Corn Season Kick Off: Mexican Corn and Poblano Chowder

The start of all seasons is inspiring to chefs, but for me the spring and fall seasons really get me going.  Grilling and porch drinking are in full swing, taking advantage of the moderate temperature before the Florida  temperatures rise and push us indoors.   I especially love when the first crop of corn hits the market, as if it’s the symbol of all good summertime events.   Let the corn cooking begin.   


I saw this recipe in January using frozen corn and marked it for the start of corn season.  I also have recently fallen for Crema Mexican, thinner version of crème fraiche, sour cream.  The flavor is rich and provides an added depth to many dishes, with it slightly sour flavor, and resistance to breaking when heated.  It is now a stock item in our refrigerator.


Recipe has been slightly modified from Martha Stewart


  • 3 scallions
  • 1 large white onion, quartered lengthwise, root end kept intact
  • 2 large fresh poblano chiles (8 ounces)
  • 3 1/3 cup corn kernels, 4 ears, divided
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sea salt
  • 4 cups plus 3 tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fine cornmeal or masa harina
  • Crema Mexican



  1. Cut dark-green tops off scallions, and finely chop. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place scallions, onion, and chiles in skillet, and cook, undisturbed, until charred on bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn vegetables with tongs, and cook, undisturbed, until charred on other side, about 5 minutes. (Vegetables can also be broiled on a baking sheet.) 
  2. Transfer scallions to a blender. Continue turning and charring chiles and onion until charred on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove skillet from heat. Transfer onion to blender.
  3.  Transfer chiles to a bowl, cover immediately with plastic wrap, and let steam 15 minutes. Peel and discard charred skin from chiles, and remove stems and seeds. Halve chiles lengthwise, and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips.
  4.  Add 2 1/2 cups corn, the salt, and 2 cups water to blender. Puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer puree to skillet. Stir in remaining corn and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 8 minutes.
  5.  Whisk together cornmeal and remaining 3 tablespoons water. Stir into soup along with chiles, and simmer until it has the consistency of porridge, about 2 minutes.
  6.  Divide soup among 6 bowls; garnish with chopped scallion greens, and add a scoop of crema mexican. Soup can be refrigerated 2 days; let cool completely before refrigerating. Gently reheat in a covered pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally.


Back yard gardens are growing, farmer markets are getting in new local goods, sun is setting later, charcoal grills are burning, sprinklers are being run thru, cookouts are the new social scene! Cheers to all things spring blossoming!


Sweet Corn and Berry Ice Cream, an Ohio treasure travels south!

Sweet Corn and Berry Ice Cream- So unusual yet delicious!

On my recent trip to Ohio, I was fortunate enough to discover a few things, Sweets by Maggie Salted Caramel Cake Balls, Rockmill Brewery and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.  And I was even more fortunate to take home with me, Jeni’s recipes in her beautiful, smart cookbook, along with her offer to consult directly.  Thanks Jeni, I’ll call you if I need you, and yes, as you signed in my book, I will have many pleasures.  🙂

Mise en Place

This recipe is from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Cook Book.  I followed the instructions on my ice cream maker, make sure you do too!!

1 ear of sweet corn, husked
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoon) cream cheese, softened
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoon light corn syrup
Berry Sauce
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries
½ cup sugar 

Local Berries


Combine the berries and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 220 F (5-8 minutes).  Let cool slightly, then force thru a sieve to remove the seeds.  (Or leave them in there just to prove you made it.)  Refrigerate until cold before using.

Berries Cookin'


Prep Slice the kernels from the corn cob, the “milk” the cob by scraping it with the back of your knife to extract the liquid; reserve the kernels and liquid.

Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make smooth slurry.

Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth

Fill a large bowl with ice and water

Soaking the Corn Flavor Up!

Cook Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn and juices, and corn syrup in a 4 quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat, and boil for 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and for mixture thru a sieve into a bowl, leaving the corn “casing” behind.  Return the mixture to the saucepan and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.  Bring back to a boil over medium high heat and cook, stirring with a heat proof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.

Thru the Sieve- Squeeze every bit of flavor out you can!

Lil' Tip...if no one is around to hold your ziplock

Ice Bath- Shake it around to get it to cool even faster!

Chill Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth.  Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziplock freezer bag and submerge into the ice bath.   Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

Freeze Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.

You Scream, I Scream!

Pack the ice cream into a storage container, alternating it with layers of the berry sauce and ending with a spoonful of the sauce; do not mix.  Press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid.  Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Makes a generous quart

Sweet Corn and Berry Ice Cream-Quintessential Summer Treat!

I hope you enjoy this Ohio treasure as much as I do!