Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Things I Don't Know

I wish there was someone else to blame, I really do. Three-year-olds get to point their fingers with impunity as do prominent politicians (remember Sen. Larry Craig?) and corporate executives (Enron, Lehman Brothers, etc., etc.).

So I guess I'll just have to plead ignorance, hang my head in embarrassment and shame and admit that all these years I've been tossing out corn cobs after scraping off the golden sweetness of their kernels. Little did I know that you can take those sheared cobs, submerge them in water, simmer for a half hour or so and…voila!…you'll have the most wonderful stock for risottos, soups and sauces.

I can only plead for mercy and promise, cross my heart (and in my best Scarlett accent), never to let another cob go unused again.

Corn Risotto with Bacon and Basil

3 slices thick-cut bacon, sliced in 1/4" strips
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
2 c. arborio rice
1 c. dry white or rosé wine
2 c. corn kernels
5 c. corn stock
1/3 c. basil, chopped fine
1/2 c. parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
Salt, to taste

In 2 1/2-3 qt. heavy-bottomed sauce pan, cook bacon until its fat is rendered but it is not yet crispy. Add oil and butter and melt. Add onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat till translucent. Add rice and stir for about 30 seconds till grains are hot and coated with oil. Add corn and combine. Add wine and stir till absorbed, adjusting heat so rice doesn't stick. Stirring frequently, add stock one ladle-full at a time, allowing rice to absorb it before adding more. When rice is tender but still slightly al dente, stir in basil and cheese and adjust salt to taste.


EcoGrrl said...

you aren't the only one! i never thought about that for veggie stock! makes those babies take forever to decompose in the compost pile so might as well make the most of them. thanks!

Kathleen Bauer said...

I live to share…

But seriously, it just reminds me that there is ever so much to learn!

Cristin said...

Great timing. I am making Wild Salmon with Corn, Cherry Tomato and Artichoke Saute tonight from Ivy's Farm to Table Cookbook. This is the perfect recipe to follow it to use the corn cobs and remaining bacon and basil. Thanks!

Kathleen Bauer said...

Yum! I love Ivy's books…her recipes always turn out great!

Zupan's Markets said...

Stocking up on stocks (pun intended!) like this one is a savvy way to make the bounty of summer last into fall. The fabulous local corn and veggies we have right now combine to make the perfect base for warm, satisfying soups once the cold weather hits. Plus, this is a great + creative way to get full value out of your produce dollar!

Lulu the Baker said...

I'm making this tonight, and I was wondering if you could suggest any ratios of corn cobs to water for the stock. Do you just cover the cobs with water or fill a whole pot with water or something else entirely??? If you get this comment in time, or even if you don't, feel free to email me! Thanks!
speedylu at gmail dot com

Kathleen Bauer said...

I usually break the cobs in half so they fit in the pan more tightly, then barely cover them with water, bring them to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Easy!