Monday, September 12, 2011

Estelle's Corn Risotto

Category: Pasta and Rice
Difficulty Rating: Medium

When Lauren was just a little girl, I went to a recipe sharing get-together at Teri Hillenga's house. There were four of us--but we all loved to cook. I was overly enthusiastic as usual, and embarrassed myself by bringing some very dry chocolate Madeleines (cookies). Estelle Stiles, however, had some amazing recipes. She is a fabulous cook! I adapted this one only slightly. Actually, I had to use another recipe for corn risotto for the directions part, because I had lost that page. But do not let this distract you! The sweet and savory taste of corn, wine and cheese together is a winner!


3 C fresh corn kernels, divided (from about 4 ears) or frozen and thawed--organic is best
1/4 C butter
3 T chopped shallots (onions will do in a pinch)
1/2 C Italian short-grain rice (Arborio) or medium-grain rice
1/4 C dry white wine (I use 2-buck Chuck chardonnay)
3 C or more if needed, chicken broth--heated to boiling in separate saucepan
1/3 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Puree 2 C corn kernels in blender and set aside. Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium/low heat. Add chopped shallots and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice, coat well and cook another 2 minutes until toasted. Add reserved 1 C corn kernels and white wine, turn up the heat up to medium, stirring constantly until wine has evaporated . Add hot broth to rice/corn mix, one ladle at at time, stirring frequently. Add more broth as it is absorbed by rice. Continue this way for about 20 minutes until rice is 'al dente' in a creamy base of sauce. Pour onto serving dish or dishes. Let stand about 2 minutes before eating. Perfecto!

Note: 'al dente' means 'to the tooth' in Italian. The tooth should still still find some substance from the rice grain, it should be as, one Chef said, "a presence". The rice should not be mushy, but it should not be hard either. It should be, like Goldilocks said, "Juuussst riiight".

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