Jalapenos -- I roast mine just on a small piece of aluminum foil like 4x4 in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, turning often. No oil, no seasoning, just put them in the oven. They will get nice and charred all on their own. Then remove and put in a bowl or coffee cup or small plate covered with plastic wrap and 10-15 minutes later, they are done. The skin pulls right off and you can remove the seeds and ribs and chop. Just set to the side. You can be doing this as you saute the chorizo. These will be added to the beans in just a few minutes.
Chorizo -- Remove the chorizo from the casing and brown in a small saute pan on medium high heat until golden brown. Remove once golden brown and no longer pink and then transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any grease or drippings. Transfer to a small bowl or tupperware and put in the refrigerator for later.
Beans -- Now, I like to reserve a tablespoon of the chorizo drippings to cook the beans and onions in, but get rid of the rest - you don't want too much grease. Add the onions and garlic to the chorizo drippings on medium high heat and saute for just a couple of minutes until the onions start to soften. Add the beans and jalapenos, salsa, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium heat to combine all the flavors. MY TRICK -- just take a fork and mash a few of the beans up. Not all, just some. It adds a nice texture and takes just a seconds. You don't have to, but I think it adds a lot. Ok, these are done too. Just remove to a bowl or a tupperware container and put in the refrigerator for later.
Chowder -- This is such a easy soup. In a large pot, melt the butter and saute the onion, potato and garlic until slightly soft. Add in the corn (reserving 1 cup) and cook on medium high heat, I like to not brown the vegetables, but I do like to get just a little color and a good pan saute for just a couple of minutes. Then I add in the flour and stir well to combine. Cook just another minute then add in the broth and cook about 10 minutes until the vegetables, especially the potatoes are soft.
I like to use my immersion blender right in the in the pot, but you can transfer the mixture to a food processor or even or regular blender. You want the corn mixture to become nice and creamy. Return the corn to the pot if you did not use an immersion blender and add the cream cheese, and light cream, the remaining 1 cup of corn, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Then cook 20 minutes on simmer just to blend all the flavors. Also the natural starch of the potato and the corn will help to thicken the dish. Once everything is heated through, check for thickness. If you like yours thinner, by all means, add some more broth. It should be just about right however. I don't like it too thin. I also check again for salt and pepper and add in my scallions and parsley and it's done.
Toppings -- Dice the avocado in small bite size pieces and toss with the olives, lime juice, a little salt and pepper to taste. Go easy on the salt, there is salt in the chowder and the beans and the olives are also salty.
Serving -- Heat up both the beans and the chorizo in the microwave. Just 1-2 minutes until heated through. In each serving bowl add 1/2 cup of the beans, then top with the corn chowder. Now on top of the chowder, I like to make three small "piles" of the toppings. A couple of tablespoons of the cheese, a couple of the avocado/olives, and a couple of the chorizzo. Squeeze a little lime over the soup and then garnish with one slice of the lime, a light sprinkle of the cilantro and add a few tortilla chips.
It is just a "fun" unique soup for entertaining or for dinner with friends. Make a few appetizers and drinks, some of my soup and enchiladas and then a of course dessert. Play some cards on a cold night and just relax. Sometimes a great dinner party doesn't have to be "fancy.".