Sweet corn takes me back to my childhood more than almost any food. I grew up on a little acreage in Iowa and our mainstay was sweet corn. We not only grew it for ourselves, we sold it and traded it with friends and families for their mainstay crops and livestock… it literally fed our home.
Our preparations however were limited. I only remember eating corn on the cob in the summer and scalloped corn in the winter made out of the corn we had put up for the winter. These preparations are hard to beat, although I never really liked eating the corn off the cob… especially after I chipped both of my front teeth. I thought it would be fun to highlight a different way to enjoy the bounty of the sweet corn we have now!
Sweet Corn Risotto is a close relative of creamed corn or scalloped corn, so if you love those dishes, I’m sure you will want to try this recipe.
Sweet Corn Risotto
Yield: 4-6 servings
Active time: 30 minutes
Start to finish: 30 minutes
2 cups fresh corn (from approximately 3 ears of corn)
4 to 6 cups corn stock (see instructions, below)
2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs oregano
1 small onion, small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1. Cut the corn kernels from the cob, and set aside in a bowl. Make sure to run the knife over the surface of the cobs, and add any juice or creamy corn that comes off the cobs to the bowl with the kernels.
2. Break the corn cobs in half and place them in an 8-quart stock pot. Cover with approximately 10 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the cobs for about 30 minutes.
3. Strain the stock into a medium-size saucepan, and discard the cobs. Keep the corn stock at a low simmer on the stove. If the quantity of liquid remaining is less than 6 cups add water to the corn stock until it reaches 6 cups.
4. Heat a heavy pot over medium heat, and add the butter or olive oil or even both if you like… I do! Place the oregano sprigs in the pan and fry for a minute on each side, or just until it stops making a popping sound. Remove and place on a napkin. Remove the leaves from the stems and rough chop. Set aside.
5. Add the onions, and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and rice, and cook until the rice has toasted, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and simmer until reduced.
6. Add the corn stock one ladle at a time, and stir each time until the pan is dry before adding another ladleful. Continue in this fashion until the rice is cooked to your liking.
7. Stir in the reserved corn kernels, cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and oregano leaves.
I'll be demonstrating this recipe at the Chicago Botanic Garden on Saturday, September 9 at 1:30pm and again at the Green City Market on Wednesday, September 13 at 10:30am. Stop by to watch me make it in person, and bring your questions!
If you are curious how to select and cook corn, we have a video to help guide you through that process.
And since corn is in the height of its season right now, The Chopping Block has A LOT of hands on cooking classes that feature corn coming up in September: