A fun twist on a classic favorite - this smoky corn chowder is full of flavor and will be done in a jiffy, thanks to the Instant Pot!
I promised myself I'd stop whining about the piles of snow and ridiculously cold temperatures we're (still) having here in Iowa....and I will. But it's March and the current temperature is -3 degrees F. Anybody else currently thinking that groundhog is a lying S.O.B.??
Well either way, it's cold out and that's just part of living in middle-of-nowhere, USA. Although I'm craving walks to the park, sunshine, and not having to layer up every time I step out the door, one piece of winter I'm not quite "over" with yet is sitting down to a warm, yummy bowl of soup.
As I was looking for some meat in our deep freeze last week, I realized I had a bag of sweet corn I had cut off the cob this past summer. If there's anything that can transport you to summer in Iowa, it's sweet corn. I always loved when Mom would pull out a bag of corn from the freezer in the middle of the winter....although it isn't exactly like eating it off the cob, it's equally delicious.
For those of you who aren't familiar with growing sweet corn, here's a little background. Sweet corn is only good for a couple weeks in the summer. Once the corn gets too mature, the kernels tend to get chewy, less sweet, and a starchy texture. Therefore, we always tried to freeze corn before it went bad.....it took a full day and was an "all hands on deck" job.
Honestly, I dreaded it. It was always hot and muggy to start with. We'd get up early to pick the corn and fill a trailer, then spend hours shucking it and getting as many silks (you know, those stringy little things) off as we could. Then, we'd send the corn cobs into the kitchen where Mom would do her magic - cut the corn off the cob, cook it, add a little salt and sugar, and put it into bags to enjoy later on. So, it's a long process, but totally worth it!
This recipe is perfect for that freezer corn.....and if you don't have any, regular corn from the freezer will work just fine too! I've had a few people asking for more Instant Pot recipes, so hopefully this one will be a hit with your families!
Instant Pot Smoky Corn Chowder
Smoked paprika brings a new twist to the classic corn chowder, and as always, the Instant Pot brings this meal together super fast!
-1 lb bacon
-4 c chicken broth
-1 14.75 oz can creamed corn
-3 c frozen corn
-3 c diced potato
-1 c diced carrot
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 tablespoon smoked paprika*
-2 tablespoon corn starch
-1 c heavy whipping cream
-Sliced green onions, cracked black pepper, and crackers, optional
1. Chop the bacon into 1 inch pieces.
2. Turn the Instant Pot on the "saute" setting and cook the bacon until it is crisp.
3. Add the chicken broth, creamed corn, frozen corn, potatoes, carrots, salt and paprika. Stir and close the lid.
4. Make sure the release valve is in the "sealing" position and press the "manual" button on high pressure.
5. Set the timer to 8 minutes.
6. Once the cook time is complete, use a hot pad to quick release the vent.
7. Once enough pressure is released, you will be able to open the lid and remove it.
8. In a small bowl, combine the whipping cream and cornstarch.
9. Turn the Instant Pot back to the "saute" setting and slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook until thickened.
10. Serve with sliced green onions, crackers, and cracked black pepper, if desired.
*I used the "Spice Islands" brand but there are several brands out there. If you are unable to find smoked paprika, regular paprika would be good too - it would just have less smoke flavor.