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THE GARDNER MUSEUM CAFE COOKBOOK

THE GARDNER MUSEUM CAFE COOKBOOK

 

by Lois McKitchen Conroy (The Harvard Common Press. 1985)

I don't know where I got this book - sadly not at the "tiny oasis within an oasis" as the Boston Globe calls the Gardner Museum - but then, there are many titles in my collection that seem to be there through no active decision on my part. This doesn't detract in any way from the pleasure I take in having them.

It seemed fitting to choose the Corn Chowder with Tarragon.

Corn Chowder with Tarragon

INGREDIENTS:

Serves 6 to 8 servings

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dried tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Dash paprika
  • 4 medium red potatoes, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 pound (4 cups) corn kernels
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • Ground black pepper

 

METHOD:

  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan over low to medium heat.  Saute the onions, peppers, garlic, and celery until soft and clear, but not brown.  Add the bay leaves and saute for another minute, until fragrant.
  2. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tarragon, salt, spices, potatoes, and water.  Let simmer uncovered 40 minutes, until the liquid reduces to about 2 cups.  Add the corn.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large pot; add the heavy cream.  Heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  4. Ladle the chowder into bowls, and top with a dash of fresh-ground pepper.
  5. This makes a wonderful main dish for 6 when served with Mandarin Orange, Walnut, and Papaya Salad and warm crusty pumpernickel bread with butter.  Or serve it as an appetizer for 8 with a light main dish.