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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Corn Chowder with Butternut Squash

It has been pretty cold the last few days and snowy too.  So I decided to make some soup before going to work on Monday.  I love my crock pot and use it a lot, especially in the winter time.  I wanted to make some Duane friendly soup, so I started looking for a bean or corn variety on Pinterest.  I remembered seeing one that looked good a while back.  Well, I could not find the one I was thinking of, but I did find an interesting corn chowder.  The recipe can be found  here, but remember, I like to change things up a bit and make them a little more Duane friendly and use what I have on hand. I will give you my recipe as we go.

This picture is of the leftovers. I was at work when Duane ate it and did not get to take the final picture in the crock pot.  It still looks tasty though.  Much better tasting than I thought it would be.  I added butternut squash instead of potatoes and I am not a big fan of squash.  The ham gives it just the right amount of flavor to make you almost forget their is even squash in it.  Although my kids loved it as babies, they won't even touch it now, but they don't like to try new things.  Someday they will learn that it's not so bad after all.

The recipe I found called for potatoes, creamed corn, canned corn, chicken broth, ham, onion, butter and cream or milk.  I had on hand cream of chicken soup, ham, onion, creamed corn, frozen corn and butternut squash.  I figured the squash was similar in texture and cooking time as potatoes and Duane can't eat potatoes but he can eat squash and likes it very much.  He will cut it in half and bake it for an hour or so and then eat it with cinnamon on it or plain.  Yuck, I can eat it that way, but do not like it much.  Something about the way it sits in my stomach, I just don't care for it that way.  But I did like it in the chowder.  It was a pretty big squash, so I only used half of it.  I cut it into halves, quarters and then eighths.  I shaved the outer layer off with my knife, very carefully, so as not to cut myself.  I like not having seeds to clean out, that is a plus with butternut squash.  Then I cut it up into about 1 inch thick chunks, so it would cook quicker.

I figured that cream of chicken was just about the same as chicken broth, butter and cream.  I did rinse the can and add the water into the mixture.  I think it worked out just fine.  You could use 2 small cans, but this is what I had on hand, so I used it.

I had some ham left over from the chicken Cordon Bleu last week.  I chopped it into about 1/2 inch or slightly larger squares.  It was pre-sliced and they were thick, so I only used 2 slices.

Chop and add the onion.  I used a nicer dicer, it works great.  If you don't have a fancy chopper or slicer, just cut it into small chunks.  I like them small, but it is up to you and how big you like them.
 Add the can of creamed corn and about 1 or 2 cups of frozen corn.  Stir it up a bit and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.  I started on low for about 2 hours, but thought it would take too long, so I turned it up to high just before I left for work at 1:30.  Duane ate around 6, so it was on high for about 4 or 5 hours.  I left him a note to smash up the squash a little before he ate it.  He said it was a little runny, but still good.  I think if you smash them up and let it cook for another 30 minutes or so, it would thicken up more.  It was thicker the next night, when we ate leftovers.  I always like my crock pot concoctions the next day.  Something about having the flavors meld together and congeal a little more.  I think I might add a little garlic next time or some other seasonings, just to see if it will make it even better.

Chowder mixture before cooking.

It was a very yummy dinner, both times around.  That is another thing I love about making stuff in the crock pot, you can make a big batch and eat leftovers once or twice.  I hope you enjoyed the post.  If you have any suggestions or recipes to share, pleas leave a comment.  Happy Cooking!!!

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