charred corn & chile risotto with seared tuna

Sometimes I hang on to recipes for a long time.  Sometimes they get tossed out, because our tastes change, or there’s a thousand other things we want to cook & just won’t ever get around to them.  Then there’s recipes I hang on to, waiting for the perfect ingredient to come in to season, or the perfect occasion & once we finally take a bite, we wonder why we ever waited so long.

This is definitely a case of the latter.

I bookmarked this recipe right after I read Nicole’s lovely post, but somehow summer came & went without this risotto.  The ingredients in this week’s Food Matters Project recipe, a corn-avocado salad with a little something seared, sparked my memory of this dish.

I just don’t know why we waited so long.

serves 6

4 ears yellow corn
1 jalapeño, seeded & quartered lengthwise
6-8 cups chicken stock
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
1/4-1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 small vidalia onion, diced
1 4oz can green chiles
2 cups arborio rice
3/4 lb tuna steak
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat.  Coat the corn with olive oil & grill, turning to get each side evenly seared & dark golden brown.  Set aside to let cool a bit.  Add the jalapeño slices to the grill pan & cook until soft & skins charred, turning halfway through.  Place the jalapeño slices in a sealed ziplock bag to cool.

While the corn & jalapeño cool, bring the chicken stock to a simmer over medium heat, in a medium saucepan.  Add the cilantro to the bowl of a food processor & with the motor running, stream in olive oil, until it reaches the consistency of a pesto.  Scrape into a separate bowl & wipe the food processor clean.

Once the corn has cooled, cut from the cobs & add to the bowl of the food processor.  Pulse until broken down, but still slightly chunky.

In a large, heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil & 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat.  When the butter has melted, add the onions & a pinch of salt & stir to coat.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the onions are slightly soft & translucent.  Add the rice & cook for 2 minutes, stirringly constantly.  Add one ladleful of warm chicken stock, stirring frequently until almost all of it has been absorbed by the rice.  Continue this process until the rice is halfway done, around 12 minutes.

At this point, coat a grill pan with a little olive oil over high heat.  (A great way to evenly coat it is by drizzling an old, clean rag with oil & rubbing over the grill grates with tongs)  Season both sides of the tuna steak with salt & pepper.  Place on the grill pan & sear for 2 minutes on each side.  Set aside on a cutting board.

Continue to cook the risotto.  Add the corn, jalapeño & green chiles, still stirring frequently.  Around 20 minutes of cooking time, begin to test the rice for doneness.  It should be like an al dente pasta, tender, but with a little bite left.  Once it’s there, remove from the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of butter & parmesan cheese & stir until both are fully melted & combined in the risotto.

Thinly slice the tuna steak.  Add a few spoonfuls of risotto to each serving bowl, top with tuna & serve immediately with a swirl of cilantro pesto.

adapted from cooking after five, via eat this poem

To see the original Corn-Avocado recipe & to see some great pictures of the French Laundry gardens, be sure to visit Jenn at Vanilla Lemon.  To see dozens of other amazing variations on this recipe, don’t miss the link up at The Food Matters Project.

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5 Responses to charred corn & chile risotto with seared tuna

  1. Evi says:

    I hold on to so many recipes as well, and then hope that one day I’ll get to make them. I might have to save this one myself and give it a try- looks amazing!

  2. Lexi says:

    This really sounds great!

  3. Margarita says:

    i love how homey this recipe is… this is a dish that fills not only your belly but also your heart… this is a keeper indeed!

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