Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sweet Pea Risotto with Corn Broth

Tonight's dinner was inspired by two things: Gordon Ramsey, and the fresh peas we picked a few weeks ago. The peas are obvious, and Gordon Ramsey was an inspiration because we like the show Hell's Kitchen and he is always yelling about the risotto being bad/cold/tasteless/etc.

I've wanted to make this recipe since it came out in the August 2006 issue of Cooking Light. It was very good, but took a long time to prepare. I doubt I would make it again because of the amount of time (an hour and a half!). If I did make it again, I would skip the 'dressing' because it has no purpose and adds nothing, and I'd add garlic to the risotto. I also omitted the fennel, which I would do again. It was really good. It did a great job showcasing the fresh flavors of the corn and peas. Yum!

Sweet Pea Risotto with Corn Broth

Corn Broth:
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1/4 teaspoon salt

Risotto:
3 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup uncooked arborio rice
1/2 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons minced carrot
3 tablespoons minced celery
2 cups fresh green peas
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup diced fresh fennel
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Remaining ingredients:
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

To prepare corn broth, combine 2 1/2 cups water and 2 cups corn kernels in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until corn is tender. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place corn mixture in blender; process until smooth. Strain corn mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Set aside; keep warm.

To prepare risotto, bring vegetable broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil); keep warm over low heat. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add onion, carrot, and celery; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add warm broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes). Add peas, 1 cup corn kernels, fennel, 2 tablespoons cheese, and thyme, stirring until blended and hot. Keep warm.

Combine vinegar, oil, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and garlic in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Place about 1/3 cup corn broth in each of 6 bowls. Top each serving with about 1 1/2 cups risotto; drizzle with 1 teaspoon vinaigrette. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon cheese, 1/2 teaspoon parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon chives. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

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