Sunday, October 19, 2008

Supper Corn Chowder

Between the economy taking a bite out of my tutoring business and my husband's surgery offering him a 3 to 4 week unpaid vacation, I really have to get serious about budget meals. I am tapping into my great resources of will power and pantry to avoid hitting the supermarket. Making meals out of what you have on hand is a great yet satisfying challenge. The one imperative that you must obey is have an ample supply of basics on hand. Items such as rice, pasta, potatoes, canned vegetables, frozen vegetables, cream soups, bouillon or broths, dried beans, canned tomato products, and, if you have a separate freezer, chicken and ground meat. I also like to keep several packages of bacon. Oh, and cheese..gotta have cheese. I try to get to Costco once a month to replenish anything I have run low on. But to make Costco cost effective you have to be aware of prices at other grocery chains. Certain items are worth the trip, others are not. I also use WalMart and another huge grocery store here in the northwest called Winco. Taking advantage of the offerings of these 3 stores in keeping my pantry stocked with basics really helps in creating cost effective meals. (I am not even going to get into the baking items.)

The following recipe is one from a 35 year old Betty Crocker cookbook. The book long ago met its demise, but the recipe lives on. This was titled "Supper Corn Chowder". I would rename it "Super Corn Chower" as it really is super. I make this at least once a month. It's easy, economical, and very tasty. And you should have everything on hand.


5 slices of bacon sliced into small pieces
1/2 medium onion diced
1 cup diced cooked potatoes (I like to use either red or Yukon gold...they hold up better)
1/2 can whole kernel corn
1 10 1/2 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
2 2/1 cup milk
salt to taste

Cook bacon in a large pot until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot to a paper towel. Drain off the bacon grease reserving 2 TBS. Add onions to the grease and cook until tender. I like to let mine slightly carmelize for more flavor. Add the corn, potatoes, soup, and milk. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Add in part of the bacon, reserving some for garnish. Add salt to taste and heat through. Be careful not to scorch. When dished up top with a bit of the reserved bacon.

This recipe is easily doubled. I don't think I have ever made just the single recipe. As with most soups, it definitely is better the next day. And again, it is flexible. You can absolutely add more potates, corn, bacon...whatever makes you grin. And this is really good with hot biscuits. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Carl and Pat said...

This is intriguing...I used to be so good at stretching the budget and making so many economic meals, and I want to get back! You could make good money writing a cookbook, my dear!! Keep the great recipes coming.