Based strongly on the Sweetcorn chowder with smoky chipotle oil recipe from Meera Sodha in the Grauniad, this took a New Mexican twist when I cooked it up.


  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Idle time: 90-120 minutes


  • 2 oz vegetable oil
  • 4-6 spring onions, chopped finely, green bits and all
  • 1C chicos
  • 1 qt chicken stock (use vegetable stock if you want a vegan dish)
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 1 leek, trimmed, finely sliced, and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • small handful small yellow potatoes, or one large white potato
  • ⅓bag roasted green chiles from the market, peeled, seeded and frozen, then chopped finely
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp corn flour
  • 2 Tbsp potato flakes
  • 1 can (15 oz) sweet corn, with juice


  • Sauté onions in a skillet with a little oil, 6-8 minutes, until they’ve gone a bit brown, past translucent
  • Put chicos, chicken stock, and coconut milk into crock pot and get it warming on high
  • Add onions to crock pot
  • Sauté leek and garlic in a little oil, until leek is translucent, and add to crock pot
  • Cut potatoes into 1cm cubes and sauté in a little oil until soft, then add to pot
  • Sauté chopped green chiles in a little oil in skillet, and add to pot
  • When pot comes to a boil (over 90 minutes with my crock pot), add corn flour and potato flakes, stirring well
  • After a few minutes, add corn and liquid from can and stir well
  • Taste and season with salt as needed
  • If you like your chowder thicker, put in a stick blender into the pot and blend some of the soup up
  • Serve and enjoy

Notes on ingredients

  • Chicos are corn, roasted on the cob in an horno, and then dried. They keep pretty much forever, and add a nice smoky flavor to food.
  • Green chiles are sold at farmers markets in New Mexico in the fall, roasted right there at the market. They’re typically sold in sandwich bags or quart ziploc bags. We buy the mildest ones available, bring them home and peel, seed, and freeze them into freezer bags (one per bag from the market). A third of one of those bags is enough in this recipe for us, but don’t let me tell you how spicy to make your food. If you must use canned, one of the small cans is probably a good starting place.
  • The simplest way I know of to get all the dirt out of leeks is to cut off the fine roots, thinly slice the leek, then put it in a bowl and rinse it with water. But if you’ve got a better suggestion, have at it! I didn’t use the green part of the leek in this recipe, as it was already plenty onion-y, but again, you’re welcome to use it all if you want.
  • If you want a little added protein in this, adding bacon would be a fine idea. I would use about a pound of bacon, chopped up and sautéed. Or a can of spam if that works for you.

#recipe #NewMexico #corn


  • ½C (unground) chicos (or 1/4C ground)
  • ¼C corn flour
  • ½C bread flour
  • 3T sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • ¼tsp salt
  • ¼tsp Chimayó chile powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2T olive oil (or bacon grease)
  • ½C water
  1. Grind chicos with spice grinder
  2. Add corn flour to make ½C (roughly ¼C, but maybe a little more or less)
  3. Add all other ingredients to bowl and mix
  4. Spoon into greased muffin pan
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400F

Makes six corn muffins, or a dozen mini-muffins.

#recipe #corn