Updated: Aug 31, 2022
Risotto used to scare me. The ingredients are simple enough but the love needed to create a proper risotto means you have to give it your full attention. So I make my risotto the star of the show, not a side dish. When you take your time and enjoy the simple, peaceful pace of a well developed risotto, I swear your blood pressure will drop a little and your tummy will thank you.
Ingredients for 4
3 ears corn
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 large leek, white and light green parts sliced thin and cleaned in a bowl of water and drained
1 1/4 cups arborio rice (yes you have to use arborio)
1/4 cup dry vermouth (for the YUM factor)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup freshly shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and pepper
Chives or parsley for garnish
Shuck and cut the corn kernels from the cobs.
Heat the stock in a pot on high. Place the stripped corn cobs in the pot and and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Carefully remove the cobs from the broth and scrape the cobs on all sides to release all the corny goodness. Keep the stock on a low simmer.
Coat the bottom of a heavy, high sided sauté pan with olive oil on medium heat. Add the leeks with a pinch of salt. Make sure the leeks are well drained from the water bath or it will spatter. Sauté about 5 minutes or until tender.
Add the rice and sauté 2 minutes, coating it well.
Add the vermouth and keeping stirring until almost evaporated, about 1 more minute.
Now comes the fun part which requires patience, so make sure you have some nice music playing and maybe pour yourself a glass of wine. Sayin'.
Add a ladle of stock to the pot. Stir stir stir. As the liquid incorporates with the rice , add another ladle and so on until the rice begins to look creamy.
Once you've added about half of the stock, stir in the corn kernels.
Keep going until all of the stock has been added and your rice is tender but still has a bite to it). This ladling and stirring business will take about a 30 to 35 minutes (thus the music and wine).
Now stir in the butter and parmigiana and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and let it rest covered for a few minutes.
Serve with a sprinkling of something green on top for color. I like chives.
Serve with a simple salad and savor each bite slowly to truly honor all that stirring you just did. It's worth it.
Items available at The Pot Rack to assist in the making of this dish:
Corn Cutter and Creamer
Heritage Steel 4 Quart Sauteuse
Krona Stainless Steel Ladle
Ahhh risotto. SO delicious. So delicate and so adaptable. Once you have the base of a good risotto you can literally add any flavors and ingredients that you want. I have a friend who spent an entire fall perfecting her mushroom risotto and boy oh boy did she nail it! It’s a labor or love and patience that you get to consume and celebrate.
There are only 4 essential ingredients in any risotto:
1) Rice. Short, grained rice (Arborio) for the starch content.
2) Onion. Varieties can include leeks, spring onions and shallots.
3) Broth. Pick a flavor that works as the canvas to your dish.
4) Cheese. Finely grated dry cheese like parmesan, romano or asiago.
Some risotto dishes you might want to try once you nail the basics include- Crab with Fresh Peas, Artichoke and Hazelnut, Ham and Asparagus, Smoked Salmon and Dill, and the aforementioned Mushroom. I’ve made all of these with varying results and all of them were delicious. So don’t be scared. Don’t be in a rush. Don’t overcook it (al dente all the way), and always have extra broth just in case it dries out on you. Low and slow wins the race.