My friend Penny of The Comforts of Home and From Harvest to Table is a multi-talented lady. Not only has she turned her new home into a beautiful place to live by painting, sewing, digging in the dirt and creative decorating, but she is also an accomplished and creative cook. This past weekend David and I had the pleasure of dining with Penny and her hubby. The menu was posted in her kitchen.
We were seated in her cozy kitchen nook and enjoyed the crostini and brushetta while she stirred the risotto and we all had a chance to chat. It is fun to watch the hostess put the finishing touches on a meal. It is smart though to have a place for your guests to sit well out of the way of the action. Sometimes it is easy to get distracted when people are leaning over your shoulder and messing in your space. Penny has the perfect set up.
Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of the appetizers. But they were just perfect with a glass of crisp white wine.
I cannot say enough about the Creamy Corn Risotto with grilled shrimp and truffle oil. This is a perfect summer dish. All of the flavors of fresh corn are extracted from the ears. The cobs are used to make a stock and the corn kernels are used in both a puree and a saute. The risotto is creamy and full of the flavor of corn. The shrimp with truffle oil is just simply the perfect embellishment to the dish. I can see why Penny said “there were a lot of mmms going on from her friends” when she first made this because we were doing it too. We all ate our dishes with a big spoon and I scraped my bowl clean.
Ah, Poached Pears in Marsala wine with English Stilton Cheese. This was such an elegant dish and believe it our not it was made in a crock pot. Simple elegance. Penny and I both have The French Slow Cooker cookbook by Michele Scicolone which we love. But she also bought the Italian Slow Cooker and this recipe came from that book. It is a no fail easy way to poach pears and the rich sauce and bleu cheese complemented it perfectly. I have a feeling Penny will have the recipe on her From Harvest to Table website soon so be sure to go over there to view it. Here is her recipe for the risotto. It might seem long but it can be done in stages and each component held in the fridge until the final cooking of the risotto.
This is a perfect dinner party menu. I hope you give it a try. Thanks Penny.
CREAMY CORN RISOTTO WITH GRILLED SHRIMP AND TRUFFLE OIL
RECIPE (serves 6)
- 6 ears corn, husked
- 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise
- 1 leek (white and light green part only), cut into 1-inch pieces
Corn Purée and Sauté
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup grated Sartori Stravecchio cheese (or another domestic Parmesan cheese)
- 24 peeled and de-veined shrimp
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon truffle oil
- 2 medium summer truffles, very thinly sliced (optional)
Make the Corn Stock
Using a large chef’s knife, cut the corn kernels off the cobs and set aside. Place the cobs in a large stockpot along with the onion, celery, and chopped leek. Add 10 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain the corn stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard the solids. You should have at least 6 cups of stock.
Make the Corn Purée
Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the butter begins to foam. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the reserved corn kernels, season to taste with salt and pepper, and continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the kernels begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, thyme, and 1 cup of the corn stock and continue to simmer over low heat until the mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Remove the thyme and purée the mixture in a blender until smooth.
Sauté the Corn
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining corn kernels and sauté until the corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make the Risotto
Heat the olive oil in a large wide saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Add the wine and reduce the heat to a simmer until most of the wine has evaporated. Add 1 cup of the corn stock to the pan and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until most of the stock is absorbed. Repeat the process with the remaining 4 cups of corn stock, making sure the stock has been fully incorporated after each addition before adding more. Once the rice is tender yet firm to the bite, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the corn purée, sautéed corn, and grated cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Prepare The Shrimp
Preheat a gas grill to high. Lightly brush the peeled and de-veined shrimp with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Place on grill and cook until pink, about 2 minutes per side.
Divide the risotto among 6 warm bowls. Arrange 4 shrimp atop each bowl of risotto. Drizzle with the truffle oil and garnish with sliced summer truffles, if desired.