Alllll the way back in April I mentioned my love for smoked paprika in my smoky sweet potato bake post, but unlike my love of dungarees and N*Sync, my obsession with paprika has not waned (although having said that, dungarees are making a comeback. It’s weird, if I was a kid now I’d be so trendy in my dungarees and leggings; I was so underappreciated back in the 90s).
Anyway. Roasted corn risotto – with smoked paprika. I could eat sweetcorn with pretty much every meal quite happily, but it becomes even more special when you roast it. Each kernel becomes a warm, chewy little nugget, and when it’s mixed with the smoky risotto, it’s a seriously good combination. Plus since I roasted a tiny bit of cheese along with the corn, you get a few little crispy bits of cheese mixed through. It’s wonderful.
You all know I love making risotto, but this was one of my favourites yet (I think I might say that every time but it’s true). It reheated really well the next day too, and I looked forward to it all day – I keep meaning to remember to make arancini with my leftover risotto, but when it’s something this good I’m always so desperate to eat it that I don’t bother. Next time I’ll have to make a double batch so that I can have both.
My pet rats are making it very difficult to write this post. I’m quite often browsing the internet while I have them out to play, but the one time I’m actually trying to do something useful like write a blog post, they keep running across my keyboard and writing things for me. It’s usually nonsense, but they do seem to have a knack for pressing buttons and doing things to my computer that I don’t quite know how to undo. Just now they opened up a program I’ve never even seen before. Clever little critters.
People often seem to think it’s weird that we have pet rats, but they’re gorgeous. What about you guys, any pets? Anything unusual? I know some of you will think rats are gross, but I think they’re adorable, so I can’t help myself sharing a picture. Quite often when our friends meet them, they’re wary at first but end up loving them.
That’s James on the left and Nibbles on the right. James had to have an operation a few weeks ago but she’s recovering well so she’s back to her usual self now. Nibbles is the mischievous one, as you can see.
Anyway, I got a little distracted then, sorry. One more picture of the food, and then you can have the recipe:
- 250g corn kernels (I used drained, tinned corn, but you could try using fresh)
- 10g butter
- 100g cheddar cheese, grated
- Black pepper
- 1tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2tsp smoked paprika
- 200g arborio rice
- ~1l vegetable stock (or 1 stock cube plus ~1l hot water)
- 1tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- Lay the corn kernels out on a baking tray in a single layer. Add a few small pats of butter, and sprinkle with just a little of the cheddar (just 2-3tbsp of it - save the rest for later). Season with salt and pepper, and place in an oven heated to 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F) for around 30-40 minutes, stirring well halfway. Remove from the oven when it is golden brown and the pieces at the edge are beginning to turn crispy.
- While the corn is roasting, prepare the risotto itself. Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan, wok or risotto pan, and cook the onion and garlic, along with the paprika, over a medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the rice and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then begin to add the stock, around 100ml at a time, allowing it to be mostly absorbed by the rice before adding a little more. Ensure you stir regularly. It's fine if the mixture bubbles very gently, but keep it at quite a low heat.
- Continue adding more stock (and stirring well) until the rice is cooked and at your desired consistency - I ended up needing about 950ml, and it took around 30 minutes. Add the remaining grated cheese, the chopped coriander, and the roasted corn, and serve warm.