7 Days of the Food Network: Day 3, Cat Cora
March 29, 2011 § 1 Comment
J: As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of people seem to be kind of scared of risotto for no good reason. It does require a bit of babying and attention, but it’s really not much more than stirring a pot of rice continuously for half an hour. Hard? Not so much. I’m also pretty much always up for trying new risotto recipes, and this one from Cat Cora (one of the Iron Chefs!) was awesome, with sweet corn and herbes de provence giving it a distinctive and fresh taste. Bizarrely, I could not find herbes de provence in my local grocery store, so I improvised with what I had on hand, using approximately 1 1/2 tsp thyme, 3/4ish tsp basil, and 3/4ish tsp rosemary instead. If you can find herbes de provence, I’d recommend using it, but if not, the risotto still tasted pretty yummy with my herb substitutions, so feel free to give that a shot.
Cat Cora’s Sweet Corn Risotto with Herbes de Provence
(recipe found here)
5 c chicken or vegetable stock
3 tbsp olive oil
3 scallions, sliced thin
1 1/2 c arborio rice
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 c dry white wine or vermouth
3/4 c fresh or frozen sweet corn (if frozen, make sure it is thawed before you add it to the risotto)
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 c Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbsp herbes de provence
Prep all your ingredients before you do anything else. Grate your cheese, chop your scallions, have your corn ready to go, so you don’t have to flail around looking for ingredients when it’s time to add them. When you’ve got all that done, heat up the stock in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring it to a near-boil, and then turn down the heat and just have it sitting there simmering gently while you cook.
Add the olive oil to a large saucepan and let it heat up, over medium heat. When hot, add the scallions and cook them for a minute or two, until they start to become translucent. Add in the rice and start stirring.
After a minute or so, add 1 c of the hot stock to the rice, and stir until it’s fully absorbed (this shouldn’t take very long). Season with a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper. When the first cup of stock is absorbed, add the wine/vermouth (again, I recommend vermouth. It’s so versatile!), and let the rice absorb that too. Keep stirring throughout all of this.
Continue to add hot stock to the risotto, about 1/2 c at a time, each time letting the liquid get mostly absorbed before adding more. Eventually your risotto will start to get creamier. After 2 1/2 or 3 c of stock, start tasting it to make sure it doesn’t get overdone; keep adding stock until it gets to your desired consistency. I like it to be just a little al dente when it’s finished, but if you prefer softer rice, go ahead with that.
When it gets where you want it to be, turn off the heat and stir in the corn, butter, cheese, and herbs. The butter and cheese will both melt and be absorbed pretty quickly, and you’ll end up with a super-creamy, fresh-tasting risotto that will remind you of summer.
Serve hot, and enjoy!