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Aug 23, 2017 11:37 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Recipes: Fresh Corn Risotto And Aromatic Steamed Clams In Sparkling Wine

Sep 4, 2017 10:27 AM

This new cooking technique is perfect for two ears of corn on the cob. Place the corn (just as it is, husks, silks, cob and all) in the microwave oven and cook for seven minutes (four minutes for one ear). Use potholders to place the hot corn on a cutting board. With a sharp chopping knife, cut off the entire stem end, see photo, to let some of the steam escape. Loosen the husks around the cut and with a paper towel lined hand, hold onto the top of the corncob and pull off the husks and silks. It’s like magic—the silks adhere to the husks and slide right off the kernels! It’s easy with nothing to clean up.

However, for a dozen ears of corn, husk and remove the silks before cooking and rinse with cold water. Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil (salt toughens the corn), drop the corn into the water and turn off the heat. Let the pot sit for three (young corn) to five minutes (average corn). Under cooking is better than overcooking. Remove the corn and immediately wrap the ears in a clean linen towel on a platter and serve at once.

When you tire of corn on the cob, make a “go to” creamy summer corn risotto that can function as main course, a vegetable, or a carbohydrate.

Fresh corn and clams are synonymous with Long Island summers. If you don’t have time to dig your own clams, pick up your favorite clams at the fish market. Check each one by trying to pry it open with one hand by pushing the clam with your thumb and forefinger in the opposite directions. If it’s filled with mud, it slides right open. Scrub clams with a stiff brush under cold running water and soak for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Make this recipe with aromatic sparkling wine for a flavorful feast of clams. Bon appétit!

Fresh Corn Risotto(Serves 6)6 and 1/2 cups good quality chicken or vegetable stock

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion

2 cups raw Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry vermouth

1/4 teaspoon chopped saffron

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Raw kernels of 4 ears of corn cut off the cob

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for passingTo prepare:Bring the broth to a slow steady simmer in a large pot over medium heat.

In a large heavy bottom saucepan over moderate-high heat, film the bottom with olive oil.

Add onion and sauté, stirring often until they are translucent, about two minutes.

Add saffron and sauté until aromatic, one to two minutes.

Moderate the heat, stir rice into the onion mixture and toast it by stirring rather slowly and constantly until the grains turn golden, feel loose and dry; They will “click softly” in the pan.

All at once, add vermouth, raise the heat, bring to a boil, and cook until the liquid is absorbed. When the rice is almost dry, ladle in enough stock to barely cover the rice, stirring constantly.

Regulate the heat so the liquid just simmers. Continue adding stock about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as the rice absorbs it. When the grains have doubled in size and are suspended in a creamy liquid, and rice is tender—al dente—set the pan off the heat.

Stirring with a wooden spoon, add the fresh corn, a dollop of butter and half of the cheese and mix into the risotto.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Spoon the risotto into warmed soup plates, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garnish with a few raw corn kernels.

Pass extra cheese at the table.Aromatic Steamed Clams 
In Sparkling Wine(Serves 4-6)2 to 2 and 1/2 pounds cherrystone or your favorite clams, scrubbed and rinsed

About 1-and-1/2- to 2-inch piece of slab bacon, cut into small dice (lardoons)

About 1 tablespoon olive oil

2 shallots, minced

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

6 to 8 parsley stems, without leaves

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

1 750-milliliter bottle sparkling wine: Prosecco, Blanc de Blanc or Champagne

About 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley for garnishTo prepare:Scrub each clam with a stiff brush under cold running water to remove mud and grit. Soak in a bowl of cold water for at least 40 minutes, changing the water every now and then.

In a large skillet or saucepan with a lid over moderate high heat, add lardoons and sauté until they are crisp and brown, transfer them to a paper towel lined dish and reserve.

With paper towels wipe out the pan (the flavor remains without the fat) and lightly coat the bottom with oil. Add onion, shallots and garlic and sauté until aromatic, about two minutes.

Add parsley stems, pepper, and bay leaf, sauté briefly and pour in sparkling wine and clams.

Cover the pan and bring to a boil, cook about three to four minutes, then check the clams.

With a slotted spoon, lift out the clams as they open and transfer them to a deep bowl and tent with foil to keep warm.

Discard any unopened clams.

Bring the cooking liquid to a rolling boil and reduce, about three to four minutes. Strain the liquid through a paper coffee filter lined strainer set over a bowl or pitcher to catch residual sand or dirt. Swirl a few drops of extra virgin olive oil or butter into the sauce, taste and adjust the seasonings.

Pour sauce over the clams, scatter lardons on top, and garnish with parsley.

Serve with hot crusty bread.

Serve cold Prosecco or Sauvignon Blanc with the clams.

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