The extra effort of milking the corn cobs for the pulp and juices really adds a strong fresh corn flavor to the entire rice, rather than just stirring in some corn towards the end of cooking.
By Bria Helgerson
The extra effort of milking the corn cobs for the pulp and juices really adds a strong fresh corn flavor to the entire rice, rather than just stirring in some corn towards the end of cooking. The additions of garlic, pancetta, and chives didn’t hurt either. I made a huge pot and can hardly wait to eat it all week long. There may even be some arancini (fried risotto balls) in my future.
- 6-8 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 oz pancetta, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
- 4 shallots, minced
- 1½ cups arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 ears fresh sweet corn
- ⅔ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup chives, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Prepare the corn first. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cobs and place in a bowl. Be sure not to cut too close to the cob, you want just the soft crisp nuggets of corn. Then you want to "milk" the corn cobs. This basically means you want to squeeze all the pulp and juice out of the cob. I used my microplane to gently grate the cobs of corn over a bowl. After I went over the entire cob with the microplane, I quickly ran the back of my knife down each cob to squish out the rest of the juice. This can get a bit messy, so use a large bowl and wear an apron.
- Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a large saucepan or small stockpot, then reduce heat to low and keep warm.
- In a large heavy pot, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil. Add pancetta and cook until most of the fat has rendered and starts to crisp. Add the garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes, just until fragrant. Remove from heat, and transfer pancetta to a bowl and set aside.
- Over medium heat in the same pot, melt two tablespoons of butter with two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and saute until tender, about 6-8 minutes.
- Stir in the rice, and let cook until the rice toasts a bit and becomes slightly translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it has absorbed, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. When wine is just about all absorbed, add the corn kernels and pulp and stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to medium low, and add 1 cup of hot broth, stirring rice very frequently until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1 cup at a time and stirring, until rice is just al dente. This should take about 30-40 minutes, and you may not need all the broth.
- When the rice is at the al dente stage, stir in the pancetta, the rest of the butter, cheese, and chives. Add plenty of black pepper and salt to taste. Serve immediately, and if you have leftovers, its nice to have a bit of chicken broth in the fridge to loosen up the risotto as its reheating. Just a few tablespoons of hot broth can turn a sticky clump of leftover risotto nice and creamy again.