It's the first rainy Saturday in San Francisco in a while, so although there's nothing weird about the following recipes, they're apropos today.
First is a modified Barefoot Contessa recipe for Cheddar Corn Chowder, with Yukon Gold potatoes, yellow onions, and corn fresh off the cob (I've also used Trader Joe's frozen organic sweet corn in the past, which works in winter). I make it to share with vegetarian friends, so I skip the bacon–I swear it's still delicious–use soy milk and veg stock, and ignore the fussy recommendation to blanch the kernels before adding them to the pot (they'll cook in the soup). One of the tastiest versions I've produced had diced fennel mixed in with the onions, an extra teaspoon of dried tarragon, and tarragon-flecked jack cheese instead of cheddar.
The accompanying Brown Butter Soda Bread is crumbly, buttery, and fragrant–and extremely easy to make for an experimental non-baker like myself. I use whole wheat pastry flour, less butter and more rosemary than Bon Appetit reccomends. For the loaf pictured, I actually picked fresh rosemary from a sidewalk plant on my block–does that count as usufruct? Also, FYI: yogurt thinned with milk (or soymilk) works as a substitute for buttermilk. This bread's also great with chili, which I'll write about on a future rainy day.