Summer Corn Risotto With Corn Nage

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Risotto is one of those dishes that can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time making one.  I was very nervous my first, second, and even third time.  But fear not!  You got this!  With just a little preparation you will be a risotto master in no time.  I chose this version since corn is in season.  I also love the different color contrasts in the dish as well.

IMG_6593 When you are picking out your corn, peel back the husk on a few to make sure everything is ok under there.  You grill these whole in there husk for a nice smokey charred flavor.  

IMG_6651 When I cut the kernels off of the cob,  I like to stand the cobs upright in a large bowl.  This keeps the kernels from bouncing all over your kitchen!

IMG_6658 You could make a corn stock with the cobs if you like or do what I do and “milk” the cobs.  Just turn your knife over and scrape down the cob to release all of the corn “milk” from the cob.

IMG_6661 You can skip this step if you like, but the nage (French for swimming) is not that much more work and it gives you a nicer presentation (imagine a green pea version).  Just take one forth of your corn kernels, place them in a soup pot, and add chicken stock to cover.  Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes. IMG_6662

Place in a blender with one tablespoon of unsalted butter (that’s all I ever buy), a teaspoon of salt, and couple of grinds of fresh black pepper.  Careful when you puree hot ingredients in a blender! The pressure from the excessive heat will want to blow off the top of the blender and either burn you or make a huge mess in your kitchen.  You can combat this by filling blender one quarter full at a time, letting your ingredients cool first, or holding down the top of the blender with a kitchen towel and a strong arm.

 

IMG_6664 Saute the remainder of your corn over high heat for two minutes to caramelize.

IMG_6644 Next your going to saute the onions with butter and rice over medium heat.  You do not want color.  You only need to “sweat” the onions and toast the rice.  This step will help the grains of rice from sticking to each other down the road.  Once your onions start to look translucent, turn your heat up to medium high.  Add the white wine and stir almost constantly until absorbed.  Once the wine has absorbed, add a ladle (4 or 6 ounce) of hot stock and continue stirring until absorbed.  Continue adding stock in stages until rice is al dente (still has a bite to it).

IMG_6668 Next add your Parmesan, butter, and cooked corn.  Adjust your seasoning.  Remember Parmesan (and your stock) can be pretty salty so adjust accordingly.

IMG_6672 Pour about two ounces (1/4 cup) of nage on your plate.  Plop the risotto in the middle of the sauce and it will push the sauce out to create a ring around your risotto. I chose to garnish my risotto with a lot chopped cilantro but flat leaf parsley would also work.

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