Mushroom and Corn Risotto

I made this fabulous risotto, perfect in September when there still is fresh local sweet corn and mushrooms like chanterelles are available. You can buy lovely mushrooms at the Hellertown Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings, or in most grocery stores. I used my mini wok to do most of this recipe.

There is no cheese in this recipe.  I suppose you could add some but it isn’t necessary.  If you used veggie broth this would be vegetarian and if you use Earth Balance instead of butter; vegan.  I just found it to have an amazing depth of flavor.  Worth every bit of effort.

mushroom risotto

Mushroom and Corn Risotto, serves 4-5

3 tbsp. butter divided

1 tsp. olive oil

8 ounces chanterelle mushrooms or other wild mushrooms

1 large shallot; diced small

1 ear of sweet corn

1 medium yellow onion finely chopped

1 cup Arborio rice

½ cup vermouth or dry white wine

3 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

2 minced garlic cloves

1-2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or chervil

Directions: Heat large saucepan (I use my mini wok) and add 2 tbsp. butter and oil, melt butter and add mushrooms which you have chopped, cook 2 minutes; add shallots and cook 2-3 minutes, and turn out into a bowl. Cook one ear sweet corn about 7 minutes; I steamed mine in a frying pan with ¼ inch water in the pan.  Let cool and then chop off all the kernels, add to mushrooms. Heat the chicken broth in a saucepan until hot but not boiling.

To the pan you sautéed mushrooms in: add 1 tbsp. butter and then the chopped onion once the butter melts.  Cook 4 minutes, add garlic and rice and cook 1 minute, add wine and cook 1 minute, add chicken broth one ladle full at a time.  Stir after adding each ladle and stir a couple times as it cooks.  When the broth is mostly absorbed add another ladle. When I add the first ladle I set my timer for 16 minutes. When the 16 minutes have elapsed add the sautéed mushrooms, shallot and corn kernels, also salt and pepper. Stir well and cook 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently and taste it; can cook another minute if necessary (total of 20 minutes for the dish once rice added.) Turn it off and then add the herbs, stir and serve.

Notes: risotto seems like it will be difficult and a bother but you can probably do other things as it cooks; just keep an eye on it and stir the pan whenever you can to redistribute the broth so it soaks into the rice; at least every other minute. The slow absorption of the broth causes the rice to swell and cook perfectly.  You must use Arborio rice for risotto; no other rice will work.  You could use red onions if you like instead of yellow. If you want it creamy you can add ¼ to ½ cup milk when you add the corn into the risotto. Maybe I will do that next time.

You can use any sort of mushrooms you like. I had lovely wild chanterelles and honey mushrooms. The flavor of this risotto was out of this world.  Without the cheese most risotto has it was lighter and seemed to melt in my mouth in a delicate explosion of flavor.  Definitely the best risotto I have ever made and I honestly make risotto regularly as my starch accompaniment to a main protein.

This recipe is from “The Mushroom Lover’s Mushroom Cookbook” by Amy Farges with minor changes.

Sweet Corn and Lobster Chowdah

Sweet corn is one of my favorite summer treats.  So is lobster. Why not combine them in a delightful light summer fish chowder? So I did.  This is as good a chowder as any I had when I was living in Massachusetts or visiting New England.

You can vary the fish/shell fish as you wish, ditto for the veggies. Or cut back on the veggies if you are a hater of produce! This is my basic recipe, change as needed to make it less rich, richer or even dairy free. Just don’t overcook it or boil the chowder once the half and half is added.  I used yellow straight squash; love the color but green zucchini will work just as well.

I promise you that chowder lovers will be crazy for this fish soup!

lobster chowder

Sweet Corn and Lobster Chowder  six servings

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped onion; one large

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups fish broth or chicken if that is what you have

1 pound of Yukon gold or small red potatoes, diced

½ to 3/4 cup of summer squash diced

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped red pepper

1 carrot diced

One large ear of sweet corn (could add another ear if you adore corn)

1 lobster tail (thawed)

¼ lb bay scallops

1/3 lb cod, dice into large chunks

6-8 large shrimp, shelled

1 tbsp shredded fresh basil

1-2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1 tsp fresh oregano leaves

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

½ cup half and half (cream if you want it rich or milk for less rich)

1-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Heat the oil in a two quart sauce pan, add onion, cook 3-4 minutes, stirring, don’t let brown.  Then add garlic and cook another minute.  Add the broth.  When it is hot again add the potatoes.  Meanwhile, while broth heats cut the sweet corn off the cob, put the cob in the broth as it will release a lot of flavor.  Set the kernels aside to add later. Add the lobster tail to the hot mixture; let it cook about 6-7 minutes, remove and let cool a few minutes, snip open the underside and remove the meat, dice and set aside: will add back when potatoes are done.  Add the summer squash, red pepper and carrot, cook until all the veggies are nearly done, no more than 15 minutes.  Remove the corn cob. Add the cod, the scallops and the shrimp.  Let cook about five minutes.  Add the half and half and return to medium heat.  Do not boil.  If the soup is too thick add more half and half or more broth. Add the sweet corn kernels, the cooked lobster meat, salt, pepper and the fresh herbs. You could sub in snipped up rosemary for the oregano if  you like.  As soon as it is hot; sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Great with fresh gf French bread or rolls and a green salad.

The inspiration for my recipe is the potato, corn and monkfish soup in Jane Brody’s Good Seafood Book. A number of changes have been made.  Great cookbook for seafood lovers.

 

Sweet Corn Hack

Sweet corn season is here.  In many places really good sweet corn can be had, like farms markets, road side stands and even Wegmans!  I don’t know about you but when I only am making one or two ears it seems silly to fire up a tall pot of water.  I do steam the corn which only takes an inch or so of hot water but still…too much to do.

Two summers ago, on a hot day, I realized there was a quick and easy way to make an ear…or two without that big hot pan of water and steam. I just take a large frying pan, put a quarter inch of water in it, sprinkle of salt and let it heat until bubbling.  I then lay in my ear or two which I have husked and removed all the silk.  Then the pan is topped with a lid or an empty pizza pan if your frying pan is too big for your lids.  Cook it the usual time; depends on how fresh the corn is.  The fresher your corn ears, the less cooking time you need.  The steam in the pan will cook it really fast.  Maybe 6 to 8 minutes.

 

And the bonus is that if it runs out of water your ear will get a bit of carmelization going which only adds to the flavor.  In fact I hope it gets browned a bit; sometimes I rotate the ear to brown it on another side.  Remove with tongs when your corn reaches the done stage you like.  Sometimes I take a quick bite to test for eating readiness!

Serve your ear(s) with salt and butter and enjoy fresh corn without heating the kitchen up much.  Oh and I have some lovely prong thingies my sister gave me for pushing into the corn so my fingers stay cool as I munch corn.  Great idea. Get them! Mine are plain like these; they do make corny looking versions but I prefer these simple looking ones.corn prongs

Sweet Corn Shortcut

Sweet corn season is almost here.  In some places really good sweet corn can be had already!  I don’t know about you but when I only am making one or two ears it seems silly to fire up a tall pot of water.  I do steam the corn which only takes an inch or so of hot water but still…too much to do.

Last summer, on a hot day, I realized there was a quick and easy way to make an ear…or two without that big hot pan of water and steam. I just take a large frying pan, put a quarter inch of water in it, sprinkle of salt and let it heat until bubbling.  I then lay in my ear or two which I have husked and removed all the silk.  Then the pan is topped with a lid or an empty pizza pan if your frying pan is too big for your lids.  Cook it the usual time; depends on how fresh the corn is.  The fresher your corn ears, the less cooking time you need.  The steam in the pan will cook it really fast.  Maybe 6 to 8 minutes.

corn 002

Hard to see; black pan. But the corn is in a small pool of bubbling hot water.

corn 004

And the bonus is that if it runs out of water your ear will get a bit of carmelization going which only adds to the flavor.  In fact I hope it gets browned a bit; sometimes I rotate the ear to brown it on another side.  Remove with tongs when your corn reaches the done stage you like.  Sometimes I take a quick bite to test for eating readiness!

Serve your ear(s) with salt and butter and enjoy fresh corn without heating the kitchen up much.