From Ricky Moore, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Durham, North Carolina
For the sour corn:
14 ounces fresh corn kernels
½ cup spring water
¾ cup white vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 dried red chile
For the chowder:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small head cauliflower, roughly chopped
3 cups fish stock
¼ cup heavy cream
2 cups sour corn, plus more for garnish
12 ounces hot-smoked trout fillets, skinned and flaked
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: Thinly sliced scallions
Make the sour corn: Place corn in a non-reactive bowl. In a medium pot over high heat, combine water, vinegar, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and chile. Bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Pour over corn and set aside. Once cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Make the chowder: In a large pan over low heat, melt butter. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock, and cream. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 8 minutes. Once cauliflower is soft, use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor and carefully blend until smooth. Pour chowder back into pot and stir in cauliflower florets and sour corn. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle chowder into bowls and garnish with flaked trout, sour corn, cauliflower florets, and scallions.