Sunday, July 26, 2009

I Think I Have a Problem

I know, I know...corn again? What is this girl thinking? Well, I can't help it. I have an obsessive-food personality. My favourite foods are REALLY my favourites for a reason. That's not to say I'm going to eat the same meal every day for a week, but certain variations of ingredients or dishes will happily be eaten week in and week out. Which might explain why I get cranky if I don't have pizza at least once a week. Or tacos once every couple of weeks. (I know it doesn't actually SOUND like a lot, but its hard when a certain someone has a *gasp* carb AVERSION. That's right. Maybe I need to re-think our relationship. But it's also probably the only reason I'm not morbidly obsese) And why I'm writing about corn for the third time in two weeks.

Now in all fairness, this is probably the most common corn dish in our dinner rotation, except that its usually made with canned and frozen corn so I just HAD to try it with the fresh! Can you blame me?

I can't exactly claim that this recipe is my own, as like the Taco Dip you'll find endless variations on the Internet. For years, I thought it was actually unique to a certain restaurant that we used to order "fancy" chinese food from. But that was stupid, because its on the menu of most Chinese restaurants. And it's insanely easy to make so I have no idea why the lightbulb only went off sometime last year that I could make the soup at home.

Anyway, this soup can be VERY easily made with a can of creamed corn, but for the purposes of the recent fresh corn obsession, I made my own. And it was tasty! The corn flavour was a lot more pronounced and although the corn itself was very sweet, the overall soup had a nice savoury element to it. But I won't lie. I'll probably keep making this with canned corn in the future because a part of the appeal for me is its convenience. So go ahead, grab that can and get cooking!

Chicken Corn Soup

Cream-Style Corn
3 cobs fresh corn, hulled (cobs reserved)
1 cup water
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
(you can substitute canned creamed corn here as a shortcut. I'm going to guess this is about one large 19 ounce can of creamed corn)

2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup imitation crab meat (optional)
4 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)
1 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp water
1 egg, lightly beaten
sesame oil (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Make the creamed corn - combine corn, water, corn starch, sugar and salt in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, until corn kernels are soft and plump. At this point you want to break up the corn kernels a bit. I used a hand blender lightly, you could use a stand blender or even just mash with a potato masher or ricer.

2. Add chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Let cook for about 10-15 minutes. If you used fresh corn, add the corn cobs to add some more flavour.

3. Remove corn cobs and add cooked chicken and crab meat, if using. Bring back to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Combine corn starch with water until a paste forms, and add to soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add some sesame oil (maybe 1 tsp) if using.

4. Reduce soup to a simmer, and add egg mixture. Wait a minute for the egg to cook slightly and give it a stir. And done.

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