Friday, September 23, 2011

Red Pepper & Corn Risotto with Seared Scallops

Risotto is something that takes time. And love. And more time. It's not something that can be rushed and should more than likely be made on a weekend night while sipping a glass of wine. Or two. Or three.

The hubs has gotten to the point that his risotto is pretty much perfect. Its taken lots of practice (and more nagging from me than he would like because it does take so long to make), but the end result is so worth it. It's definitely possible that the first time you try cooking risotto, it could be an utter failure. I encourage you not to give up. Risotto is a dish that warms the soul and its worth all of the time and effort that goes into it.

For this version, we made a red pepper and corn risotto served with seared sea scallops. The recipe below is for a larger group, but can be scaled down to accommodate a smaller crowd; however I recommend making the risotto as is because you just can't go wrong with leftovers.

Red Pepper and Corn Risotto

1 cup diced red pepper
1 cup corn, removed from ear
8 cups chicken stock
Bouquet garni (Rosemary, thyme and bay leaf in cheesecloth)
1 medium shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T butter
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine (We use chardonnay)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 T fresh basil chiffonade

In medium skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, red pepper and corn until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside. 

Add chicken stock and bouquet garni to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until simmering. In a separate large saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil, butter and shallots. Cook shallots until soft, for 5 minutes, then add garlic, stirring frequently. Add arborio rice to shallot and garlic mixture and continuously stir until rice is toasted, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and stir as wine is absorbed into rice. Add one ladle of stock at a time, while continuously stirring. Continue to add ladles of stock every 5 minutes or until rice is fully cooked. Add red peppers, corn, and Parmesan stirring to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add to plate and sprinkle basil on top of risotto. Serve alongside scallops.


Seared Scallops

18 large sea scallops
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper

Start by rinsing scallops under warm water. Pat completely dry. Season each scallop liberally with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a cast iron skillet over high heat. Once pan is to temperature, add scallops and sear each side for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with risotto.

Serves 6


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