Thursday, August 22, 2013

Summer Corn & Tomato Risotto

My poor, neglected blog. I really hadn't meant to fall off the wagon again. It wasn't part of the plan. Right at the end of June, in the middle of what's supposed to the "the slow season" at work, I got crazy busy. While most everyone else was slower, my department was pure insanity. A colleage in my department left for a new opportunity, my department lead was out for health issues (and when she came back she was caught up in our software change), leaving me and only me to do the regular "day to day" stuff AND do regular website updates AND launch a completely new website for a completely new business. On top of all of that, I've been trying to be more present at home. I want to be "home" when I'm at home. Less phone, less internet, less playing around online. More family, more Hannah, more Graham, more Jane, more reading and yoga and me time....all those important things that I let go when I'm at work. Unfortunately, all of that left little time for blogging since my weekends have been busy with camping trips and visiting family. But I'm squeezing out a little time to keep the blog going to share this meal, because holy crap, it's good.

I've gotten on my soapbox and preached about risotto before. It's magic. A little broth (okay, a lot of broth), a little wine, a little time, and voila! Heaven. I really love the mechanics behind it all, and it's soothing, actually. I can stand and stir for a few minutes, then chop something else up, and when I get back to my pot, the risotto is ready for more broth and I can add it in and go back to standing and stirring.

The seasonality and flexibility is another reason I love it. It just works. Spring veggies? Done. Butternut squash? Also done. Corn? Now yer talkin'.

While everyone is talking about making the most of these "last days of summer" (STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!) I'm enjoying the moments we have. I made this meal with my daughter running in periodically to hug me around the legs and tell me she was hungry. We had fun playing with her "rice-oh-toe" and walking it off after dinner. If this meal and the evening that followed are any suggestion of what's to come with these "last days of summer", then I'll gladly take it.

Summer Corn & Tomato Risotto
(Very, very adapted from Joy of Cooking)

5 c. chicken broth
1 T. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced small
1 c. arborio rice
1/2 c. dry white wine
Salt and pepper
1 c. fresh corn
3 T. fresh sliced basil, divided
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 c. fresh grape tomatoes, halved

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until needed.

In a large pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium. When butter is melted, add the onion and saute until softened, approx. 5 minutes. Add the rice and toast, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, until all grains are lightly coated in olive oil. Pour in the wine and stir constantly until it is almost completely absorbed.

Add the chicken broth, one cupful at a time, stirring constantly until liquid is just absorbed. When liquid is added and almost completely absorbed, taste for seasonings and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Remove pan from heat and stir in the corn, 2 T. basil, and 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese. Stir together, and check for seasonings. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. Gently stir in tomatoes, top with remaining basil and Parmesan. Serve immediately.

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