Tomorrow is a big day. Not only will it be my birthday, but it will also be the US election – and with all the nasty rhetoric that’s been tossed around this campaign season, I’m looking forward to it all being over. But while we’re at it, I thought I’d cook up something suitable for the occasion. Last month, Wikileaks published a set of emails that were hacked from Hillary Clinton’s server, including this little gem of mundaneity that made me laugh – tips on making risotto from Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta. Since this recipe for corn risotto topped with crab and bacon had been brewing in my head for quite a while, and I thought it would be a good time to finally bring it to fruition.
The result is a delicious, creamy risotto, with flecks of juicy corn and crisp, salty bacon mixed throughout, topped with sweet, tender chunks of crab. It’s a perfect dish to eat while watching the election results roll in!
Sweet Corn Risotto with Crab & Bacon
4 ears of corn, stripped of husks and silk
1 bay leaf
1 small white onion
4 cups cold water
Cut off and set aside the kernels of corn.
Cook on high pressure in pressure cooker on manual for 1 hour. Let pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
Remove corn cobs and set aside to cool slightly, then squeeze and wring out the juice that remains in the cobs. Return this liquid to the broth.
Strain the broth and discard the solids.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced (approximately 3/4 cup)
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is recommended)
2 3/4 cups hot corn broth
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from approximately 2 ears of corn)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
Dash of paprika
Salt, to taste
5 rashers of bacon, cut into lardons (1/2″ pieces, cut crosswise)
cooked crab meat from legs or claws (I used 3 claws per person for a total of 12 claws)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a pan, fry the bacon until crispy. Drain the fat, and set aside.
In a pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat, then aff the onion and sweat until onion is translucent.
Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat rice grains evenly with oil. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Add 1/4 cup of the white wine, stirring, until liquid is absorbed. Repeat with the remaining 1/4 cup of white wine.
Add 1/4 cup of hot corn broth at a time, stirring until the liquid is absorbed each time before adding more. (As John Podesta explains in his email, you do this because adding small amounts of liquid at a time and cooking it slowly coaxes the starches out of the grains of rice, resulting in a creamy risotto.)
When all the liquid has been used and the rice is tender but still chewy in texture, stir the corn kernels into the risotto, cooking for about 1 minute. You want the corn to retain some of its crunch and freshness here.
Remove risotto from the heat and add in the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, stirring well to combine. Add in the 2 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter and stir again. Finally, stir in the bacon.
In a small pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, then add the crab meat and toss, cooking just until the crab is warmed through.
Portion out the risotto onto plates or bowls. Top with crab meat, and sprinkle with chives.