Christmas is over and now I can relax. They aren’t kidding when they talk about the hustle and bustle of it. It’s just non-stop ‘ON’ for weeks. However I kinda miss the radio playing Christmas songs 24/7… well okay I don’t miss hearing Mariah Carey every 17 minutes. Love her singing but I had Mariah overload this year! There were many a times I was ready to throw dough at the radio when her songs came on. Either sing a new one or put a rule in place that it’s 1 Mariah song once a day and that’s it. Oy! So how were your holidays? Ours were nice, quiet. This was the first year we didn’t decorate and it bothered me a lot. As I said the other day we’re in the midst of construction and dust, equipment, drywall and stuff is EVERYWHERE. I mean EVERYWHERE! I actually have a sink on my dining room floor, dry wall platform steps in my kitchen and just stuff…EVERYWHERE. So rather than put up the holiday stuff and risk it either A – get broken or B – get covered in construction dust, we opted not to decorate. Thus I wasn’t in the Christmas spirit much and it bothered me however we still had a great day. Santa was good to both of us even though we both told Santa no presents this year since we had to put in a new HVAC (over $11k) and a new roof (over $40k). But Santa managed to find a money tree to get us each some awesome things.
This year I finally decided to make a ham instead of a turkey (trust me, trying to decide was tough for me). I managed to find a smaller ham, still was 11 pounds though and whipped up my famous Bourbon Orange Glazed ham with extra pineapple and cherries on top, his candied yams (which I managed to set off the smoke detector with – hate making them), duchess potatoes and baked beans. Simple and still more than enough for the two of us. Needless to say we have a lot of ham leftover however I don’t mind as I made a bunch of recipes using it up in ways other than breakfast ham steaks.
This Creamy Ham Potato and Corn Chowder is one my FAVORITE ways to use up leftover ham. It’s thick and hearty (cause that’s how I like my chowders) and full of flavor. Plus it affords me the opportunity to use up what I have and not just freeze up the ham only to get lost in my freezer until summer to which then I end up throwing it out. Yeah, I’ve done that and am not proud of it. I HATE wasting food. This, however, this is re-purposing it in a deliciously awesome way! Often I’ll buy a small ham just to create 5 or so recipes for the week that include the same common item – ham. However Mr. Fantabulous is none the wiser. He just sees them all as completely new meals. Which essentially they are with a little help of a single ham cooking. Pretty genius, huh?
Now I have a confession when it comes to this dish. See when I take these photos, the food is steaming hot and just out of the oven/stove. By the time I go to eat it, it’s luke warm or cold which means I tend to have to reheat it. Now I’m not complaining but realize that almost all of us that run websites like mine rarely get a hot meal. Well this is one of those exceptions. See I took a few shots and the more I shot the photos the more I swear I was salivating for it. So I put down the camera and and had to eat it – perfectly hot, creamy and just… god! So needless to say by the time I got to finish the shoot the soup had chilled a tad. However I made another batch for the shoot (and for the freezer because this was so worth freezing several more containers of) and took more piping hot photos.
Speaking of photos, what do you think of these shots? They are taken with my new camera lens that Santa got me. It’s a macro lens and it allows for amazing close-up details. I’m still learning and am looking at taking a class this Spring on photography. I’ve think over the years I’ve got a bajillion times better but I know once I have a solid understanding of the mechanics, the what this does and what that does, my shots will be truly outstanding. For now I do the best I can with limited knowledge and the help of my TKW family and several professional photographer friends.
And let’s talk about these bowls and plates! Or as I call it, my ‘Food Porn Props’. I decided to go out the day after Christmas to see what I could get on clearance. Now I figured it would be a mad house so I didn’t get out until 1ish. That was probably the best thing I could have done as there was NO ONE on the road nor in the stores. And further more almost all of the clearance stuff was still there. THANK YOU PEOPLE THAT STAYED HOME! Anyway, these bowls and plates I got for 50 cents to a buck each. Nice, huh?
Now when you make this you can peel the potatoes but for me I love the look (and taste) of the skin on potatoes in a soup or chowder. It just gives it a rustic look. This chowder came together in under 30 minutes. I swear the longest time out of the entire recipe was cutting everything up. The only thing you really have to be pretty even on is the size of the potatoes. You want them all pretty much the same size to allow for even cooking. The rest, well that can be rustic though I tend to like the ham the same size as the potatoes however I’m anal about certain things. LOL
Now that Christmas is over and the weather has been fairly mild with only a few inches or so of snow, our truly bitter cold season is approaching – mid January through to March. This is the perfect chowder to stock up on now and throw into the freezer. So when you’re stuck home and snowed in you don’t have to fret about running to the market to get stuff to make this. Go open up your freezer, thaw and enjoy a great bowl of chowder.Print
- 3 1/2 cups diced (skin on) red potatoes, about 1/2” cubes
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cups diced cooked ham, about 1/2” cubes
- 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
- 3 1/4 cups chicken stock
- 1 – 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 – 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 Tbl butter
- 7 Tbl flour , divided
- 2 cups plus 2 Tbl half and half
- 1/3 cup green onions, chopped whites and greens
- 1 cup shredded cheddar plus additional for garnish
- Crispy bacon for garnish
- Combine the potatoes, onion, ham, corn and chicken stock in a large pot.
- Bring to just to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 13 minutes.
- In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.
- Whisk in 4 Tbl of flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in half and half so that lumps don’t form and until 2 cups of half and half has been added.
- Continue whisking over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Stir the half and half mixture into the stockpot along with 1 cup of cheese and green onions, and cook soup until heated through.
- In a small bowl add the remaining half and half and 2 Tbl flour and whisk to combine (no lumps).
- Pour that mixture into the soup to make it extra thick.
- Add in the 1 tsp salt and 1 1/2 tsp pepper and stir gently.
- Taste and add the remaining salt if necessary.
- Serve and garnish with cheddar cheese, green onions and bacon.
And if you really wanted to get all cozy comfy with it, put it in a homemade bread bowl (which you can make and freeze too!).