Addendum 3/18: Okay, here is a picture of a Bendy Straw and Corn Chowder!
Okay, I got most of the "rambling" out of my system with that last post...
Butttt... There's a little more!
Years ago, when I lived on my boat, I developed some really cool friendships with some of my neighbors.
Boat-People are "Different" from the rest of the general population - a fact that I mused about on my original www.imqtpi.com website. We tend to be "loners" for the most part and don't necessarily want close-ties to others (and I can say "we" because I was one of 'em!). Yet at the same time, we were a very close-knit community (meaning: We watched out for each others' boats and/or if anyone "got into trouble" - we all pulled together to "make it right!").
Yes, we were a Tight-Knit Community of Loners - go figure!
One of my neighbors was *particularly* Hermit-Like and rarely ventured outside of her boat to interact with others. I'll call her "Miss-M."
Miss-M did a simply stupendous job of NOT getting sucked into ANY of the dock-drama. I, mostly, did too - but since I was more "interactive," I had a tougher time "avoiding" the drama - since there were ppl who wanted to drag me into "their side" of whatever was going on... (Although I like to think I did a damn-good job of staying out of it, for the most part!)
Anyway, this isn't about Dock Drama. This is about FOOD!
So Miss-M and I would venture out on a fairly regular basis and go out to lunch at various dining establishments in the area. We had AMAZINGLY bad luck with our Dining Adventures including encountering a McDonald's that had RUN OUT OF COKE (And Miss-M was, quite simply, a Coke-Addict) (and I *am* referring to Coca COLA - just to be clear!). And another occasion when we'd gone out for Pizza and the restaurant had RUN OUT OF CHEESE. No, I am not making this up!!!
It became, kind-of, a standing joke for us - to see what sort of OUTRAGEOUSNESS we'd encounter whenever we'd go out for food.
One of our "Semi-Regular" hang-outs was Mimi's Cafe - in Foster City/San Mateo. They were actually pretty reliable in the Quality (and Availability) of their food (and soft-drinks!). But two areas that were always iffy were: "Will they have Bendy Straws today?" (which is neither here nor there - but we found it amusing!) and "Will the Corn Chowder [one of their "Signature Items"] be thick and delicious?" "Or runny and not-so-good?" (which, to be fair, meant that the Corn Chowder was made fresh, daily).
Ever since then, whenever I encounter a restaurant that offers Bendy-Straws, I think of Miss-M.
And, in fact, the last time I was up at the marina (for BoatGuru John's "Memorial" party), I ran into Miss-M and insisted that we need to exchange phone#'s and hook-up for lunch again.
"Here, I'll call you from my cell, so you'll have my phone#. When you get the call, you can save my number. In fact, maybe you could label it as 'Bendy Straw!'" - But then I got to thinking that maybe having a phone# saved as "Bendy Straw" might be misconstrued as me being an Exotic Dancer (Hah!) or Hooker!
Annnnnnywaaaaaayyyyy.... I hadn't given it much thought since then. But while hubs and I were in San Diego (which, BTW, was where BoatGuru John ended up, and ultimately died - :::sigh:::), we had dinner at a restaurant called Oggi's (a place that John introduced us to). They did not have Bendy-Straws, but they *did* serve a damn-good Corn Chowder...
Hubs enjoyed it, so I said I would make some.
I then consulted Google and stumbled onto this: Mimi's Cafe Corn Chowder. Yippy-Freakin' -Skippy! It is THE Mimi's Corn Chowder Recipe, and if *I* make it, I can virtually guarantee that it will be thick and creamy and delicious! Annnnd... I have a more-than-adequate supply of Bendy Straws!
That said, here is the recipe, with my modifications:
(QT's Interpretation of) Mimi's Cafe Corn Chowder
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
- 3 Tbs Flour
- ¾ c onion, finely chopped
- ¾ c diced celery
- 2-1/2 c water
- 2 c cubed, peeled potatoes (I used Yukon gold)
- 1 package (16 oz) frozen corn krnels
- 1 can (14 oz) cream-style corn
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 3 Tbs Splenda
- Salt and White Pepper (to taste)
- 2 c heavy whipping cream (unsweetened)
- ½ bottle Moscato or other sweet white wine (I used half of a 187ml bottle)
- (optional) 1 more Tbs of melted butter + 1 Tbs Flour to thicken it further, at the end.
- Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat
- Add flour and whisk until smooth and a roux forms
- Add onions and celery. Saute until soft, but not browned.
- Add water, potatoes, corn kernels, creamed corn, carrots and Splenda
- Bring to a light boil
- Lower heat, cover and simmer ‘til potatoes are soft (appx 30 mins)
- Add cream and simmer, uncovered until thick and creamy. Season with salt and white pepper.
- If it doesn’t thicken to your liking, melt butter in a separate small pan and whisk in flour to create another roux. Slowly add roux to the soup, stirring constantly, until it reaches the desired consistency.
This is a delightfully tasty, mellow soup, and would make a good "base" for other things... Maybe add some fresh mushrooms (saute, at the beginning, with the onions and celery). And/or toss in some leftover chicken. And/or add some frozen peas. The possibilities are endless!
No pictures, unfortunately. When I did manage to make it (involved appx 30 minutes of standing over the stove, on my ouchy-feet!), I was soooo freaking starved that I scarfed 2 bowls down before I thought to snap a picture!