Jessica makes a southwest corn chowder and shrimp quesadillas from Jennifer Segal’s new cookbook

California Cooking

Jennifer Segal’s new cookbook, “Once Upon a Chef: Weeknight/Weekend” has it all. From meals you can get done quick to ones you can take your time with on a weekend.

Jessica and Jennifer made a deliciously creamy southwest corn chowder that Jessica then paired with another recipe from the cookbook, chipotle shrimp and poblano quesadillas.

Get both recipes below!

For more information about Jennifer, visit her blog or check her out on Instagram. Her book is available here.

This segment aired on California Cooking with Jessica Holmes Episode 111.

Southwest Corn Chowder, from “Once Upon a Chef”
Serves 4


  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick/2 ounces/ 56 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced (save the seeds and ribs; see headnote)
  • ¼ cup (33 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (480 mL) chicken broth
  • 2 cups (480 mL) whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 pound (454 g) baby potatoes (yellow, red, or purple), cut into ½-inch (13 mm) pieces
  • 3 cups (480 g) fresh corn kernels, scraped from 5 cobs (see Pro Tip)
  • ⅓ cup (80 g) sour cream
  • 3 scallions (dark green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not brown. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  2. Add the broth, 1 cup (240 mL) of the milk, and the salt, cumin, coriander, and potatoes; bring to a boil. The soup will seem thick; that’s okay. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer, stirring once halfway through so that the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan, until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes (if your potatoes are not tender at this point, just continue simmering until they are).
  3. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the remaining 1 cup (240 mL) of milk with 1 cup (160 g) of the corn until smooth.
  4. Add the corn puree to the soup along with the remaining 2 cups (320 g) corn; bring to a simmer. Off the heat, stir in the sour cream, scallions, and cilantro (if using). Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with lime wedges

To scrape the kernels from the cobs, place the corn on a clean dish towel set over a cutting board, then use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cobs. (The dish towel prevents the kernels from bouncing all over the place.) Alternatively, you can invert a small bowl inside a larger bowl. Hold the cob upright, flat end down, on top of the inverted bowl and use a sharp knife to slice downward as close to the cob as possible

Chipotle Shrimp and Poblano Quesadillas, from “Once Upon a Chef”

Serves 4


  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick/2 ounces/ 56 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large ripe tomato, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, plus 1 tablespoon of the sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Scant ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ pound (302 g) large (31/35) shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped into ½-inch (13 mm) pieces
  • ¼ cup (10 g) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 4 (10-inch/25 cm) flour tortillas
  • 3 cups (12 ounces/360 g) shredded mild Cheddar cheese
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and poblano and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Add the tomato, chipotles and adobo sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until they are opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Clean the skillet and return it to the stove.
  2. Melt ½ tablespoon of the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Place 1 tortilla in the skillet and toast until slightly puffed in spots, 30 to 60 seconds. Flip the tortilla over and sprinkle evenly with ¾ cup (90 g) of the cheese, leaving a ½-inch (13 mm) border. Spread one-fourth of the shrimp and vegetable mixture over half the tortilla. When the cheese is mostly melted, fold the tortilla over to cover the filling and form a half-moon shape. Cook until the tortilla is crisp and golden and the cheese is fully melted, adjusting the heat as necessary, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, adjusting the heat as necessary. (Loosely cover the cooked quesadillas with foil to keep them warm.) Let the quesadillas rest a few minutes to allow the filling to set, then cut them into wedges.

These quesadillas have a nice kick to them. If you’d like to make them milder, cut back on the chipotles in adobo sauce.

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