Friday, August 12, 2011

Brown butter and corn quinoarborio risotto

I think that sometime in college or grad school I must have had some disappointing corn on the cob, because I was convinced that frozen corn was pretty much as good as fresh. Well, this summer, Jon has convinced me to get fresh ears, and I can't believe what a fool I was! This dish came about as an idea of how to use a corn broth if we were to make one with the leftover cobs. While I was making it, I discovered that I only had 2/3 of the arborio rice I needed, so I supplemented with some quinoa. The risotto was still nice and starchy, and I think the extra taste and texture from the quinoa was subtle but interesting. We put corn into the risotto while it cooked and garnished with fresh, raw kernels to get two different corn experiences.

We really loved this risotto. The brown butter base was rich, but it also allowed the corn flavor to shine. It made very comfy Sunday dinner.

Brown butter and corn quinoarborio risotto

3 ears corn, kernels separated from cobs
6 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp basil, divided
4 tbsp butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cover corn cobs with water in a medium to large saucepan. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp basil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Drain broth into another saucepan, squeezing liquid from cobs if possible. You can make the broth in advance. Just heat it up before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.

Place butter in another medium to large saucepan, perhaps the one you just made broth in. Melt over medium heat and let cook until light brown, stirring or shaking pan occasionally. Add onion and 1/2 tsp basil and cook for about five minutes. Add 2/3 of the corn (about 3/4 cups) and cook until onions are soft. Add rice and quinoa and stir to coat with butter. Add about a cup of corn broth to the pot, stirring to combine. Let simmer. When most of the liquid has been absorbed, repeat until rice is tender. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Garnish with raw corn kernels.

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