This dish is inspired by the fabulous local ingredients I pick up all over the North Shore of Massachusetts. The star in this dish is the fresh corn picked up at the Newburyport Farmers Market from Heron Pond Farms in South Hampton, NH. There's nothing like walking up to the barrels of corn and seeing a sign behind them stating, "picked at 4:30 this morning." That sign is why if you haven't started eating partially locally, or at least in the summer, you should. Food doesn't get better than that.
Playing a supporting, yet oh so important to the plot, role is the Farmhouse Jack I picked up from the West River Creamy from Londonderry, VT at the market. This creamy jack was a perfect addition to give this dish just the kick it needed right at the end.
The chives? Those are picked right out of our backyard patch and always tasty.
Without further ado...
Corn & Chive Risotto
Adapted from: Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers' Market
- 2 or 3 ears of yellow corn, husks and silks
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 cup thinly sliced leeks OR scallions (I used scallions)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
- 4 Tbs. basil oil (1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup basil pureed in a blender, you'll only use half)
- 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
Strip each ear of corn using a sharp knife or a corn stripper. Set aside 1.5 cups of kernels.
In a dutch-oven over medium heat, melt the butter, add leaks or scallions, turn to coat. Cover and let soften for 5 minutes, making sure not to burn.
In a separate saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken stock (I used low sodium/low fat) and water. Keep it hot, but not simmering.
Pump up heat under leeks or scallions to medium, add rice and cook, while stirring constantly until rice is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the hot liquid 1/2 cup at a time, stirring all the while, adding more ONLY when the liquid has been absorbed. Just keep an eye on the consistency. After 10 minutes, add the corn in. Keep adding the liquid until you reach the desired consistency (al-dente but creamy). I didn't use all the broth and it all took about 20 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and cheese, chives and basil oil. Stirring so it's all worked in.
I garnished it with slices of avocado (that was yummy!) and we got about 4 servings out of it. If you have leftovers, add a splash of chicken stock and warm gently and slowly on the stove and you'll be able to enjoy it all over again!