Monday, January 23, 2017

Corn and Pancetta Risotto

This is one of my favorite recipes. I love all risotto, but this one especially. This is from Salt to Taste by Marco Canora with Catherine Young.

The corn can also be pre-cooked for this recipe (grilled or sweated in butter) then added with the last ladle of broth.

1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta
4 ears of corn, husked
6 to 8 cups Brodo or chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
About 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 cups Arborio or other short-grained rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated
Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 400. Divide the pancetta between 2 rimmed baking sheets, laying it out in a single layer. Bake the pancetta until the fat renders and the meat is beginning to crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Pour off the rendered fat and reserve it. Chop the pancetta; add the chopped pancetta to the fat and set the mixture aside. (I only baked the pancetta the first time I made this. Now I just crisp it in a pan on the stove.)

While the pancetta cooks, cut the corn from the cobs. Reserve the corn kernels, break the cobs in half and put them in a large pot. Add the broth and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer until the broth has reduced by one-third, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the cobs. Season the broth lightly with salt and pepper and reserve.

Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a rondeau or high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add enough oil so the bottom of the pan is generously coated, about 2 tablespoons. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, about 10 minutes.

Increase heat to high and add the rice. Using a wooden spoon, stir the rice with the onion and fat until the rice no longer looks chalky and the grains begin to crackle, 2 to 3 minutes.

Make sure the pan is really hot, then add the wine/ The wine will almost immediately begin to boil. Stir constantly until the rice absorbs the wine, about 1 minute.

Add enough warm broth to just cover the rice, 1.5 to 2 cups. Cook at an active summer, stirring and scraping the rice away from the sides occasionally. As the rice cooks, the broth will become viscous. Cook the rice until it is once again almost dry, about 5 minutes. Then again add enough broth to cover. Add the raw corn and simmer, scraping and stirring every so often, until the broth is incorporated, about 5 minutes more.

At this point, add the pancetta and fat and no more than 1/2 cup broth. Stir frequently and add broth in small increments until the rice is just tender. Depending upon the age of the rice and how soft and brothy you like your risotto, you can expect to add 1 to 2 more cups in all. Just take care to go slowly so you don't add too much.

Stir in the Parmigiano and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.

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