One of our favorite late-night spots is Mimi's cafe. It's simple comfort food. On this particular night, we sampled their corn chowder (usually we opt for their French Onion soup, which is also very good). "This is good," Bob said. "You should see if you can find a knock-off recipe on the internet.
We have been truly amazed at what we can reverse engineer from our favorite restaurants. We could guess many of the corn chowder ingredients just by looking closely--corn (obviously), celery, cream, potatoes, onions as. When we got home, I googled Mimi's corn chowder.
And guess what? The first link referenced was Mimi's own website. We couldn't believe it was so easy.
This has become a family favorite. As I've made it a number of times, I've modified the ingredients (slightly) and the cooking method (quite a bit) from the official version. When I make it this way, it almost always comes out the perfect consistency--not to thick, not too thin.
Mimi's Corn Chowder (Modified by Kathy)
Yields 2 1/2 quarts (This is enough for a normal family. I double it for our gang).
4 Tbs. butter or margarine
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup celery, large dice
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups hot water
2 cups raw potato, peeled and cut in 1/2" cubes
1 quart half and half
3 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 pinch white pepper
Melt butter in a large pot. Add onion and celery. Saute until onion is translucent. Add flour; mix until ingredients make a roux, like this:
When flour is absorbed into butter, add half and half gradually, mixing as you add it. Simmer soup for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. The soup should thicken a bit as you cook it.
Add hot water and potato. Bring to a boil. Add corn and remaining seasonings; simmer for ten to fifteen minutes until the potatoes are slightly soft. If the soup is too thick, add a little milk. If it's too thin, cook it five to ten minutes longer.
The finished product: