15 Aug 2010 04:25 pm
4-1/2 to 6 cups chicken stock (preferably home made)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
2 cups Arborio rice (available in the Italian Food section of most NYC supermarkets)
1/3 cup white wine
Corn kernals cut from 2 ears of corn (approximately 1 cup)
1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Have all ingredients prepped, measured, and readily at-hand near the stove. In a two or three quart saucepan, heat the stock until it begins to simmer. Turn the heat to medium low and maintain the stock at a simmering temperature (you will need to keep the stock hot throughout the next steps).
In a heavy-bottomed, large saucepan heat the olive oil until fragrant and shimmery. Add the onion and cook slowly over medium-low heat until just beginning to brown, 7 – 10 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the rice grains are translucent on the edges and still opaque in the center, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it is fully absorbed and no liquid remains in the pan.
Stir in a generous pinch of salt (about ½ tsp). Using a ladle, add just enough of the hot stock to thoroughly moisten the rice to its surface. Stir, maintaining the heat at a lively but controlled simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed and you begin to see the bottom of the pan as you’re stirring.
Ladle in more stock, just enough to thoroughly moisten the rice, and stir until the bottom of the pan is again visible. Repeat this process until the rice is as soft or as al dente as you want it: total time from the first addition of stock until the grains are cooked will be about 17 to 20 minutes. Stir in the corn, tomatoes, and basil.
Remove the rice from the heat (and turn off the heat under the stock). Stir in the butter and parmesan cheese, and flavor with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
A few notes:
Don’t worry if there is stock left over: the amount you use will vary with the type and age of the rice, and even with the humidity of the day.
The rice will continue to cook and will soften a little further after it’s removed from the heat, so you might want to stop cooking it when it’s slightly more al dente than you want.
Be careful with salt if you’re using commercial stock — it can be very salty, and its saltiness will intensify as it simmers and reduces during the risotto-cooking process.
If the corn is less than super-fresh, add it a little earlier in the process to give it additional cooking time.