Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Instant Pot Corn Chowder

You know when you think you’re grabbing the paprika but you grab the cayenne by mistake, dump a whole spoonful into the pot, stir it up, and then read the label? Anyone? 

I didn’t think so. But, um, it totally happened when I was first testing this soup. Maybe you have had a similar experience, but if you haven’t, let me spell it out for you: 

S.P.I.C.Y. 

At least thats what happened with this particular mistake. HA! 

But, I made it through that bowl of extra spicy soup and thought, hey, when you taste past the cayenne this is pretty dang good. Once your mouth stops burning and all. (I love spicy food, but this just was a bit too much, something even a half cup of heavy cream stirred in didn’t calm). 

Instant Pot Corn Chowder
Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Assuming you can read the labels on your spice jars better than I can, this corn chowder is the stuff summer evenings are made of. At least it is for me, because it reminds me of sitting on the back patio at my mom’s house as a kid, slurping on corn chowder while the sun dips down behind the mountains and the day’s heat finally gives way to a cool evening breeze. (Hi Mom, maybe you should send me that recipe?!) 

This version is lighter that the one of my childhood (and most chowders, really) — forgoing flour and bacon, it is full of fresh corn flavor and has creaminess from Yukon gold potatoes and a splash of the good stuff (half and half). And really, when it’s this hot of a summer, light is what it’s alllll about. 

Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Published July 5, 2018 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 medium yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 16 ounces frozen corn kernels, thawed, reserve 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1-3 dashes of cayenne, to taste
  • Dash of paprika for garnish
  • Optional: shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

  • Directions:

    1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of an Instant Pot (affiliate link!) on the sauté setting. Add the diced onion, minced garlic, carrot, and bell pepper until the onions are transparent.
    2. Add potatoes, corn kernels, 2 tablespoons minced parsley, salt, pepper, bay leaf, thyme, and broth. Place lid on Instant Pot and turn to the Soup setting, setting the timer to 4 minutes with the vent in the sealed position.
    3. After the timer goes off, release the pressure. Remove the thyme and bay leaf. Using an immersion blender (like this one (affiliate link!)) purée the soup, leaving a few chunks according to you preference. Stir in the half and half, and add cayenne to taste.
    4. Serve soup hot in bowls, topped with a fresh fresh corn kernels, a dash of paprika, minced parsley, and optionally, shredded cheddar.

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    Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    Pan Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    My first (and maybe my last?) fishing pole was a Mickey Mouse fishing pole.

    With a conviction to teach his daughter where food came from, my dad took me fishing when I was young. I remember catching a fish just once, but remember at least several meals while camping that my dad had caught on a hook.

    In Colorado our fishing access is limited to creeks and reservoirs (there are a few lakes, but they are tiny, some would call them ponds). It seems it is always trout, though I really know nothing about fishing, so I could be wrong. But what I know is that many a meal was served to me as a kid, where a whole trout was seasoned and roasted. I struggled to learned how to separate the meat from the bones in one fell swoop, usually picking them out one by one. 

    I know that seeing the whole fish is off putting to some— I don’t blame you. But to me, it’s part of the experience. It says something about that dish; makes it feel “more,” like maybe your dad caught the fish himself.

    Pan Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary
    Pan Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    Fresh, trout can have a quite mild flavor. It’s meat is flakey and delicate, and pairs well with a spritz of lemon, a side of potatoes, and fresh herbs. 

    It feels like a hallmark of summer to me: a sign that the creeks are gushing and full of life, a part of camping season, and best enjoyed with other fresh summer finds, like rosemary. 

    Pan Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    Published June 26, 2018 by
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    Yields: 2-4   |    Active Time: 45 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2 whole trout, dedressed 
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 springs rosemary 
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 3 cups diced red potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss diced potatoes and minced garlic in olive oil. Spread out on a sheet pan, and sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper. Then, bake for 30 minutes, until potatoes are just starting to turn golden on the outside.
    2. Meanwhile, season each fish with the remaining salt & pepper. Then, place half of the lemon slices and 1 sprig of rosemary in the cavity of each fish. If desired, tie the fish closed with twine.
    3. After the potatoes have cooked for 30 minutes, push them to either side of the baking sheet to make room for the fish. Place each fish on the pan, and return pan to oven for 20 minutes, or until meat is opaque and easily flakes when pricked with a fork. Potatoes should also be tender all the way through when pricked with a fork. Serve hot.

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    Tex-Mex Potatoes & Eggs

    Tex-Mex Potatoes & Eggs

    Five miles in, and struggling to keep up, I still had a smile plastered over my face. It was Memorial Day weekend, and we were spending it up at Mount Evans. For the first time all week, the stress headache building at the back of my head had calmed itself. I went back to that moment in my head at mile nine, on our way back out.

    The hike to the Mount Evans climbing area is unique because you have to climb up and then down and then up again, which means that on the way back home you have to climb down and then up again before you get to go down again. You are exhausted and that last little stretch of climbing is a mental battle. It didn’t help that it was our first day in the alpine this season -- where the air is thin.

    Tex-Mex Potatoes & Eggs
    Tex-Mex Potatoes & Eggs

    Once back at home, we snuggled into the couch with plates of food (you know when you are just too tired to make anything, so you just throw stuff together?) and binge watched the last few episodes of Atypical (which I recommend doing). 

    The next morning a feast was an order: a hearty breakfast with starches, carbs, and eggs with runny yolks. Revitalization! Fuel. That’s how this dish came to life. And oh, did it hit the spot.

    If you’ve read Foraged Breakfast, you might be familiar with my story about Huevos Rancheros. My love of Tex-Mex breakfasts continues here: the potatoes have been spiced with chili powder, cumin, and paprika. The addition of avocado is a no-brainer for me; you might want to add some cheese two (we were out). 

    I also used a little hat trick, boiling the potatoes with a bit of baking soda before roasting them. This coats the outside of the potatoes in a starchy slurry, which when roasted, turns into those super crispy bits we all love (like at the restaurants 🤤). 100% worth the extra step! It also means the potatoes need less time in the oven… and since this weekend it was over 90°F (in May no less!), keeping the oven use to a minimum is a huge bonus. 

    You also cook the eggs in the same pan as the potatoes, adding them in part of the way through. Read: Less dishes.

    This is a perfect way to serve a crowd — if you double the recipe, use a 9x13 inch casserole dish!

    Tex-Mex Potatoes & Eggs

    Tex-Mex Potatoes & Eggs

    Published June 7, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 60 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 4 cups diced Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 4-5 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (avocado oil or melted coconut oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 4 eggs
  • Cilantro, minced, for serving
  • Optional: Avocado, for serving

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat over to 425°F.
    2. Place diced potatoes with water and baking soda in a pot and set on stove over medium-high heat. Water should complete cover potatoes -- if it does not, add more. Bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes.
    3. Pour potatoes into a strainer and discard of water. Place potatoes in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with cooking oil, and the sprinkle with spices: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir potatoes with a spatula until all are equally covered in oil and spices. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
    4. Potatoes should be tender all the way through and starting to get crispy on the outside. Use a spoon to make four wells in the potatoes for the eggs. Crack an egg into each one, and then return the dish to the oven for 10-15 minutes, until egg whites are set and yolks are cooked to desired doneness.
    5. Sprinkle with minced cilantro and salt & pepper to taste, and serve hot with sliced avocado.

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