Poblano Corn Chowder

This is a very creamy and spicy corn chowder with shrimp and poblano peppers. Chile de arbol might be hard to source, but it is a great addition if you can find it. It adds a punch of heat to this chowder that is sure to warm you up on the coldest day.


  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 3 stalks celery, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons margarine

  • 1 fresh poblano chile pepper, seeded and diced

  • 1 quart heavy cream

  • 1 quart half-and-half cream

  • 1/3 cup white sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lobster base (optional)

  • 1 pinch ground dried chile de arbol (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup margarine

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 (15 ounce) can cream-style corn

  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and diced

  • salt to taste

  • white sugar to taste


  1. In a blender or food processor, puree the onion and celery; drain.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and celery puree and the poblano chile pepper. Stirring constantly, cook about 5 minutes, until tender. Mix in heavy cream, half-and-half cream, sugar, and lobster base. Season with chile de arbol and black pepper. Stirring often, bring to a gentle boil.

  3. Melt 1/2 cup margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Mix in the flour, and stir constantly until thickened. Remove from heat, and gradually mix into the large saucepan. Cook and stir until the mixture is well blended and thickened.

  4. Mix cream-style corn and whole kernel corn into the large saucepan mixture. Stir in the shrimp, and cook 2 minutes, or until opaque. Season with salt and sugar.

About Chile de árbol


The Chile de árbol (Spanish for tree chili) is a small and potent Mexican chili pepper also known as bird's beak chile and rat's tail chile. These chilis are about 2 to 3 inches long, and about 0.5 inches in diameter. Their heat index is between 15,000 - 30,000 Scoville units. The peppers start out green and turn a bright red color as they mature. Chile de árbol peppers can be found fresh, dried, or powdered. As dried chiles, they are often used to decorate wreaths because they do not lose their red color after dehydration. Since they are largely for their spicy heat, they are readily substituted in cooking. The Chile de árbol pepper can be replaced with Cayenne pepper  or Pequin pepper.