’re wary of spice, and are looking skeptically at the jalapeno and poblanos in this recipe, don’t worry! They just serve to add a nice smoky depth of flavor to the dish. This isn’t a spicy dish. When you eat it, all you’ll be noticing is the sweet corn!

(Also. Please don’t judge the recipe on its unappealing photo. I know it’s not very pretty. If we’re being honest, when it was almost done simmering, I got all pout-y and grouchy, because I thought it was ugly. Selim had to remind me that taste > image – and he’s right. The chowder tastes good, and still tastes good even though it’s not pretty. Hopefully you agree!)

Southwest Summer Corn Chowder

(Adapted from this recipe)
Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp + 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 large poblano pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeno, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (16oz) white beans
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional toppings: lime, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, jalapenos, crushed tortilla chips, etc
Instructions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Slice poblano peppers in half and scrape out the seeds. Rub the outside with 1 tsp of oil.
  3. Roast peppers for 20 minutes and then remove to the side to cool.
  4. In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  5. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Top with a few shakes of salt and pepper.
  6. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened – about 5 minutes.
  7. Once cooled enough to handle, coarsely chop poblano peppers. (A lot of people prefer to remove & discard the skins at this stage too – we don’t, but feel free to do so!)
  8. Add peppers, white beans, corn, spices, and stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to a light simmer.
  9. Simmer over this low heat for at least an hour.
  10. Remove 2 cups of soup to a food processor. Combine with the cup of milk. Blend until smooth.
  11. Return this mixture to the pot. Stir to combine. [You can do more or less depending upon how thick you’d prefer your chowder.]
  12. Simmer another few minutes, and then serve. I’ve been eating it without any toppings, but surely a little cheese or something can only improve things.
Makes 8 servings

Southwest Steak Chopped Salad

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We eat massive salads for dinner many nights. We never share them, because usually they’re not all that organized – it’s usually a look in the fridge, pull out some vegetables, and top them with a protein kind of adventure. Since it’s Monday and the beginning of the week, we were a little more coordinated. Also, we accidentally created a gorgeous plate of colors! Nutritionists have been telling us to “eat our colors,” and we have you covered here! This salad, while not exactly low calorie, is healthy and filling. The way this is written makes two large salads, meant to be eaten as a stand-alone meal. Don’t worry – you’ll be so full, you even notice that you only ate salad for dinner.

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Southwest Steak Chopped Salad

Ingredients: 
  • Salad
    • Mixed greens, ~1 1/2 cups per plate
    • 1/2 cup carrots per plate
    • 1 ear of corn, divided between plates
    • 1 can of black beans, divided between plates
  • Steak
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (substitute smoked paprika for less heat)
    • 1/2 tsp oregano
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp cumin
    • 3/4 lb steak
  • Dressing
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 3 tbsp lime juice
    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp oregano
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
    • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
    • Pinch of salt & a few turns of fresh black pepper
  • Optional additional toppings
    • Cheese
    • Tortilla strips
    • Jalapeno slices
Instructions:
  1. Cook corn in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove to cool when complete.
  2. (Heat black beans if you prefer. We just rinsed and ate them cold.)
  3. Stir all steak seasoning together. Liberally coat both sides of the steak.
  4. Prepare steak as you normally would – we like to broil it briefly on both sides, for a medium-rare finish – but we know many people prefer their steak on the grill.
  5. Whisk together all of the salad dressing ingredients.
  6. Assemble salad with a base of chopped greens and topped with chopped carrots, chopped bell peppers, black beans, and corn, sliced off the ear.
  7. Add your dressing over the vegetables and top with your steak, sliced. Finish with any additional toppings you desire!
Makes two large, dinner portion salads

Southwest Baked Frittata

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Today during class, I turned to my friend, rattled off the random ingredients in my fridge, and asked her to tell me what I should make for dinner. To her credit, she immediately answered with great ideas! (I would’ve been like, “Uhhh… good luck with your dilemma there bud…”) So thanks Victoria for the idea for tonight’s dinner! Where would we be without our friends?

I baked this frittata (still looking into whether or not baking it makes it not a frittata, but in the meantime, we’ll go with it…) mostly because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to successfully make it and flip it on the stove. I’m not that graceful and flipping a frittata without breaking it seems out of my league… This version is super easy and tastes great! But while with a quick google, I can find a ton of recipes for “baked frittata,” the word frittata literally comes from the Italian for “fried.” Oven baked ≠ fried. That’s about as far as I cared to look into it. Someone correct my terminology!

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Southwest Baked Frittata

Ingredients: 
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 links of chicken sausage*
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp Chipotle powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 5 turns of fresh ground black pepper
  • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions: 
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium pan on your stove.
  3. Once heated, add the garlic and cook for just 2-3 minutes.
  4. Slice the sausage length-wise, then slice into half-moons. Add this to the pan with the garlic. Cook for ~10 minutes, until beginning to brown.
  5. Add diced red bell pepper and the corn (sliced off the ears). Add a splash of water and cover the pan. Allow the vegetables to steam for just another 5 minutes or so.
  6.  Meanwhile, whisk together your eggs and the milk in a large bowl. Whisk for several minutes.
  7. Then add in the hot sauce and spices. Give another good whisk to combine.
  8. Drain off any excess water or oil from the pan on the stove. Then add the contents to the bowl with the eggs. Stir all the ingredients together.
  9. Spray a 9×9 pie pan with cooking spray. Pour the contents of the bowl into the pan.
  10. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes. (Check for doneness by inserting a knife towards the middle of the dish – check for any runny egg.)
  11. Sprinkle cheese on top and return to the oven for just a minute or two until the cheese melts.
*We love Trader Joe’s chicken sausage. There are a ton of varieties that would be great in this dish; I used the garlic chicken sausage this time.
Serves 6.