Fresh Corn Risotto with Bacon and Basil


I grew up in a small town in Southern Minnesota, surrounded by corn and cows. Where, besides the obvious weather, you could tell the time of year by what food was available, or at least that’s how I judged the passing seasons. Fall began when you could go to the apple orchard and pick apples, get cider and mini doughnuts. Winter was when you could make snow ice cream after a big snow storm. Summer started when the Dairy Queen opened, and everyone lined up to get a Blizzard. The middle of summer was when 2 local families sold corn out of the back of their truck. And for some reason everyone was loyal to one family or another. If you bought corn from the Grism’s you never bought corn from the Hagan’s. Looking back it seems silly because I’m sure they both had equally good corn.

Here in Seattle it’s supposedly the middle of summer, so corn is what I’m craving. It’s pretty damp and rainy so for tonight’s dinner I wanted something warm and filling and here’s what I came up with.

3 Slices of bacon, chopped
1 Small Onion, diced
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 3/4 Cup arborio rice
1/3 Cup white wine
2 Ears of corn, kernels removed from the cob
3-4 Cups chicken broth
3/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Basil

Preheat a large skillet or pot brown, when the pan is hot add the bacon and cook until it’s crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions to the same pan and cook until they are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and the rice and cook 5 minutes
more, stirring costantly. Add the wine and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add the corn and 1/2 cup of the broth, stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup of broth and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat the last step until you have added 3 cups of the broth, then taste to test the doneness of the rice. Add more broth if necessary. Stir in the cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the risotto into a bowl and top with the cooked bacon and some roughly chopped basil.

Serves 4-5

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