19 June 2006
Lime in Risotto...Wha?
If you have ever before prepared risotto, you might know that the process entails standing over a stove and stirring constantly for at least twenty or thirty minutes.
If you have ever before tasted “Fresh Corn Risotto with Basil, Tomato, and Lime” from The Joy of Cooking, you might know that even if your apartment is 96 degrees and you are so hot that you have taken multiple cool showers and after the seventh one you just decided not to put your clothes back on, then the only logical course of action left available is to make “Fresh Corn Risotto with Basil, Tomato, and Lime” from The Joy of Cooking.
To enhance your experience of this incredibly unique flavor explosion, put your clothes back on (or not) and feast out on your back porch (or a mountain top) while sipping a glass (or three) of cool, crisp white wine (not Yellowtail).
The lime, and the corn, and the basil, and the tomatoes…you just can’t imagine its taste until you have really tasted it, and only then you can imagine the taste, because you have already tasted it and you want it to taste it everyday.
Fresh Corn Risotto with Basil, Tomato, and Lime
~from The Joy of Cooking
1 cup peeled and diced ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups corn kernels from 4 or 5 large ears (I used frozen corn once and it was still delicious)
2 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
½ cup finely chopped scallions (white part only)
1 ½ cups Italian rice (I use Arborio rice)
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Combine the first four ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Purée 1 cup of the corn kernels in a food processor.
Heat the butter in a large saucepan medium hat until the foam subsides. Cook the scallions for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Keep them from browning by not letting the heat become to high.
Add the rice and stir, coating the grains with butter.
Add the wine (I love the the hisssssssss as the wine hits the grains coated with hot butter)!
Cook and stir until the wine is absorbed.
Here is the key to creamy, perfectly textured risotto: using a ladle, add 1 cup of stock to the rice. Stir the rice over medium heat until the stock is absorbed. Add the remaining stock, one ½ at a time, cooking and stirring until the liquid is almost completely absorbed before adding more. (Sometimes I get impatient and I add a cup of stock instead of a ½ cup, but I have to do that when my husband isn’t watching or else I get slapped on the wrist with a hot, brothy ladle.)
Keep adding stock in ½ increments, stirring all the while, until the rice is almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add the puréed corn mixture with some more stock and stir for another five or ten minutes, until rice is tender. Add the non-puréed corn kernels and the fresh tomato mixture. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Don’t you dare use the icky Fake Parmesan Cheese in the green cylinder! Instead, try to find an aged hunk of parmesan, preferably imported, and grate it yourself, lovingly, with a vegetable peeler.