Wrap each ear of corn in individual pieces of aluminum foil. Grill over medium high heat on bar-b-que, rolling every few minutes until corn ears are slightly browned on some kernels. This will take about ten minutes. Unwrap the corn and let it cool so it can be safely handled when it is time to put in into the chowder. When it is cool, use a knife to cut the kernels off the cobs. I do this by standing the cobs up on a cutting board with the smaller end up and the larger end on the cutting board. Put the corn kernels into a bowl.
Cook bacon until crisp. Reserve oil for cooking vegetables. Drain the bacon on paper towels and reserve.
Sauté onions, carrots, celery and red pepper in the bacon grease. When vegetables are slightly limp and onions are opaque (about 6-7 minutes) transfer veggies to a stock pot on the stove top.
Add both types of potatoes and the broth and thyme. Let simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are just getting tender. Add the corn and the ½ and ½. Cook just until the chowder is heated through, but not boiling. Add the bacon to the chowder and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve hot with a dollop of Creme Fraîche on top of each bowl of chowder. We serve this wonderful dish with a warm loaf of Artisan bread.
This recipe makes 10-12 generous servings.
Contributor: Betsy Hite
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