Summer Corn Risotto is a lighter version of what can often be thought of as a rich winter dish. Each are delicious in their own way. In the winter I often make wonderful risotto with sautéed mushrooms or butternut squash, served with seared salmon. But this recipe is all about summer.
Stop by the farm market and pick up fresh corn on the cob. We'll cut the fresh corn from the cob and then use the cobs to make a corn stock. The homemade corn stock contributes to the lightness of the dish, instead of using the normal chicken stock. But all sense of virtue stops here. We finish the risotto with butter and parmesan cheese.
Serve as a light supper or add grilled shrimp for a more robust meal.
Summer Corn Risotto
3-4 cups corn stock
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of white pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups fresh corn, cut from the cob
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
chopped fresh herbs - chives, basil or parsley
Warm the stock in a saucepan over low heat. Maintain at a low temperature.
Working with a wide saucepan with deep sides over medium heat, add the oil to the pan. Add the chopped shallot, stirring for 2 minutes to soften. Add in the Arborio rice, stirring to coat the grain in oil. Cook until the rice is somewhat translucent with a tiny white dot in the center of the grain. This should take 3-4 minutes. Add in the wine, stirring until completely absorbed by the rice.
Begin adding the warm stock 1-2 ladles at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding another ladle of stock. Continue adding the stock, stirring nearly the entire time.
About 12-15 minutes into the process, remove a few grains of rice to test for doneness. The grain should still be somewhat dry at this point. Add in the salt and pepper, stirring with more stock. When the rice is almost tender to the bite and looks creamy, remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and the fresh corn. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed. Stir in the parmesan cheese, add a bit more stock if the risotto looks too dry. The texture should be creamy and just a bit loose. Sprinkle with fresh herbs if desired. Serve immediately.
Corn Stock for Risotto or Chowder
4-5 ears of fresh corn
1/2 small yellow onion
1 clove garlic
6-8 whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
Using a sharp knife, cut off the kernels from the cob. We will use the cobs in the stock; saving the corn kernels for another use. Use the corn kernels when making corn risotto or corn chowder.
Place the corn cobs into a large stock pat with deep sides. Add in the remaining ingredients to the stock pan. Add 10 cups of cold water to the stock pan. Bring the contents to a boil. Reduce to medium heat simmering for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the stock cook for about 10 minutes.
When cool enough to handle the corn cobs, using tongs, grab each cob one at a time. Using the back of a knife, scrape down the sides of the cob scraping the corn milk into the stock. Discard the cobs, repeating with each cob.
Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve to strain out the vegetables and peppercorns. The corn stock is now ready to use. Stock can be cooled and stored in the refrigerator for 2 days, or frozen for up to 1 month, until ready to use.