If you have never had fresh sweet corn, raw, please get on that right now. Sweet white corn has begun showing up in our local grocery stores and I couldn’t be more excited. A couple things tell me we’re heading into summer, including the abundance of strawberries and ears of corn. Woo hoo! (Of course there are numerous other things, like the fact that we’re in June — WHOA where’d the last few months go?! — or perhaps the way school’s winding down, there are more warm sunny days than not each week, etc. — You get my point.)
I decided to use fresh sweet corn in the following risotto, as I thought the sweetness would balance nicely with the creaminess of the dish. I made a corn-infused broth to add another layer of corn-flavor throughout the dish. Though creamy and rich, this corn risotto isn’t overly heavy. A delight for an easy dinner this time of year!
Creamy Sweet Corn Risotto
Serves 6-8 folks.
4 large ears of fresh sweet corn (approximately 3 to 3 1/2 cups of kernels)
7 1/2 cups No-Chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups risotto / Arborio rice
1 large shallot, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine (a sauvignon blanc works nicely)
4 ounces mascarpone
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper
Prepare the corn: Shuck the corn, removing as much of the silk as you can. Cut off the stem. Place the ear of corn, cut side down while holding it near the top of the ear. Use a sharp knife to start at the top, cutting downward with a gentle sawing motion, cutting corn from the cob at about two-thirds the depth of the kernels. Continue cutting until all of the corn is removed. Reserve the cobs as we will need them for our broth. Set the cut kernels aside until needed.
Warm the broth: Pour all of the No-Chicken or vegetable broth into a large stock pot. Add all of the corn cobs that have had the kernels removed, into the stock. Bring up to simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and allow the broth to simmer for 30 minutes. Keep on low heat after the 30 minutes pass.
Prepare the risotto: In a large heavy-bottomed pot or pan (similar to this one), heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat, until the butter fully melts. Add the shallot and garlic, then saute until tender and almost translucent — about 5 minutes.
Add rice, and stir until grains are translucent at their edges but still opaque in the center, about 3 minutes. Add the wine, stirring until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Add the warm stock by the cupful, stirring until rice has absorbed nearly all of the liquid before adding the next cup, until all of the broth has been incorporated.
The risotto should be creamy and tender. Stir in the mascarpone, parmesan, and fresh thyme until everything is combined. Stir in the freshly shucked corn kernels. Taste, then add salt and pepper to your liking.