This variation of risotto is perfect for summer. The caramelized corn gives it a hint of sweetness that is accented by the mascarpone cheese. I roast the corn in a skillet but there isn’t any reason you can’t grill the ears of corn and then take the kernels off. Finally, I suggest you use white corn if it is available as it is sweeter than yellow corn.
- Cutting the kernels off the corn is easy. Husk the corn, stand the corn on the wide end, take a sharp chef’s knife and run it down the side of the corn. Rotate the corn and continue until all the kernels are removed.
- If you can’t find mascarpone cheese, you can use cream cheese instead.
- 4 tablespoons (divided) + 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 cup pine nuts
- 2 ears of corn
- 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup rice for risotto (arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese.
- 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and lightly brown on both sides. Move to a baking sheet and cook in oven until internal temperature reaches 165°. Remove from oven. When chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into bite-sized pieces. Continue with recipe while chicken is cooking / cooling.
- Heat broth until it begins to simmer. Reduce heat to keep it just under simmering.
- Heat pine nuts in a small dry skillet tossing occasionally until barely browned and aromatic. Set aside in a small bowl.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet. Cut kernels from corn, lightly season with salt and cook until lightly browned, tossing occasionally. Set aside in a small bowl.
- Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add shallot and garlic and cook until translucent stirring constantly (do not let them brown). Add rice and stir until rice is coated with oil and begins to develop a slightly nutty aroma. Add wine and stir until wine is absorbed by the rice (a residual creaminess may be left). Add one ladle of hot broth to the rice and stir until it is absorbed. Continue adding one ladle at a time until you have used about half the broth.
- Stir in the diced tomato. Continue adding the broth about 1/2 ladle at a time, stirring and again, wait for it to be completely absorbed before adding the next. Begin tasting the risotto. It is done when it is still firm but is no longer crunchy. Remove from stove when done to your liking.
- Add mascarpone and stir vigorously until incorporated.
- Stir in chicken, pine nuts and Paremsan.