This evening, after a hectic day househunting, L and I made Bacon-Makes-It-Better Corn Chowder with Tomato and Ricotta Salata Salad. Whilst the title is dreadful, bacon really did make this soup better than a bacon-free version. Unfortunately for a garnish, the bacon sank into the soup without a trace. Obviously this didn’t affect the taste, but it would have looked nice in the photo. The soup is pretty easy to make and I am ridiculously glad that we could use fresh corn rather than frozen. We shucked the corn and simmered the husks in the chicken stock for maximum corn flavour. Meanwhile we browned the bacon then sautéed the onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and hot sauce in butter and olive oil. The corn kernels were added once the onion started to brown, then a handful of flour was sprinkled over the mixture. The hot stock and some heavy cream were whisked in to the vegetables, and the whole lot simmered for about 10 minutes. When the soup was ready to serve, we sprinkled the bacon and some oyster crackers over the top to garnish.
The soup with some crusty bread would have been a fine substantial meal by itself. A decent salad was also served alongside the soup. There was just far too much food with the salad, but it was nice to have some fresh vegetables. Cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, parsley and ricotta salata were mixed in a bowl with a dressing of Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, olive oil and fresh basil. The salad was good and refreshing, but did seem a little superfluous for a meal for two.
Tomorrow we kick off our 3 day mashed potato marathon with Super Mashers with Steak and Pepper Hash. We’re trying to make some big decisions about where to move. Today we revisited a big house which needs an enormous amount of work, and is in a not great part of the street in a good neighbourhood. It’s cheap and currently owned by a bank. We also looked at a smaller house in the same neighbourhood on a nicer part of the street, which just needs new paint and some landscaping. The kitchen could be redone via Ikea, but it has a beautiful Viking professional range. But it is smaller, much smaller, and more expensive, but we wouldn’t have to spend the next 10 years working on the house. But maybe we’d outgrow the house in a few years. But we’d just have to paint. There’s another house that’s bigger and more expensive but in a nice neighbourhood, but not the neighbourhood we’d ideally like to be in. I could go on, but I’ll spare you more of the fascinating internal dialogue.