More corn ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

30 May 2008

More corn

Speaking of corn, how about standing over the hot stove for 45 minutes making corn risotto?

Risotto is actually really easy: it just requires time standing around stirring. That's ok; the best hanging out happens in the kitchen anyway. Now you just have an excuse to be in there. I mean, an excuse besides "that's where the gin lives."

Corn risotto

a yellow onion
arborio rice/other ok short grain rice
dry vermouth
hot broth
butter/olive oil
grating cheese if you want it
salt, pepper, fresh parsley

First: broth. You need at least two or three cups, depending on evaporation and etc. If you have it, put it in a pot and bring it to a low simmer. If you don't have it, make some: throw whatever vegetable scraps you have on hand into a pot of water, bring it to a boil, and simmer it while you're starting the rest of the risotto. For vegetables, use at least the top and skin of your onion, a couple cloves of crushed garlic, and at least one mushroom. Besides those, most things are fair game. Potato peels, a cherry tomato, four green beans, a broken scallion: whatever. Just don't use crucifers: cabbage, broccoli, or brussels sprouts. On long cooking, those make everything REEK.

Ok. So melt some butter or heat some olive oil in a deep pot. Chop up your onion and let it melt down slowly in the oil. If you feel like garlic, you might want to add a minced clove or two as well. It's not really necessary, though. When the onion is translucent, add a cup of raw rice and a big couple glugs of vermouth (or wine if you feel like it) to the pan. This should make the texture in the pot a nice sloshy solid. Turn up the heat to medium and start stirring. I like making risotto with a wooden spoon.


When the rice looks translucent around the outside, but has a noticeable white core, add a half cup or so of your simmering broth. Stir some more. The rice will absorb the broth, cooking gradually. When things start to look dry and sticky, add more broth and do it again. Repeat this three or four times, so the rice turns more and more solid. At some point in here, prep your corn: slice fresh kernels off the cob or defrost frozen ones in hot water. On the fourthish broth round, add your corn as well. Then continue with your broth addenda until the rice is fully cooked.

Take your pan off the heat. If you want cheese, grate a bunch of it and add it directly to the pan. Stir to get everything adequately melted and mixed. Also add a little pinch of salt, a whole lot of black pepper, and as much chopped parsley as you like. Since risotto is totally sticky and dense and starchy, I like a lot of parsley.

Now put it in a bowl and eat it!

Leftover risotto wants to be risotto cakes so badly!

Risotto cakes

Heat a decent nonstick pan. Drop spoonfuls of leftover risotto onto the pan. Let them color on the first side for five minutes or so before flipping. Then brown the second side. Then eat them. Risotto cakes generally have an issue sticking together adequately; you can either experiment with adding beaten egg and etc, or just decide not to care. I personally don't care as long as I get a lot of nice chewy crusty bits. Crusty bits!

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