24 August 2011

fresh corn and basil oil risotto

    Oh man I have no idea how long it has been since I've shucked corn. What a great word -- shucks! I think I'll have to integrate "Aw, shucks!" into my usual rotation of favorite everyday phrases.  This was also the first time I've ever zipped the corn off of the cob. I think the last time I ate fresh corn off of the cob was when I had braces. As a result, I have a serious appreciation for my folks doing this for me when I was a teenage brace face. I had no idea it was so hard to do tidily! Does anyone have a slick way to shave off the corn without firing it all over the kitchen? I've been told I can't have a doodad for this purpose (and rightfully so -- I don't think I can manage to keep many more silly gadgets around for a task I only need to worry about a month or two out of the year).                          So yeah, sweet corn is great. It is even better when you meet the farmer and he looks you straight in the eye and tells you he picked it that very morning. I'm looking forward to finding new ways to enjoy it, particularly because of food52's recent Corn off the Cob Contest. I've also heard a rumor that one of the new foods for the Minnesota State Fair this year will include sweet corn ice cream! I am totally sold and my assumption is that it will taste like Corn Pops. Maybe I'll finally get the risotto on a stick this year too. :) 

Fresh Corn & Basil Oil Risotto
(adjusted from Cooking from the Farmer's Market to use the market goods in my pantry)

1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, packed
2 T. butter
1 1/2 c. arborio rice
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 c. scallions, white and light green parts chopped
3-4 ears of fresh sweet corn
4 c. veggie broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Tear up the basil and soak it in the olive oil.
2. Heat up the broth in a saucepan with the lid on. You just want it to be warm, simmering at the most.
3. Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.
4. Add the onions and scallions, stir to coat with butter, and cover for 4-5 minutes until translucent on medium-low heat.
5. Add the rice and stir for 3 minutes on medium heat (keep it there now). You'll see the rice turn clear around the edges.
6. Add 1/2 c. of hot broth to the skillet. Stir continuously. When the liquid is absorbed, but before the rice is dry, add another 1/2 c. of broth. Keep doing this for 10 minutes.
7. Add the corn (yay!), and continue adding liquid 1/2 c. at a time for another 10 minutes. I find the absorption rate of the rice decreases over the course of the 20 minutes of stirring (you may need a substitute stirrer at some point. Offer to trade with ladling broth; it seems fair!).
8. Turn off the heat and add the basil oil.
9. Serve and enjoy! 

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