Our seemingly endless winter also made us wish for something warm and filling. So, I started searching the Interwebs for a recipe. And I discovered a million recipes for a broccoli and potato chowder with cheese. Or each separately, but no combined chowders sans the unnecessary cheese.
Before I receive a nasty "What? You don't like America? You don't like cheese?" e-mail ... cheese is fine. It's freakin' great, for the right dish. And sometimes to just nom, nom, nom.
Healthier meals, though, are made without cheese and, in the case of this recipe, you'll find that the white pepper adds a fantastic spiciness that cheese would compete with or flat ruin.
This actually brings me to the last important factor here: Do not use black pepper or even freshly-ground black pepper for this recipe. You want the white pepper. Trust me. I wish I had some foodie background or even a superb palate with which I could find the words to describe the importance of the white pepper. I possess neither. So, please, just trust me: White Pepper.
(Click on post header for recipe)
Potato broccoli chowder
6 medium Yukon gold potatoes, washed and cubed
4 cups broccoli florets
1 medium yellow onion, diced
6 slices bacon, diced
4 Tbsp parsley chopped (fresh or dried)
3 Tbsp Chicken bouillon powder, dissolved into ¼ to ½ cup hot water
3 ¼ cups milk
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp Wondra
Garlic fresh or powder
Boil potatoes ONLY until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain and rinse with cold water. Steam broccoli until it falls apart.
Pour potatoes and broccoli into large stock pot, mash all with potato masher until potatoes remain in only ½ inch chunks (or larger, if desired). Add diced onions, bacon, parsley and the dissolved bouillon. Stir together and set over low to medium low heat (low is recommended until next step has been completed).
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the Wondra and whisk until you reach a consistency of dense cream (medium low is recommended). Add the milk and turn heat to medium. Continue whisking until milk is thickened.
Add milk to potato and broccoli mixture. Flavor to taste with white pepper (approximately 1 tsp.) and garlic (1 Tbsp powder or four whole cloves, minced).
Add water, if needed, to cover (or if thinner chowder is preferred). Heat this chowder on medium low for one hour, stirring occasionally. Serve hot or cold from the refrigerator for up to four days.