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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13 Responses to “roasted tomato soup and the critic”

  1. tami — September 27, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

    i made tomato soup yesterday (and today) and it has such strong memories for me. i cannot WAIT to hear about your CIA experience and trip to NYC. safe travels. xoxox

  2. Paula — September 27, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    Your soup recipe looks wonderful (even without Oliver’s rice LOL). Great before and after photos of the tomatoes too by the way.
    Enjoy your few days at the Culinary Institute! I went and visited your new blog. I think the idea is fantastic (!!!) I know that you will reach so many people that need so very much to read what you will post. You are wonderful for having created Eating Despite Cancer.

  3. Mauna — September 27, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

    My mom always put corn cornels in my tomato soup. Now it just doesn’t taste right without the corn.

  4. Liren — September 28, 2011 @ 1:43 am

    What?! Wow! I am so excited that Oliver has developed a liking for tomatoes, though the addition of rice on the bottom is a little interesting.

    I am so glad to see your new blog, MJ. I know that you will have a real impact in that space – food and cancer is another battle in and of itself. I remember too well from my parents’ fights how terrible the illness can be, especially to those who love food. Especially to those who need the nourishment. I’m looking forward to following you there as well.

    Have fun at CIA! So excited for you 🙂

  5. Gail — September 28, 2011 @ 6:21 am

    Nothing, but nothing is better than tomato soup. With or without rice.
    But always with grilled cheese!

  6. Brian @ A Thought For Food — September 28, 2011 @ 7:58 am

    There are few things more comforting than a bowl of tomato soup… and, as Gail said, grilled cheese. 🙂

  7. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite.com — September 28, 2011 @ 8:00 am

    I’m with Gail – grilled cheese and tomato soup – I could live off of that!!!
    Enjoy NYC and the CIA, I am green with envy…
    And go you with the new site. You’re an inspiration.

  8. Erin @ A Nesting Experience — September 28, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

    I love roasted tomato soup. This looks so delicious. Perfect for cool fall days!

  9. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — September 28, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

    Ha, I had Campbell’s tomato soup today. I jazzed it up a bit with milk, spinach and crumbled tortilla chips, but your version looks way, way, way, WAY better 🙂

  10. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — September 29, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    This soup looks lovely! Tomato soup is one of my favorites, and roasting the flavors adds so much great flavor!

  11. Karriann Graf — September 30, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

    I love tomato soup in the winter time…..especially when we make our famous grill cheese! The grill cheese is perfect for dipping.

    “Spice it Up”

  12. Russell at Chasing Delicious — October 9, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

    Yum! This recipe sounds scrumptious. I love tomato soup – the kind without rice too ; ). It takes me right back to being a kid!

  13. charlotte — October 12, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    Made it yesterday – with yellow tomatoes. Delicious and beautiful. Thanks!

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