I love risotto almost as much as I love sweet summer corn, so corn risotto has been on my cooking wish list for some time. I don't know what took me so long to make it, as it's a truly awesome dish, especially when enhanced with a healthy dose of bacon--corn and bacon are a match made in heaven. The key to the risotto is the corn broth; you add the entire cob, all of the husk, and even the string to a pot full of water and allow it to simmer for an hour. What you end up with is a light broth that imbues the risotto with wonderful corn flavor.
Bacon and Corn Risotto
Serves 2 to 3
- 2 ears of corn, unshucked
- 6 cups water
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 lb smoky bacon, diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Shuck the ears of corn, trimming off any browned parts of the husks. Place the husks and the strings in a large stock pot.
- Remove the kernels from the corn cobs and set them aside in a bowl. Chop each cob into three equal-sized pieces and add them to the stock pot.
- Fill the stock pot with 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover the pot. Simmer the corn trimmings for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper and keep the corn broth warm.
- Add the bacon to a medium-size saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is slightly crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
- Pour off all but 2 tbsp of bacon fat from the pan and reduce the heat in the pan to medium-low. Add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Increase the heat to high. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice begins to crackle, about 2 minutes.
- Pour the wine into the sauce pan. Stir the contents of the pan constantly until the rice has absorbed all of the wine, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Holding a strainer over the saucepan, ladle in just enough of the corn broth to cover the rice. Keeping the risotto at a simmer, constantly stir the rice until it has absorbed nearly all of the broth.
- Stir the corn kernels into the rice. Passing the brother through the strainer, add enough to barely cover the rice. Stir the rice until it has absorbed the broth.
- Continue to add just enough broth to cover the rice and stir it constantly until the rice is soft and the risotto is creamy. This will require at least 2 cups of broth total.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese. Season the risotto with salt and pepper and serve immediately.