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Tomato and Sweet Corn Risotto
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Tomato and Sweet Corn Risotto

The White Dog Cafe Cookbook:
Recipes and Tales of Adventure from
Philadelphia's Revolutionary Restaurant

By Judy Wicks and Kevin von Klause, 1998, Running Press

“This is one of our favorite summer risottos. The opposing tang of the
tomatoes and the sweetness of the corn is bridged by a large handful
of chopped fresh basil…For the broth we use a quick and easy corn
stock, made by simmering corn cobs and aromatics – to reinforce
the sweet corn flavor.”

Corn Stock
4 ears of sweet corn
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small onion, peeled
6 basil stems
5 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
10 cups water
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh
or canned tomatoes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced leeks (white part only)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup finely diced fresh ripe tomato
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Make the stock:  With a sharp knife, remove the corn kernels from
the ears of corn and reserve for the risotto. Place the corn cobs,
garlic, onion, basil stems, peppercorns, bay leaf, salt, and water
in a large stockpot set over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the
heat and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the stock into a clean saucepan;
discard the solids.
2. Combine 1 cup of the corn stock with the coarsely chopped tomatoes
in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Add the purée
to the remaining stock and set over low heat.
3. Make the risotto:  In a large, nonreactive saucepan set over medium
heat, heat the olive oil until it ripples. Add the leeks and cook until
translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the rice, toss to coat with the oil, and cook until it exudes a nutty
aroma, 1 to 2 minutes. Continue stirring and add the wine. When the
wine is absorbed, add enough of the corn-tomato stock to just cover
the rice. Bring to a gentle simmer and stir. As the rice absorbs the
liquid, add more stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring before and after
each addition (you might not use all of the stock). After about 20
minutes the rice should be tender but still firm in the center.
4. Stir in the reserved corn kernels and diced tomato. Taste the rice
for doneness. If it is still starchy in the center, add a little more
broth and continue to stir until the broth is absorbed. The rice
should be tender yet firm, loose but not runny. Stir in the basil,
Parmesan, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve immediately.

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