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Sweet Corn & Wild Mushroom Risotto

Posted Oct 05 2010 12:00am
This was the main course for my Fall Back to Summer Luxury Dinner for Project Foodbuzz Challenge 3.  Check out the full menu and entertaining tips, and if you would like to be a guest please vote for me !!!  Voting this round narrows the field from 200 to 100, so your vote means alot!  Thank you so much :)

Viewed as a transitional course in my fall-to-summer menu (with fall being the appetizer and a summer-inspired dessert), putting corn and squash in the main course was an easy decision.   I decided on using some frozen sweet corn (fresh is no longer available) and dried wild mushrooms in a risotto seasoned with garlic and thyme.  After roasting acorn squash with some warming spices, I used that as a serving "dish" for the risotto.   While the risotto didn't quite come out how I envisioned it, it was delicious and I think almost everyone had seconds (even some thirds)!

And the cod?  Well, I'll have to work on the recipe.  I didn't say much about it during dinner, but I wasn't thrilled with the way it came out.  A low and slow, relatively hands-off method seemed like it'd be easier, but indeed I wish I had caught it a little earlier.   I served it over some arugula that I dressed with a quick balsamic vinaigrette, then topped it with some chopped fresh parlsey, chives and lemon zest and served it with a lemon slice.  We'll wait for a better version, and skip right to the risotto!

Sweet Corn & Wild Mushroom Risotto
loosely adapted from this recipe
Serves 8

My changes mostly reflected the fact that I wasn't able to use fresh corn.  You could certainly use raw corn, fresh off the cob, simply add it after sauteing the onions!  Also, if you have the cobs available, the corn broth from the original recipe would certainly add to the flavor!

3-4T extra virgin olive oil, divided
1-2T butter
1 large onion, diced (or 2 smaller ones)
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced/pressed (I think I used 2 large cloves)
1T finely chopped fresh thyme
2c Arborio rice
1/2c white wine (optional, I left it out this time)
2qts liquid (I made this up with 1qt veggie stock, mushroom broth from reconstituting the dried mushrooms, and water)
~1oz dried Matsutake mushrooms * (use more if you have them)
1-2c boiling water
2c cooked corn kernals (mine were from a steamer bag)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1c (loosely packed) freshly grated white cheddar cheese
2-4T freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In your largest pot/dutch oven, add butter and a few tablespoons of oil and heat over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent.  Add the garlic and thyme and cook a minute more.

Add dried mushrooms to a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let steep for a few minutes while you tend to the risotto, then chop before adding to the risotto.  Reserve water and use as part of the liquid, making sure to not use all of the mushroom water so the sediment stays in the bottom of the bowl (not in your risotto ;)).

Stir in the rice and cook, stirring occasionally until all of the rice has been coated (with so much rice, this took a little longer than normal).  If you were using wine, you would add it at this step, stir a bit and let the rice absorb most of the liquid.

Continue adding the stock into the rice ~1c at a time, stirring gently.  Stir a few more times until the liquid is absorbed (not dry), add more stock and continue the process until rice is fully cooked (not crunchy or mushy...  somewhere in between, chewy and soft).   Stir in corn and reconstituted mushrooms after a few additions of liquid.

Taste the risotto and season with salt and pepper.  Taste again.  Drizzle the remaining few tablespoons of oil and add the cheeses.  Stir until everything is fully incorporated.  Cover and allow the risotto to sit a few minutes (or longer) before serving.

As mentioned, I served a large spoonful of this over acorn squash roasted with a little extra virgin olive oil, a good dusting of cinnamon and cumin, and a hint of nutmeg.

*I received these mushrooms (at no cost) from Marx Foods .

Vote now if you haven't yet to help me advance to the next round!!
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