Today we learn how to cook the best risotto with fresh local sweet corn. How to cook risotto properly is an easy technique to learn and it can be a vehicle for all your favorite flavors. Learn how to make a proper risotto and you will be a happy camper.
1 Cup Arborio Rice
4 Heads of Corn
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
4 Cups Vegetable Stock
1/2-1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 Small Onion, Finely Diced
1 Clove of Garlic, grated
2-3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Cold and Cubed
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt to taste
High-Density Balsamic Vinegar or Balsamic Glaze
Raw Corn Clusters
First, shuck the corn kernels from the cob. Try to cut enough nice clusters of corn that stay together to garnish later. The rest can crumble apart. Then save the shucked cobs for the stock.
Get a pot, and use the back of your knife to scrape off all the milky corn juice out of the cobs, then add the shucked corn cobs and add the 4 cups of vegetable stock to the pot. Get that on the stove and get it hot, not boiling.
Dice half an onion into a super fine dice. I have videos on how to do this if you need them.
All your ingredients should be ready to go, time to cook.
Have a ladle in your stockpot and in a high rimmed pan, add a couple of tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until they soften over medium heat. Season with salt. Once softened add the rice and toast the rice until it starts to smell a bit nutty and the edges are translucent. Season with salt. You don’t want to brown the rice at all. Once it's toasted, add the wine and reduce that until it’s almost totally evaporated. Then add 1 ladle at a time of the stock and with a wooden spoon, gently stir the risotto. This process is knocking out the starch in the rice and mixing with the stock to create this creamy delicious sauce. Once the stock has reduced and evaporated and you can see the bottom of the pan when you drag your spoon across it, add another ladle of stock. About halfway through the cooking process, once the rice becomes a bit soft, add about a cup or two of the corn kernels to the risotto, then keep adding stock and cooking as before. Keep repeating this process until the rice is cooked to a nice al dente. You might have a little bit of stock leftover, which is fine, it’s just there if you need it.
Once the rice is cooked, turn off the heat, add a few tablespoons of cold butter and lots of parmigiana cheese. Mix it all together until the whole mixture is nice and creamy. It should run around the pan when you move it around and not be clumpy at all, unlike a bowl of regular rice. If it's a little too tight for you, you can also add a little more stock to cream it out a little more. When you’re happy with the texture, it’s time to plate.
Spoon some of the risotto on to the plate. Turn the plate side to side to get it to spread naturally into an even layer. If you cooked it properly it should slide around easily. Then garnish with some of the reserved raw corn clusters, some fresh basil or microgreens and drizzle a tiny drizzle of high-density balsamic vinegar or a thick balsamic glaze around the edge of the risotto. All the garnish are optional, you could simply garnish with some parmesan cheese and call it a day. But that’s how you spruce it up. Enjoy a sweet summer delight.
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