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Pietro's Corn Chowder

6 slices bacon, diced
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. diced carrots
1 C. diced potatoes
1/4 C. diced red bell pepper
1/4 C. chopped parsley
3 C. (12 oz.) frozen corn or 2 (14 to 15 oz.) cans whole-kernel corn, drained
6 C. water
1 t. granulated sugar
1 1/2 t. salt or to taste
ground black pepper
6 T. butter
3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. half-and-half
4 oz. provel cheese (about 1 C. string provel)

In large pot, cook bacon until crisp. Add onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, bell pepper, parsley and corn. Cook until vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add water, sugar, salt and a few grindings of black pepper.

In another pot, make a roux: Melt butter. Add flour; whisk and cook until thickened. Set aside.

Bring soup to a boil. Add half-and-half; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; gradually whisk in roux. (You may not need all of the roux.) Cook until thickened to desired consistency. Stir in provel; heat until melted.

Yield: 10 cups.

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