The mellow flavor of charred (blackened) red bell peppers adds a big flavor boost to this chowder. Don’t worry – charring the red bell peppers isn’t a lengthy process, as it can sometimes be. The chopped peppers are charred right in the pan, then chopped onions and potatoes are added, along with chicken broth, fresh parsley and a good amount ‘half and half’ cream…. plus a dash of cayenne pepper. Add some crusty bread – and you’ll have dinner on the table in about 45 minutes!
I made a few changes from the original recipe simply because I’m from the part of the States we call New England. Massachusetts to be exact, where a chowder (chow-da) should be thick and creamy, full of chunks of potatoes, onions and, quite often, clams. So I substituted ‘half and half’ cream for the milk AND there is no ‘mashing down’ of the potatoes, onions and red bell peppers as suggested in the original. ; o )
++ Whole milk, 2% milk or 1% can be used instead of the ‘half and half’.
++ “Half and half” is a mixture of half heavy cream and milk commonly found in the States. In Canada, half-and-half is 10% cream.
- non-stick cooking spray
- 3 cups roughly chopped red bell peppers ++ approx. 2 large
- 2 cups roughly chopped yellow onion ++ approx. 1 1/2 large
- 2 cups peeled russet potatoes, chopped into 1/2′ cubes ++ approx. 1 russet potato
- 2 cups chicken broth ++ vegetable broth can be substituted
- 2 cups ‘half and half’ OR milk ++ If using milk, you may want to use more cornstarch to thicken the chowder.
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley – ++ plus some to sprinkle on top of chowder
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 Tbs. cornstarch
METHOD ‘Dutch Oven’ – – A large heavy cooking pot with a lid.
Spray bottom of a 4-quart Dutch Oven with non-stick cooking spray – heat over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Add 3 cups roughly chopped red bell peppers. Cook, UNCOVERED, 12 – 15 minutes until peppers are charred, stirring occasionally.
Lower heat a bit. Add 2 cups roughly chopped yellow onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, until onion becomes translucent. Add 2 cups peeled russet potatoes, chopped into 1/2′ cubes, and 2 cups chicken broth. ++ Vegetable broth may be substituted.
Bring to a boil – reduce heat. Simmer, COVERED, 12 minutes – or until potatoes are tender.
Add 2 cups ‘half and half’ (or milk), 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley, 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Simmer, UNCOVERED, until chowder is heated through, stirring occasionally.
Place 3/4 cup of the chowder liquid in a mug and mix in 1 Tb. cornstarch. Slowly add to chowder, stirring slowly until chowder thickens. ++ If using milk, you may want to use more than 1 Tbs. cornstarch.
Serve with some chopped fresh parsley sprinkled on top of chowder. (Thick ‘n Creamy Charred Red Bell Pepper and Potato Chowder is even better when eaten the next day.) Enjoy!
Follow this link for recipe – ‘No Name Bread’ – A Hearty, Moist Loaf, Perfect with Stew, Chili and Chowder
++ Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens (Sept. 2105).