I tried something new this weekend: dehydrating corn. It couldn't be easier, just empty a bag of frozen corn onto the dehydrator trays, and let it go at 135°F overnight. Easy peasy. However, I was somewhat skeptical that the rehydrated product would be edible. The dried corn resembled brittle yellow rocks, and looked suspiciously like birdseed. I had a feeling it would be unbearably chewy and flavorless.
So I tried some corn chowder for dinner tonight, as an experiment.
Holy SMOKES it was good. The corn came back to exactly the way it was before, sweet and flavorful. I was quite pleasantly surprised and happy to be wrong.
The recipe is one I cobbled together from several websites - cooking as well as food-storage sites.
Dehydrated Corn Chowder
1/2 cup dehydrated sweet corn
1 1/2 cups water
4 strips bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped fairly fine
2 cups water
1 medium potato, diced in 1/2 inch chunks
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
several grinds of black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
corn in 1 1/2 cups of water for at least 20 minutes. (I let it go an hour and a half because that was how long it was until I got home.)
Brown bacon in a large pot until crisp. Remove and drain. Saute onion in
bacon fat until tender and remove to the bowl with the bacon.
Remove all bacon fat except for
2 tablespoons or less. Place the rehydrated corn and any leftover soaking water into the same pot used to cook the bacon and onions. Add two
more cups of water. Boil for about 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. (I only had to boil it about 10 minutes since I soaked the dry corn so long. The point is to make sure the corn is fully rehydrated and cooked.)
Add diced potato and cook until tender (took less than 10 minutes with 1/2" dice). Combine
dry milk, flour, salt and pepper with 2-1/2 cups water
and mix well. Add milk mixture to the pot and bring to a simmer,
stirring occasionally. Add onions, bacon and dry parsley. Stir well and simmer for 5 minutes or so to thicken slightly.
Serve and watch it disappear!
Emma and I split a drained 6.5 ounce can of clams between our bowls when we went back for seconds. It was awesome, and crab, lobster, scallops, or chicken would also be delicious. Chowder is very flexible. Next time, I think I would increase the amount of dry corn to 3/4 cup or even 1 cup, for even more corny goodness. The critical ratio of corn to soaking water seems to be 1:3, though it probably doesn't matter as much for a soup.