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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bacon-Corn Chowder with Shrimp

This was so easy and yummy!  I "healthified" it of course.  ;)  I also added some chopped jalepenos and topped it off with some shredded lowfat cheddar cheese.  It may need more salt than it calls for, but I'll let you be the judge of that....

Serves 4 as an entree, 6 as a first course


6 Slices center-cut bacon, chopped (I used Jenni-O Lean Turkey Bacon!)
1 Cup pre-chopped onion
1/2 Cup pre-chopped celery
1 Tsp fresh thyme
1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped (*optional*)
1 Garlic clove, minced
4 Cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 Cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
3/4 Lb peeled, deveined, tails removed, medium shrimp, cut in half
1 Cup shredded cheddar
1/3 Cup half and half
1 Tsp ground black pepper
1 Tsp kosher salt

1.  Heat a large Dutch oven over med-high heat.  Add bacon to pan; saute 4 minutes or until the bacon begins to brown.  (**note, if using turkey bacon, add a bit of olive oil to substitute for the grease.  Scrape occasionally from bottom of pan).  Add onion, thyme, garlic, celery, and optional jalepeno to pan and saute for 2 minutes.  Add corn, and cook 2 mins, stirring occasionally.  Add broth; bring to a boil, and cook for 4 mins.

2.  Scoop out 2 cups of the corn mixture and place in a blender.  Remove the center piece of the blender lid (to allow steam to escape) and secure lid.  Place a clean towel over opening in the blender lid (to prevent splattering).  Blend until smooth.  Return pureed portion to the pan.  Stir in shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done.  Stir in half and half, salt and pepper.  Pour soup into bowls and top with desired amount of shredded cheddar (low-fat!) cheese.

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