Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sweet Corn Risotto

Besides the abundance of summer fruits, I just love the fresh corn available this time of the year.  My family grew up only buying corn from supermarkets where the corn may have been sitting for who knows how long.  I'm lucky to live near farmer's markets where we can get corn that may have been picked the same day.

Corn is one of those comfort foods. It's just so good when it is the season, which is right now during the summer months. I went looking for a corn risotto dish and came upon this recipe from Food52 website and Sunshine Sweet Corn (I've made some minor tweaks to the recipe and included below). I really liked the idea of using the corn cobs for the homemade stock for that extra rich corn flavor. If you don't usually make homemade stock, don't get alarmed. This recipe is really simple.
Sweet Corn Risotto

Corn Stock:
6 cobs of sweet corn, raggedly stripped of kernels
6 cups of water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed

1. Add water to a 4-quart pot with a lid.  Add salt, smashed garlic and corn cobs.

2. Bring water to boil and cover.  Simmer at low heat for 60 minutes.

3. Discard garlic pieces.  Using tongs, hold each corn cob by the end and using the edge of a spoon or knife, scrape each cob for juices.  Discard cobs and do not strain the liquid.  Add the 1 cup of chicken stock. Keep the stock at a simmer for making the risotto. You want the stock hot when you add it to the risotto.

Corn Risotto:
1 Tbl Olive Oil
1 Tbl butter
1/3 cup shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
7 cups of broth, simmering in separate pot
3/4 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
1-1/2 cup reserved uncooked corn kernels (you will have extra corn kernels for another use)
3 Tbl butter, cold and chopped into cubes

 1. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan or pot on medium heat.  Add shallots and cook until they start to turn brown, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and thyme, and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.

2. Add risotto to the pan and stir to coat each kernel with the butter/oil mixture.  Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes until rice absorbs all the fat.

3.  Add the white wine and stir to deglaze the pan.  Simmer until rice absorbs all the wine.  About 2-3 minutes.

4. Add 1/2 cup ladle of simmering corn broth to the rice mixture. Stir constantly as the broth is absorbed by the rice. The heat should be at a level which creates a slow simmering like bubbling oatmeal. Repeat ladeling and stirring until rice is al dente, with a small chew to it.  It should take about 20-30 minutes.  Rice should look creamy.  

5.  When rice is done, turn off heat.  Add cold butter and stir quickly.  Add parmesan cheese and uncooked corn kernals.  Stir to combine. Cover the pot and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.


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