Grilled corn and fire-roasted poblano risotto

Today I was inspired by a leftover ingredient from last week’s ancho-honey glazed tofu steaks. I have a whole can of chilies in adobo sauce to use before they go bad, so I based this entire dish on using the leftover sauce.

I thought it might be fun to try a southwestern/Italian fusion dinner. Lots of southwestern dishes use rice as the base, so I chose risotto. Plus, it was a great excuse to grill corn, even if it is a little premature for the season. I lucked out today because the corn I picked up was totally awesome and flavorful. Roasting the peppers over an open fire in the kitchen was pretty fun, too.

At first I was just going to use the adobo sauce as-is, but it packs a lot of heat that I didn’t want to over-power the rest of the flavors. Enter the trusty Greek yogurt. That worked well because risotto dishes are often finished with cream, so this was going to do the trick just fine.

It didn’t occur to me to put the sauce on the bottom of the dish until the moment it was time to plate. I had thought about mixing it in when adding the corn and peppers or topping the risotto with it. Putting it on the bottom turned out to be a great choice. It ensured that each bite of risotto got a hit of that smoky, spicy flavor of the adobo sauce. The yogurt helped temper the heat of the adobo and each bite brought the taste of sweet, roasted corn and the roasted flavor of the peppers.

I have to admit I was a little turned off by the color of the adobo. When mixed with the yogurt, it came out a little on the pinkish side. But I remember reading something that said not to let color dictate the presentation of your plate. The flavors should be front and center and if your dish ends up being all white, then let it be all white. Wise words, indeed.

I also want to give a shout out to those that are following me. Thank you! If you try any of these recipes, I’d love to hear what you thought of them!

corn-poblano-risotto

Ingredients

Serves 4

Risotto:

  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups broth (I used vegetable broth)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for the corn
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 ears corn
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper

Adobo sauce

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce (taken from chilies in adobo sauce)

Instructions

  1. Mix the adobo sauce with the Greek yogurt and keep chilled until ready to use.
  2. Brush the corn with olive oil and grill until slightly charred, approximately 8-10 minutes.
  3. While the corn is cooking, place the poblano peppers over an open flame on the stove, turning occasionally until evenly charred. Once the peppers are thoroughly charred, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 6-7 minutes.
  4. Take the corn off the grill and allow to cool slightly. While the corn is cooling, peel the charred skin off the peppers.
  5. Slice the top off the peppers and pull out the seeds. Chop the pepper into small pieces and set aside.
  6. Once the corn is cool enough, cut the corn off the cob into a bowl and set aside.
  7. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  8. Heat the broth over low heat and hold at a steady warm temperature.
  9. Cook the onions for 5-6 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  10. Add the risotto and stir until incorporated. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and stir until the liquid has evaporated.
  11. Add the broth to the risotto one cup at a time until the risotto is cooked through, about 15-17 minutes.
  12. Once the risotto is fairly cooked through, add the corn, peppers parmesan cheese and a few pinches each of salt and pepper. Stir until well incorporated, 2-3 minutes.
  13. To serve, spread the adobo yogurt sauce on the bottom of the plate. Spoon the risotto over the sauce and serve.
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