Monday, January 03, 2011

Potato-Corn Chowder, and a recipe from Pioneer Woman for dessert

I have only one more night after tonight to cook for Kenny, before he heads to New Mexico. So tonight I wanted to make something I knew he'd like, and started with some easy soup.  Half of this soup comes from cans - one can of creamed corn and one can of regular.  Kenny likes to add a little curry powder to his, so this is an option you can try.

Potato-Corn Chowder

2-3 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 large potato, cut in small cubes (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups water
1 15-oz. can cream-style corn
1 15-oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
3 cups milk
1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: bacon bits, curry powder

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in the butter until tender. Add potato and water; bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until liquid is nearly evaporated (potato should hold its shape but mash easily). Add remaining ingredients (except bacon bits and curry powder).  Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve with bacon bits and/or curry powder, if desired.  Serves 4 hungry people.

After dinner, Kenny said he wanted something for dessert other than cookies. I remembered seeing a recipe for "chocolate cobbler" on Pioneer Woman, and knew that I had one - though my mother called it Chocolate Pudding Cake. I couldn't easily locate her recipe, so I used the one from Pioneer Woman.

Chocolate Cobbler
(also known as Chocolate Pudding Cake)
from The Pioneer Woman

1 cup All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
7 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder, Divided
1- ¼ cup Sugar, Divided
½ cups Milk
⅓ cups Melted Butter
1- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ cups Light Brown Sugar, Packed
1- ½ cup Hot Tap Water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. First stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, 3 tablespoons of the cocoa, and 3/4 cup of the white sugar. Reserve the remaining cocoa and sugar. Stir in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla to the flour mixture. Mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 8-inch baking dish. I prefer my small oval Corning Ware glass dish.*  In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining white sugar (it should be 1/2 cup), the brown sugar, and remaining 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter. Pour the hot tap water over all. DO NOT STIR! Bake for about 40 minutes or until the center is set. Let stand for a few minutes if you can hold yourself back. Serve with homemade ice cream using the gooey sauce to spoon over all.

* Err on the side of caution - I used an 8" stoneware dish - it all fit in it prior to cooking - but it has exploded all over the sides and is dripping on the bottom of the stove.  Ah, the smell of burnt sugar!  Use a larger dish.