fresh summer corn risotto

Some days are just painful. You know what I mean, right? There’s the stress of getting the kids dressed and fed in the morning, making sure Oliver’s daycare has been paid, making sure Madeline’s swim bag is packed, remembering to buy diapers and feed the cats, and on and on and on. Our life is filled with this type of chaos.

And sometimes I take shortcuts. I do. I hereby confess that that to all who are reading.

For weeknight dinners, we often take shortcuts. Sometimes, I use refrigerated pizza dough for our “homemade” pizzas. And we’ve been known to pop open a jar of pasta sauce to top our spaghetti. Spaghetti that comes from a box. And sometimes, dinner is simply some rice topped with a can of black beans. I’m embarrassed, but it’s true. I’m admitting that right now.

So, when a busy working mother of two who gives bad news as an integral part of her profession and who has to hire a housekeeper and a babysitter and a person to mow the grass craves risotto, what does she do?

She uses her electric pressure cooker.

When I bought my electric pressure cooker about a year ago, I thought I would use it for pot roasts and stews and bean soups. As it turns out, the thing I make most frequently is risotto. I’m sure I’m breaking all sorts of culinary rules by doing so, but I really love making risotto this way. I can sauté the onion and garlic, sauté the rice, add a bit of dry white wine, pour in the chicken stock or broth, and then essentially walk away. While the machine is doing its thing, I can read my kids a bedtime story or bandage a knee or pick some tomatoes from the garden. When the timer goes off, the risotto is perfectly creamy, just the way it’s supposed to be.

This is one shortcut I’m happy to make. And I’m not ashamed.

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Fresh Summer Corn Risotto,Pressure Cooker Method

[This first version is the recipe I used, and it’s made in my electric pressure cooker. Making it this way is a huge time saver, and the risotto has a great creamy texture when it’s all said and done. Makes 4 main dish portions or 8 side dish portions.]
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2-3 ears of corn)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preparation
  1. In the electric pressure cooker, on the Sauté setting, place the olive oil and butter and let the butter melt. Add the shallot and onion, and saute for 2 or 3 minutes until  translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
  2. Add in the arborio rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is opaque (about 3-4 minutes). Add the wine and salt and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Add 4-1/2 cups chicken broth, stir, and set the pressure cooker to High Pressure setting and cook for 6 minutes. When the 6 minutes is up, use the quick release to release the steam in the pressure cooker. Open the lid carefully.
  4. Set the pressure cooker to the Simmer setting. Add the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Add the corn kernels and  cook, stirring, for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.*

* Note: While it’s recommended to serve risotto immediately, I’ve been known to keep it warm in the pressure cooker for up to an hour. It will set up a bit, but you can add in a bit of warmed chicken broth prior to serving to make it creamier.

For those of you who don’t have a pressure cooker or who simply prefer the old fashioned way, the following recipe is for you.

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Fresh Summer Corn Risotto, Stove-Top Method

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2-3 ears of corn)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preparation
  1. In a saucepan bring chicken broth to a simmer and keep at a bare simmer.
  2. In a 2 1/2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan melt butter with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and shallot, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute more.
  3. Add rice and stir until rice is opaque in the center, about 3 minutes. Add salt and wine; simmer until wine is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup simmering broth mixture and cook, stirring constantly and keeping at a simmer, until absorbed. Continue cooking at a simmer and adding broth mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, about 18 to 20 minutes total. (You will probably have broth left over.)
  4. Stir in fresh corn kernels and grated Parmesan, and cook over low heat until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.
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17 Responses to “fresh summer corn risotto”

  1. 1

    What a wonderful take on risotto!!!! I love this recipe and your photos are absolutely gorgeous! Great way to use the new pressure cooker.

  2. 2
    Jason Phelps — July 7, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    Definitely an interesting use for a pressure cooker. I don’t have one, yet…, but I can all sorts of uses for it!

    Shortcuts are like one’s favorite spices.

    Jason

  3. 3
    bunkycooks — July 7, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

    I say that a girl has to do what a girl has to do! If it works, then go for it!

    • merrygourmet

      merrygourmet replied: — July 7th, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

      BunkyCooks (Gwen) – That’s my philosophy. :)

  4. 4
    Gail — July 7, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

    Who woulda thunk you could make risotto in a pressure cooker? Brilliant. Great post, too.
    I often wonder how you do what you do….giving bad news to people. But here, you make up for it, because here, you give good news.

  5. 5

    I do not own a pressure cooker, but great tips. Love risotto with corn – what a terrific combination. Yours looks wonderfully delicious!

  6. 6
    Frank — July 8, 2010 @ 8:50 am

    No need to be ashamed. You can make excellent risotto in the pressure cooker–so long as you’re careful not to overcook the rice. Frankly, that’s the way I usually make it but don’t tell my readers…. !

    • merrygourmet

      merrygourmet replied: — July 8th, 2010 @ 10:25 am

      Gail – Cooking, writing, sharing it…it all helps keep me grounded and sane. Well, sort of sane.
      Frank – Should I have kept the secret to myself? :)
      Lisa – Thanks! I included a regular stove-top recipe at the bottom of the page, too, for those who can do it the REAL way. :)

  7. 7
    Amy — July 8, 2010 @ 11:33 am

    My expat American friend living in Northern Italy (near the Arborio rice fields!) taught me to make risotto this way, with a bit less liquid. He learned from and Italian. It’s a little less creamy and complex, but it means we have risotto often, not once a year. That’s a good thing. Trade off the mix-in’s (squash and pancetta, chicken and rosemary, sauteed zucchini and garlic, italian sausage…) and have fun. No pressure cooker shame!

    • merrygourmet

      merrygourmet replied: — July 8th, 2010 @ 11:52 am

      Amy – Thanks for your comment. I’m glad to get more support for this method. I’m feeling less embarrassed of my shortcuts!

  8. 8
    Liren — July 8, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

    You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! I actually think that using the pressure cooker is brilliant and a fantastic way to cook risotto. I was having the same kind of night last night, and our weeknights also feel rushed with chaos oftentimes. There’s nothing wrong with refrigerated pizza dough (I used some the other day), jarred sauce and boxed spaghetti! What matters is that you are still sharing your love for cooking and food with your little guys :)

    P.S. LOVE your new logo! It suits you and your blog very well!

  9. 9
    Jessica — July 8, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

    This sounds so good! I just got some Himalayan pink salt, HimalaSalt, from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com and I think I’ll try it out in this recipe with some corn from a stand near me. Thanks for sharing!

  10. 10
    Maria at Fresh Eats — July 8, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

    We all have our shortcuts. It’s better than take out or the drive-thru, right? I’ve never used a pressure cooker — now I’m curious. Also curious about your new rice cooker! And, love your new blog design!

  11. 11
    Katty's Kitchen — July 8, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

    Very interesting! I’ve never had corn risotto–nor have I tried it in a pressure cooker. But I sure wish I could have some RIGHT NOW. :) I’m saving this one–thanks!

  12. 12

    My uncle just gave me his old pressure cooker- I will have to try this out!! Looks delish! I take MANY shortcuts during the week, no shame in that :)

  13. 13
    Laura Pazzaglia — August 28, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    Beautiful photo and delicious recipe! I am Italian, and in Italy, and I can assure you that most Italians do their risotto in the pressure cooker.. we use the stove-top cooker, so it only takes 7 minutes when it’s under pressure! But hey, your 18-20 minutes is already half as long as the original.

    Ciao!

  14. 14
    merrygourmet
    merrygourmet — August 30, 2010 @ 12:07 am

    Laura – Thanks for your comment. I love the validation! :)

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