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Cooking With Myra: Try your hand at Fresh Corn Risotto with Shrimp and Green Sauce

By By Myra Starkey
June 4, 2013 at 1:04 a.m.

Fresh corn risotto with shrimp and green sauce

Fresh Corn Risotto with Shrimp and Green Sauce

• 24 large shrimp (2 pounds)

• 2 Tbsp. olive oil

• 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

• 3/4 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. pepper

• 1 Tbsp. Sriracha (spicy red sauce) or reduce to 1/2 Tbsp. for a milder flavor

• 3 shallots

• 4 ears sweet corn

• 2 Tbsp. butter

• 4-5 cups chicken broth

• 5 sprigs parsley

• 3 sprigs thyme

• 1 sprig rosemary

• 1 bay leaf

• 2 cups Arborio rice

• 2 Tbsp. olive oil

• 1/4 cup chopped parsley

• 1 cup grated Parmigianino cheese

Peel shrimp, reserving the shells. Set shells aside. Combine shrimp with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and Sriracha. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Peel shallots and chop finely. Cut corn kernels from fresh ears and set aside. Do not discard corn cobs. Melt butter in 2 quart or larger saucepan and add shrimp shells. Saute for a few minutes and add corn cobs, parsley sprigs, thyme, bay leaf and rosemary. Pour broth over the mix and boil for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and discard all solids. Return stock to pan and keep warm.

Combine shallots with 2 tsp. olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add Arborio rice and toss until coated with olive oil. Stir in 1/2 cup of the broth and stir constantly. When liquid is completely absorbed add more broth 1/2 cup at a time until all broth is used. Only add broth when the previous addition is absorbed. Continue to stir constantly. Stir in reserved corn kernels and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Add grated cheese and stir. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Rice should be creamy in texture. Remove from heat.

Heat a large skillet over high heat and add shrimp. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until shrimp turns pink. Spoon 1 cup risotto in bowl. Top with shrimp and then drizzle with green sauce. Garnish with a sprig of basil or thyme. Sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese grated as desired.

Green Sauce

• 1/2 cup water

• 6 Tbsp. arugula

• 3 cloves garlic peeled

• 6 Tbsp. chopped parsley

• 6 Tbsp. chopped mint

• 3 Tbsp. basil

• 1 Tbsp. thyme leaves

• 4 Tbsp. olive oil

• 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. anchovy paste

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and puree thoroughly. Add more water as necessary to have a consistency thin enough to drizzle.

The last six or seven weeks have been very busy for us. It began over the Easter holiday with all of Taylor's side of the family together in Fredericksburg.

Next was a nephew's wedding in Dallas, again with all of Taylor's family. The weekend after that, we went to Houston for our son-in-law, Ben's, graduation from law school.

Our next trip was to Waco for our youngest son's graduation from Baylor. On our way home, we stopped through Austin to dine with our oldest son and then went to Wimberley for the marriage of Kyle, the son of some of our dearest friends.

And finally, last weekend we returned to Fredericksburg. My daughter, Hannah, and I gave a prewedding party and then attended the wedding for another young couple.

This time it was Ryan, son of our good Victoria friends Bob and Susan, marrying Becky from Temple, the sister of our son-in-law, Ben. We then went to the Texas State Arts and Craft Fair in Kerrville before finishing out the Memorial Day holiday in Rockport with Kim and Jerry.

This past weekend, we went back to Rockport and mostly just sat around and did nothing. And that was great. I am not complaining about the last month and a half. We got to eat a lot of good food and visit with lots of old friends. It was all enjoyable except for sitting through the two graduation ceremonies.

Spencer, the final member of our family unit, graduated from Baylor, and we were very proud of him, just as we were of Miles and Hannah, our other two kids who graduated from the same institution in years before.

The announcer said his full name, Spencer Mitchem Starkey, in a very forthright and dignified manner, and Spencer walked across the stage to receive his diploma. We briefly cheered from way back in the arena and tried to take his picture with our telephoto lens.

Then it was over, and we went back to reading our books until they got to the Y and Z names. Then, we exited into the bright sun and took a few more pictures with our new graduate. I think Taylor and I were smiling biggest because we had finished receiving tuition bills from three kids at Baylor.

In another sense, I felt some sadness at the graduation because I knew it would be the end of our time at Baylor. We might still go for an athletic event, but neither Taylor nor I are that much into sports. Since at least one of our kids has been there for the last eight years, we have visited the campus fairly often and felt like we were a part of what was happening.

Taylor and I both graduated from Baylor, as did his parents, my two sisters and his four sisters. We will always consider it a special place for the students our kids met there and the professors who taught them so well. Someday, we might have grandkids who attend, but for now, that chapter in our life will fade.

A few weeks later, I experienced a similar sadness. Taylor's oldest sister had a beautiful country place outside of Fredericksburg, and although we would only go visit once or twice a year, we really enjoyed it. Their comfortable home was an architectural masterpiece that overlooked a deep granite canyon. From the edge, one could hear the water cascading over the multiple falls down below.

Hiking into the canyon and climbing among the giant boulders around the clear pools was an incredible thing to do. In the springtime, wildflowers were thick on the hills above. Unfortunately, their neighbor made them an offer they couldn't refuse, and they were somewhat tired of living so far from town, so they are selling the ranch. As we finished our last visit there two weeks ago, I knew we would never return. We would only have memories and the many photographs we took through the years. It was the end of that chapter.

Our leaving Baylor and our loss of a great vacation spot are actually not huge events in our daily lives. They are insignificant in comparison to the loss of a loved one, such as a parent or a spouse or a child. Retirement or serious illness or loss of a job would also be a much bigger deal.

We have chapters in the book of our lives, and one ends and another starts. Until the end, there is always something else ahead. We can't flip back in the book. We can only make the best of each day, one day at a time, even in the slow times or the days of mourning and loneliness.

In my life, I always try to look ahead because I have seen that joy and beauty and new relationships and great food shared with old friends may just be around the next bend in the road. And that will be my next chapter to live.

My friend, Mary Lou, shared some sweet corn with me last week. She probably has no idea of the smile she put on my face. I shucked about 70 ears and put some up for eating later in the summer.

I have been digging through recipe books in anticipation of preparing my bounty. I have visions of corn fritters, sweet corn-studded cornbread, corn ice cream, corn salsa, corn salad, corn chowder, grilled corn, corn cakes and the list goes on.

I prepared a fresh sweet corn risotto with shrimp and a drizzle of green sauce. Yummy. The crunch of the corn was a complement to the creamy risotto. I hope Taylor is ready for a corn frittata for breakfast.

Myra Starkey lives in Victoria. Write her in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901, or email myra@vicad.com.

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