Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sweet Corn Risotto - October Secret Recipe Club #Recipe

I am having a hard time saying goodbye to Summer... though I do enjoy the flavors of Fall, I hate to say goodbye to the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables available on the farm. Winter means more expensive trips to the grocery stores and less that we can go outside and pick ourselves.

One things we do still have is corn.

The peak has passed, but there are still plenty of good ears out in the field. My husband did a great job of staggering the plantings this year so the season has been longer. Besides corn chowder or just on the cob, I am always looking for more recipes to let the fresh corn shine.

One thing I have never tried before though is Sweet Corn Risotto.

Secret Recipe Club 

It is already time to reveal my October Secret Recipe Club blog, Smells Like Brownies. Originally I was going to find a brownie recipe to share because of the blog's name. But, in the end I really enjoyed Melissa's CSA posts. I live on a farm, I get it. Eating seasonally, eating locally - it's important to my family. Now, the real secret is Melissa's blog isn't chock full of sweets or brownies even. You will find a load of lovely recipes, just don't expect many to contain fruit. Seems her only real hang-up is fruit.

Like I said, I am trying to enjoy the last of this year's corn. With the fields rotating every year, I was thrilled that the corn fields were across from my kitchen window. I have enjoyed seeing the fog and sunsets over the corn.

I can't stress enough, if you have access to fresh corn from the field, go for that. Corn really gets starchy as it ships and sits. The flavor of fresh picked corn, just minutes from the field, can't be beat.

This recipe also allowed me to share a little with my girls. When cutting the kernels off the ears, there is still plenty of corn for my hens to pick out. They adore a sweet corn treat, and repay me handsomely in fresh eggs.

Okay, back to the risotto.

Don't be intimidated. People like to say that risotto is tough to make, but I don't think so. I have two rules for making it, first set aside some time to make the risotto. It needs a little added love. Some stirring, some additional stock, just don't rush it.

I made mine during the baby's nap. I also gave my older kids crayons and paper before I started. Interruptions could cause the rice to burn or stick to the pan. Set a little music in the kitchen and be one with the rice.

Risotto also needs to be tasted. I don't care how it looks, you should grab your tasting spoon and dive right in. Tasting is the only sure way to know if the risotto is ready. No one wants a crunchy risotto.

Risotto is usually made with a short-grain, high starch content rice. This helps the risotto take on that smooth and creamy consistency. Arborio rice is the type I usually use, and easiest for me to find. In Italy there are a few others used, but just don't use plain old rice in it's place.

It also usually calls for butter, wine and onion. I actually don't add much wine into my cooking (gasp!), but this dish was delicious with just the stock. Feel free to add the white wine back in if you must... but don't put off making this risotto if you don't have a bottle handy.

The corn was so plump and sweet. I love that this recipe doesn't overcook the corn. Just toss it in for the final 5 minutes or so and it will be perfect.

Then comes the cheese. Oh, glorious Pecorino Romano. How I love your cheesy goodness.

And now, my favorite part, the recipe reveal. Come on, let's dig right in.

Sweet Corn Risotto
Adapted from Smells Like Brownies

You Will Need:
  • 5 c. chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 c. arborio rice
  • 3 ears of corn, shucked and kernels cut off
  • 1/2 c. Pecorino Romano
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 green onions, sliced for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish 
In a small saucepan bring the chicken stock up to a simmer. Keep it warm with the cover on while cooking the risotto.

Start by sweating down the onion in a mixture of olive oil and butter over medium heat. I like to make my risotto in a large, medium walled pan to give me plenty of room for all the rice. When the onions have softened, add the rice and continuously stir for about 3 minutes, until the rice has turned translucent.

One ladle of stock at a time, add it to the rice and continue stirring constantly till the liquid is absorbed. Then add another ladle. It takes about 20 to 25 minutes for all the stock to be absorbed, keep going till the rice is tender and won't absorb the stock as quickly.

When the rice is almost tender, about 5 minutes left of cooking time, add the corn kernels.

Taste, taste, taste. When the rice has reached the desired consistency, stir in the cheese, butter and season to taste.

Serve garnished with green onions and a little Parmesan cheese on top.

Enjoy! Now, check out all the other amazing Secret Recipe Club reveals below.


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