Having lived in New Jersey for my entire life, one of the major benefits of the month of July is the abundance of local corn that pops up everywhere. You can find it at all the major grocery stores, small roadside stands, and even at our farmer’s market. My favorite place to get it is from the roadside stands or the farmer’s market because usually it has been picked that very morning. You are surrounded by it constantly beckoning your name. I have no problem with that since corn on the cob is practically one of my favorite things ever. I recently found out that Blair does not feel the same way about it. It is not that he doesn’t enjoy the corn, he just doesn’t like the hassle of eating it from the cob. Luckily this recipe showcases the corn itself without all the mess involved. You always have to have that floss ready for people right after they eat it, not for this one.
This corn chowder comes together relatively quickly. I had some leftover orzo from another recipe so I used that. If you don’t, just prepare your orzo according to the directions on the box. You first start out by making the zucchini orzo that goes on top of the chowder. With a quick saute of the veggies and a stir of the orzo to warm it up, you have a wonderful topping. It gave the corn chowder a little extra something. The chowder itself is prepared in under 20 minutes with most of the time being waiting for it to simmer and thicken. We ended up eating this with a side salad and some fresh bread, it ended up being the perfect summer meal that both Blair and myself can enjoy.
Corn Chowder with Zucchini Orzo
2 Tbs unsalted butter, divided
1 medium zucchini, diced medium
8 ounces cooked orzo
1 bunch of scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
3 cups corn kernels (from 4 ears), cobs reserved
What you’ll do:
In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tbsp. butter over medium-high. Add the diced zucchini and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cooked orzo and heat until warmed through, stirring frequently. Transfer to a bowl and toss with scallion greens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Melt remaining 1 tbsp. butter in saucepan over medium-high. Add scallion whites and saute until tender, 3 minutes. Add corn kernels and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add 3 cups water and cobs to the saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until chowder thickens slightly, about 8-10 minutes. Remove and discard cobs and season with salt and pepper. In batches, fill a blender halfway with chowder and puree (I always take off the small insert on the top of my blender and cover with a kitchen towel to release the steam, use care when blending the hot liquids). Serve chowder topped with zucchini mixture.
Source: Everyday Food