🍁🍂FALL is hereeee🍂🍁!!! First official day is Tomorrow, September 22nd. When I was shooting this recipe last weekend it felt like 30 degrees outside. This weekend, it’s supposed to feel like 10, so now it’s really time to warm up with this delicious Crispy Bacon Corn Chowder!! I love me a good corn chowder! Back in the day I remember my mom making me some corn chowder with the good old can of creamed corn (nothing against creamed corn it’s also delicious) but we’re taking the old school corn chowder and kicking it up a notch! Using fresh corn, bacon, fresh herbs, so good! It’s thick, creamy, slightly sweet with the corn and perfectly salty with the crispy bacon, is there a better combo? You can absolutely make this chowder the day before serving! Personally, I think it’s even better the next day! Let me tell you how I make it!
I start with fresh corn! 6 corn on the cob is what you will need. Obviously, the sweeter the corn the better!! I didn’t try it yet but I’m thinking if you want to make this in the dead of winter (because you want this chowder when it’s gonna be -30 outside and you can’t find fresh corn) you could probably use frozen corn kernels. I might thaw them before adding it in the chowder not to add extra water. But for now, go get some of that fresh corn on the cob🌽. If you made my BLT Corn & Avocado Salad, proceed the same way for removing the kernels from the cob. If you haven’t made that yet, here’s how: Remove all the husk from the cobs. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the bottom of the cob so it’s nice and sturdy when you hold it up on the cutting board. 6 large ears of corn should give you about 5 cups ish, even if it’s a little more or less it’s fine. Once you’ve removed all the kernels, set aside in a bowl until ready to use.
You will also need the following:
6 slices thick cut bacon, chopped into bite size pieces
¾ cups finely chopped white onions
½ cup finely chopped celery (keep the leafy tops for garnish)
1 large garlic clove, either crushed to be removed once it has flavoured the oil or finely chopped
2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
4 cups total chopped potatoes (I used fresh new potatoes and left the skins on but peeled is ok too, whatever you prefer)
2 TBSP AP Flour
2 cups Chicken Broth
4 cups whole milk (I used 3.25%)
Salt + Pepper
Optional : Fresh chives or parsley for garnish
If you have a large dutch oven, that’s what I love to use for this recipe. You can do everything in the same pot! If you don’t, any large pot should do the trick. Start of by heating the pan on medium-low heat. Add the chopped bacon with a drizzle of EVOO and cook until the crispiness is to your liking!!
This will probably take about 10 minutes. You don’t want the heat to high for it to burn! Once the bacon is done, carefully remove it with slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate. Leave the bacon fat in the pan***. To that bacon fat, add the chopped onions, celery and thyme, season with salt and pepper. You should still have the heat on medium low because you don’t want the veg to brown, you simply want them to cook slowly and become translucent.
If you simply want to infuse the oil and veg with the garlic flavour, add a crushed clove at the same time as the onions/celery. If you want to add garlic to the chowder, finely chop or grate on microplane and add once the veggies are translucent. Cook for another few minutes. At this point, if the pan looks dry, add a little more EVOO or a pat of butter. You are going to add a few tablespoons of AP flour to make a small roux so you want to have as much fat as flour. Once you have added the flour, stir frequently so it gets absorbed and cook for about 2 minutes. You want to cook out the flour so you won’t have that “raw” flour taste. After a few minutes it should smell a little nutty and the fat should have absorbed all that flour, add the chicken broth. With a wooden spoon, give everything a stir, scrape the bottom of the pan and turn up the heat to medium so the chicken broth is bubbling and it has thickened a little. Once the chicken broth mixture is simmering, add 4 cups of milk.
Add a tsp of kosher salt. Add the chopped potatoes, and bring to a simmer again. You don’t want it to boil once you’ve added the milk. Once it’s bubbling gently, put the cover on so its half covered and set the timer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally and scrape the bottom so it doesn’t stick. After 15 minutes, check one of the potatoes to make sure they are fork tender, add the corn kernels. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Scoop 2-3 cups of the chowder into a blender (be careful if still very hot) blend and add back to the pot of chowder. This will really help thicken the chowder. If you have an emersion blender, that could work too. Just give a few pulses directly in the chowder pot until you acquire desired consistency. Taste the seasoning again at this point… I added about 2 tsp salt total while cooking then adjusted the seasoning again at the end with S&P. Seasoning is important, it can make or break a recipe👌🏻.
At this point, you can serve the chowder right away or store it in the fridge until ready to serve and reheat it slowly on the stove. It’s bacon time people🤩🥓!!!! So, if you made this soup and you’re just serving it now, reheat the bacon bits in a small pan so they become crispy again, you neeeeed that crisp🙌🏻!! If you saved those leafy celery tops, chop them up! You could also garnish with some flat leaf parsley or fresh chives! K so let’s serve it up! Scoop up a big bowl of chowder, top with crispy bacon, fresh herbs, tiny drizzle of EVOO and Devoure😋! You could serve some nice biscuits on the side but it’s quite delicious on its own!
Hope this Crispy Bacon Corn Chowder warms you up on this chilly first weekend of Fall!!
PS: Part 2 of our vacation is below the recipe (it’s quite long but I just couldn’t stop myself🤭) Read or Don’t Read, it’s up to you😛!!
Crispy Bacon Corn Chowder is what dreams are made of! It’s creamy, thick, sweetness from the fresh corn and saltiness with the crispy bacon!!! So good!
- 6 Ears of Fresh Corn, you should have about 5 cups kernels
- 4 Cups total chopped potatoes
- 3/4 Cup finely chopped white onion
- 1/2 Cup finely chopped celery, save the leafy tops for garnish
- 1 large garlic clove, either smashed or finely chopped
- 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 6 Slices thick cut bacon
- 2 TBSP AP Flour
- 2 cups chicken broth, store bought or homemade
- 4 cups whole milk, 3.25%
- Optional: Fresh flat leaf parsley or fresh chives for garnish
- Salt & Pepper
- First off, start off by prepping all of your ingredients. Once you start cooking, it goes a lot quicker when everything is prepped and ready to go. If you are prepping ahead of time, keep the chopped potatoes in water so they don’t turn brown.
- Heat a large Dutch Oven over medium-low heat. Add the chopped bacon with a drizzle of EVOO. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring frequently. When Bacon is at desired “crispiness”, remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate. Keep the bacon fat in the pan.
- Add the onions, celery and fresh thyme to the oil. You want to keep the heat to medium-low as you don’t want the veggies to brown but rather become translucent, 5-10 minutes. For the garlic, you have 2 options: either smash the clove and add it at the same time as the other veg and remove it before adding the flour or finely chop/or grate it and add it once the onion/celery mixture is cooked. If you are adding grated garlic, just cook it for about 2-3 minutes.
- Once the veggies are cooked, you are going to add 2 TBSP flour to make a roux. If the pan is a little dry, add a little EVOO or a pat of butter to make sure there is as much fat as there is flour. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring frequently.
- Add 2 cups chicken broth. Bring up the heat to medium to bring the broth to a simmer. Give it a stir to make sure the flour has fully incorporated in the broth. When it’s simmering nicely and has slightly thickened, add 4 cups whole milk.
- Bring this mixture to a simmer. Once you add the milk you don’t want the mixture to boil just simmer. If the potatoes were in water, strain them and add the chopped potatoes to the pot.
- Place the cover on the pot slightly ajared, and simmer for 15 minutes stirring every few minutes so the milk doesn’t stick in the bottom of the pan. After 15 minutes, add the corn kernels and cook for 5 minutes.
- Test one of the potatoes to make sure they are fork tender, remove the chowder from the heat and let it sit 15-20 minutes.
- Scoop out 2-3 cups chowder into the blender (be careful if the chowder is still hot) blend to a smooth puree and add it back to the pot. Mix everything together. This will thicken the chowder. If you have an emersion blender, you could also use this. Give a few pulses directly in the pot until desired thickness is acquired.
- At this point, you can either serve it up right away or cool completely and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Garnish the chowder with crispy bacon, leafy celery tops, flat leaf parsley or fresh chives. Drizzle lightly with EVOO, salt & pepper and enjoy.
*If you prepped this ahead of time, reheat the bacon in a small pan to make sure it’s crispy and hot right before you serve.
Keywords: Corn, Bacon, Corn Chowder, Chowder
Let’s keep going on the second half of our trip shall we! I don’t know why we haven’t been to PEI in so long!! I haven’t been there for yearsss, like over 10 years ago! I feel like sometimes we tend to want to vacation further away but we really have beautiful places to visit so close to home! Obviously, I’m saying this because we absolutely loved it there, so beautiful, everything is just a short drive away!
I need to give a shout out to friend Rachel before I start!! She moved to PEI about 6 or 7 years ago (right Raych?) and she literally sent me recommendations for every part of the island. The best spots for coffee, brunch, dinner, the best fish & chips (and man was she right) … even the best scenic routes to take! Our trip wouldn’t have been the same without all her advice so thanks girl!! Much appreciated!
Now, let’s talk about the highlight… the one and only… The Inn at Bay Fortune😍! Ahhhh I’m going to try my best but the words won’t do it justice!! It doesn’t get much better than this place! First of all, it won Canada’s best Farm to Table Restaurant! Chef Michael Smith and his wife took over the Inn about 5 years ago and they transformed it into such a special place. The Inn has over 10 acres of organic farm. From herb gardens, to vegetables gardens, to pigs… Every morning the chefs meet up with the Inn’s head farmer and they go through all the gardens and pick out what’s at it’s peek that day and that’s what they serve at the restaurant! That along with a lot of things they preserved from the previous year like pickled fiddleheads (I didn’t think I like fiddleheads until I tasted pickled fiddleheads, so so good), pickled chanterelle mushrooms, garlic scapes… you name it they pickled it lol! So, we stayed at the Inn for a few days but you can go eat there without staying there! This is how it goes down, there are 3 huge tables and dinner is served family style. The evening starts with a farm tour from 5-6. The Inn’s head farmer brings everyone who is attending the dinner (which is called the FireWorks Feast) for a tour of the Inn’s grounds. He explains everything, what they grow, what’s in season, so much information and so interesting. The farm to table movement is just so impressive to me, and it’s all organic, bravo!! After the farm tour, it’s Happy Hour, my favourite hour😏lol!! This is not your regular HH let me tell you, it’s not only filled with delicious cocktails (like The East Islander I recreated, who tried it???) It’s also all you can eat OYSTERS!!!! Freshly shucked by some of the team and Chef Michael Smith himself!! Served with bloody mary ice, amazing. Just so happened that during our stay, they shucked their
100 000 Oyster!! How cool is that? That’s not all folks, there’s more, all you can eat smoked salmon, tacos and sausage (obviously made in house like everything else). This is the Taco Station how cool is that! Again, everything cooked on the open fire!! Yes, all of this before a 6-course meal… yeah, unreal! So here was Dinner:
Course #1, Bread Tree: Freshly baked bread with three spreads; whipped butter (lemon basil I think), whipped cheese and happy pig paté (from last years piggy’s).
Coure#2, Chowder: Seafood Chowder packed with lobster, crab, clam, mussels and halibut👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻. Scallops might have been in there too, can’t remember.
Course#3, TUNA: PEI is renown for it’s amazing Bluefin Tuna (which I learned on this trip and I’m a little disappointed in myself that I did not know this) and did they every showcase it in this plate. Tuna 3 ways, Tartar, Tataki and I’m pretty sure the third way was smoked… Whatever it was it was Unreal!
Course#4, Salad: The salad course had 32 ingredients total if I remember correctly. The plate came with a few different purees and a crumble. They served the salad on the side with allll the fresh garden veggies, delicious vinaigrette and pop corn on top! YUM!
Course#5, Meat & Veg: Pork two ways, the loin and the belly! Served with a bunch of roasted veg, potatoes, squash, green beans, kale & so much more. (BTW, like we are not insanely full at this point but also can’t stop eating… the Chefs came around the tables with seconds😂😂. As delicious as that pork belly was, we skipped out lol.)
Course#6, Dessert: Perfect light dessert, zucchini cake with berry sorbet and some kind of cream cheese whipped something on the bottom, again… delicious!
This was paired with some delicious vino! On top of everything, they finish the night by thanking everyone there and gave us all little bag of pea shoots to plant in our own gardens + passed around homemade marshmallows to everyone and made a bonfire outside so we could roast them. I mean… I’m not even kidding you guys this is a real place I’m not making it up lol! If you have a chance to go, go! It’s unbelievable and it’s definitely an experience like no other.
OMG: I almost forgot to talk about the breakfast!! Let me sum it in one word: BACON! The best damn bacon I’ve ever had. Basically, a crispy pork chop to be honest! With a choice of eggs how ever you want them or some type of carb. One morning it was pancakes and the next morning is was oatmeal crusted French toast with whipped mascarpone and berries. There is also a pastry station with scones, cinnamon rolls, bread and all the spreads! They also bring you freshly squeezed orange juice, a smoothie and yogurt with granola! Yup, that’s how they start the day at The Inn at Bay Fortune!
Now, I could go on and about the rest of our stay in PEI but I know you don’t have all day to read our shenanigans so I’m going to list the places we ate and visited that we’re amazing and you should definitely go if you are in the area!
If you’re in the Eastern PEI (Souris Area)
The Poke Shack – Obviously we had Bluefin Tuna Poke with spicy mayo and ginger soy. They also had local Kombucha on tap, great place for lunch.
Lobster Shack – Classic Lobster Roll served with B&B Pickles and Lays chips. Had a diet coke with that and it was 👌🏻
Myriad Distillery – We bought the Gin! The Inn used all of there products for the cocktails!!
Charlottetown & North Shore
Sugar Skull Cantina – Fish Tacos + Street Corn + Coronas 🙌🏻🙌🏻
Merchantman – Oysters, Smoked Salmon board & Dirty Martinis #YASS!
Craft Beer Corner – Delicious craft beer flight. BTW, check out all the hand made wood work in this place, all done by Raych’s insanely talented husband Brodye (check out his Insta for all the amazingness – Brodye Chappell Builds)
Hopyard – Craft Beer and the most… amazing… Tater Tots!!! Yes, Tater Tots. Smothered in Pad Thai sauce! Un-freaking-real! Also had dumplings and the best churro I’ve had.
Brickhouse – We only had a cocktail here but the menu looked great and the drink was delish!
Terre Rouge – Some kind of bourbon/amaretto Sour, really good! Oysters, Mussels, Lobster Cannelloni & Nutella Crème Brulé.
Richard’s – Allright… listen to me carefully… you need to go for, ASAP (well I think it’s closed for the season lol but when it opens up again)! Hand downs, best Fish & Chip I’ve ever had… ever! So fresh, light, crispy (pretty sure they coat it in potato flakes) and served with a Sundried Tomato and dill tartar sauce😵🙏🏻!!!!! Also, the fried clams ever battered in the same coating so were also the BOMB! Fries were excellent btw! Wait, there’s more😂 the lobster roll, also one of the best I’ve ever had, like top 3. Pretty sure it had a whole lobster in there! Anyways, here is the delicious proof! Drool worthy right?
Receiver Coffee Shop – Awesome americano & cold brew, brought some beans for home! We had breakfast here both mornings in Charlottetown! First morning we shared some sourdough toast with homemade jam (berry/apple) & crunchy peanut butter (which I think was also homemade). Took a chocolatine to go🙊. Next morning, we had some croissant breakfast sandwich & left with a Sourdough loaf to take home!!
Last and Final stop worth mentioning, The Cooks Edge! This is not a restaurant but its certainly food related, a Japanese Knife Shop😍. We had been looking into buying some new knives for the cottage so we were really excited to visit this spot! The owner was very helpful and knew ALL the details about ALL the knives, so impressive. While I do most of the cooking in our house I do need to admit that my husband does most of the chopping/prepping so I let him choose! We bought 3, and they are perfect! I’ll snap some pictures of them soon, we’re waiting to open them up when we settle in at the Lake!!
OK, that’s about it, that’s enough right lol? This vacation was filled with relaxing, eating, drinking & friends, exactly what we needed! I really do hope that if you travel to either NS or PEI, this will help! Again, thanks Raych for all the amazing recommendations around the Island😘.