Corn Risotto with Basil Oil

Corn Risotto with Basil Oil

Celebrate Fall with the delicious combination of fresh corn, parmesan cheese and basil. You can substitute frozen corn in this recipe, but fresh corn is worth the extra effort of cutting it off the cob. You will have left over basil oil but it can be used on a salad, roasted vegetables, or drizzled over tomatoes, cheese or pizza.

1 cup grape seed oil
2 cups fresh basil leaves
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallots, minced
2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen, defrosted
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons hand-torn basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper

To make the Basil Oil – heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the basil leaves and remove from the heat. Let the oil and basil leaves cool completely. Pour into a Vitamix or Blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Do not push on the solids to force the oil through the strainer. Throw any solids away and set the basil oil aside. (You can store any leftover basil oil in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.)

To make the Risotto – in a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a light simmer over moderately heat. Cover and keep warm.

In a 12″ sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, then add the corn, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the corn edges turn lightly browned. Remove from the heat and set aside. Cover and keep warm.

In a 4 quart sauce pan heat 1 tablespoon of butter with the olive oil over medium heat and then add the shallots and cook over medium heat until softened about 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the grains are thoroughly coated with fat about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and continue stirring until the wine has almost evaporated. Add 1 cup of the stock to the rice and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the stock has been absorbed. Continue to add stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring the risotto until the stock is absorbed before adding another cup. When there is 1 cup of stock remaining, check the risotto. If the risotto is finished it should be just tender, give easy to the bite, and the sauce should be creamy. If it is not ready, at this point add the stock 1/2 cup at a time until the risotto is finished. (You may not need all the stock.) The risotto should take 20-24 minutes total. When the risotto is finished stir in the 2/3 of the corn, Parmesan cheese, and the remaining 2 tablespoon of butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper, scoop into serving bowls. Garnish each bowl with some of the remaining corn, a drizzle (1-1/2 teaspoons) of Basil Oil, the basil leaves and serve immediately.

Apple and Brie with Puff Pastry

Apple and Brie with Puff Pastry

These savory delights are perfect for a tasty treat anytime – breakfast , lunch or a snack. Be sure to use fresh thyme in this recipe; it is delicious with the apples and honey. If available, due to it’s butter content, we recommend using Dufour Puff Pastry.

1 cup diced fresh apples
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
kosher salt
4 ounces brie cheese
I package puff pastry, preferably Dufour
¼ cup cream

Peel and core the apples. Cut into 1/4″ dice to make 1 generous cup. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When hot and bubbling stir in the honey. Cook for one minute to melt the honey then add the apples and thyme. Sprinkle a small pinch of salt over the apples. Cook the apples over medium heat until they release their juices, then stir until all the liquid is absorbed and the edges of the apples have slightly browned. Remove from the heat and let the apples cool to room temperature.

Slice the brie into eight even slices. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the Puff Pastry to form a 11″x16″ piece of dough. Cut into eight pieces, 5-1/2″x4″. Place the cheese in the center of the puff pastry and top with 1/8 of the apple mixture. Fold the dough over to close. Press lightly on the dough to seal it. Repeat with the other 7 pieces of dough until you have 8 total. Using a pastry brush, lightly baste the top of each pastry with cream. Sprinkle with a small pinch of salt.

Place on a parchment lined sheet pan, cover with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the oven is ready remove from the refrigerator, remove the plastic cling wrap, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly on a backing rack, can be served warm or at room temperature.