Sitting at the corner table in Estia’s Little Kitchen with Connie, a spoonful of corn chowder in my mouth, I’m immediately taken back to my previous home in Jamaica, Queens. A burst of heat and plenty of cilantro in the broth is exactly how I enjoyed Momma Lupe’s soups. I called a gentleman over and asked in a single word, “tomatillos?” And in a single word returned, “poblanos.” Again I was back in a little kitchen of my own, in another time and place, where sounds of the blender filled the room as poblanos and cilantro became one, beautiful green.
Gratitude to this garden-to-table family restaurant for allowing me a taste of memory. Our waiting area was the best wait I’ve ever experienced in my life. They serve iced coffee in a truck out back where they are currently growing many lettuce greens and herbs, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes. Check out that dragonfly chillin’ on a garlic scape. We walked around til our names were called and made sure we would return before heading back into the city.
Inspired by their chowder (I had never seen a green corn chowder, have you?), I made my own and I am loving every morning, afternoon, and night with a bowl of this. It’s good hot and room temp, probably even cold. It goes perfectly with an egg, avocado, a sprinkle of cotija, crispy tortillas. To make it a bit light, I use coconut milk instead of cream and I leave out potatoes. I also grilled the ingredients to get that summer flavor I love.
Grilled Spicy Corn Chowder with Cilantro and Basil
- 6 ears of sweet corn
- 3 poblano peppers deseeded if you prefer less heat
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 small spanish onion diced
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1.5 tsp dried oregano or few sprigs of fresh oregano
- 2 c cilantro chopped, stems ok
- 1 c basil
- 5 c chicken or vegetable stock hot*
- 13.5 oz organic coconut milk full fat
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place 4 ears of corn in a cast iron skillet, or on a grill, and char them a few minutes on each side, turning often. This should take no more than 8-10 minutes. The other 2 ears of corn you will cut into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
- Spend about 10 minutes charring the peppers as well, 5 minutes a side.
- When cool enough to handle, stand each ear of corn into a bowl and cut kernels off of them. Slice your poblanos, deseeding if you'd like.
- Take about half of the kernels and put them into a food processor along with the poblanos. Blend for a few seconds then add your cilantro and basil. Continue to blend til it reaches desired consistency.
- In a pot, warm up your coconut oil and sauté your onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin for about a minute. Then add the green mixture along with the rest of the kernels and 1-inch pieces, sauté for another minute. Stir in your coconut milk and hot stock. Simmer for about 8. It doesn’t take long!Enjoy <3 Corn is making their summer appearance now but soon, it’ll be EV-ERY-WHERE.