Saturday, January 7, 2017

Charred Corn Bisque with Poblano Crema

We got our first snowy weather of the year last night and I wanted something comforting to go along with the bacon crusted salmon that I made for dinner.  I found a recipe for Corn Bisque in the McCormick and Schmick's Seafood Restaurant Cookbook adapted it to the grill and my tastes to come up with this version.

This fire roasted corn in this bisque recipe creates bolder flavors in this comfort food.


  1. I fire roasted the corn for my bisque because it amplifies the flavor. 
  2. I didn't strain the bisque a second time. That might make it questionable as to whether this is even a bisque instead of a soup or chowder. I wanted those delicious bits of charred corn in there. If you want a finer texture, strain the bisque at the end or use an immersion blender (aka motor boat) in it.
  3. I increased a few of the ingredient quantities.
  4. I had an extra poblano chile in the fridge so I made a charred poblano crema as a finishing touch for the bisque.

Of course, you can do this in the kitchen too.  Just roast your corn and chile under the broiler or on a gas burner.  

Charred Corn Bisque with Poblano Crema

adapted from McCormick & Schmick's
Yields: 4 cups


  • 3 ears yellow corn, shucked and peeled
  • 1 poblano chile
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon NMT beef rub
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Mexican crema 
  • salt to taste


  1. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high heat.
  2. Roast the corn.  Grill until slightly charred on each side, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove from the grill and allow to cool.  Use a sharp knife to slice the kernels off of the cob.  Keep both the kernels and the cob.
  3. Roast, seed, and peel the poblano chile
  4. Make the corn stock.  Put the corn cobs and stock in a medium stock pan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.  Strain stock and discard the cobs/pulp that was strained out.
  5. Melt the butter in the stock pan and saute the shallot and garlic until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Whisk in the flour and keep stirring a few minutes to make a blonde roux. Then keep whisking as you slowly add in all of the strained corn stock.
  7. Add the reserved corn kernels, tumeric, beef rub (or just pepper and salt) and sugar.  Then bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes
  8. Make the poblano crema.  Either finely mince the poblano, whisk together with the crema and a pinch of salt OR lightly process the crema, poblano, and a pinch of salt in a food processor or blender.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
  9. Stir in the heavy cream, simmer for 5 more minutes and then remove from heat.
  10. Serve and garnish with a health dollop of the poblano crema.


  • Chile - Poblano chiles are mild, between a bell pepper and jalapeno in heat level.  You can use whatever you have or prefer.  Like it hotter? Use jalapeno or serano. Heatophobe? Go with a bell pepper.
  • NMT Beef Rub - I used it because 1) I had it on hand and 2) it's salt, pepper, dried onions, garlic, and bell peppers....great general purpose seasoning.  You can just use some salt and pepper to taste instead.  Or use some season salt and black pepper.
  • Mexican crema - More than half of the grocery stores in our area carry crema now but if you can't get it, you can substitute sour cream or creme fraiche.


I cooked on 3 different grills for this meal's cook (including salmon and biscuits), but could have done it on one grill.  It was cold and snowing so I had three fired up simultaneously so I could minimize the amount of time that I was freezing my butt off.  For the soup, I used my Big Green Egg Mini-Max - a small, ceramic kamado grill. But you could do this on just about any grill, your broiler, or on a gas stove top burner.

Fire roasting vegetables roasting on a Big Green Egg Mini-Max ceramic kamado grill.
Grilling or fire roasting the corn increases the flavor in two ways.  It concentrates the natural sugars in the corn and the char adds a smoky flavor.

How to slice corn from the cob.
To remove the kernels, I hold each cob on end like this and then run my chef's knife down each side.  Be sure to stay as close to the cob as possible to get all of the good stuff off.

Smokey charred corn bisque with poblano crema is easy to make at home.
The poblano crema adds flavor but also makes the texture extra creamy.
We will absolutely be making this recipe again.  I might throw some shredded chicken in there to make it a meal in itself.

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  I received no compensation for this post.  I did get the McCormick and Schmick's book for free in a giveaway from Greg at SippitySup (great food blog, btw) several years ago.