Weeknight Cooking

Corn Risotto with Anchovy Sage Leaf Bite

October 18, 2010

Corn Risotto

- Jenny

Don’t think I don’t know how your collective minds work. You think that I am madly in love with Corn Risotto Garnished with Bacon and Anchovy Sage Leaf Bite just because MyCommunalTable instructs you to drink wine while you cook. This is just a bonus people. There is a lot of excitement that is about to happen on your stove, so please don’t focus on drunk mommy!

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Comfort food is one of those phrases that is as elastic as it is overused. Are we talking soft pillow comfort? That would be pudding. Fleece blanket? Maybe pot pies. But when what you need is not simply a culinary balm but a generous heap of anodyne, that’s risotto. Toss in corn and bacon, and well, you’ve got a suite at the Wynn, massage included.

Whenever you begin risotto, you understand your commitment. You will sip wine, sure, but you are going to have to stand there, stirring and thinking, and by the time it’s all through, you will have unraveled the flat tax, or at least secured some serious thoughts about the course of your own life, which may or may not feel a bit like a row boat on a large lake, floating without breeze.

Yes that’s right, low amylose grains so inspire!

I understand if you don’t have any homemade chicken stock on hand, and I also get that six cups is a lot to part with. But you do know that any you can give to this dish will be for the better; plus you can probably get away with just five.

Get your bacon crisped up, and then begin to boil your stock while you chop your onions. Once those are going in the pan of olive oil, do your sage and corn (I found some in the supermarket, God knows where it came from, so I am the last person to judge you if you want to use frozen. I can’t speak to others. But they’re not invited for dinner are they?)

From this point, once you’ve tossed in your rice and wine and stock, it is stir, stir, stir, ladle, stir. Stir more, ladle, sip, stir, stir. You fold the sage and corn in at the end, which will bring the starchy joy of this dish, threaded with the smoky goodness of sage, to its conclusion. Of course you do in fact want the cheese, and a sprinkle of bacon. I did not make the anchovy bites because that seemed beyond weeknight cooking to me, but if you do, whomever is eating with you will be comforted further indeed.

Corn Risotto Garnished with Bacon and Anchovy Sage Leaf Bite

By MyCommunalTable

Serves 6

Corn Risotto:

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup Chardonney
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, cut from cob
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked crispy, chopped
  • Romano cheese, grated
1. Bring chicken stock to boil in saucepan and keep simmering while cooking risotto.
2. In another sauce pan, heat up olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions until translucent.
3. Add rice and stir until opaque. About 1 minute. Add wine to rice, stir until absorbed.
4. Add chicken broth one ladle at a time. After each ladle is absorbed, add another. Stir constantly. I prefer to have the rest of the bottle of Chardonnay next to me, keeping my wine glass filled during my risotto stirring. My favorite way to make risotto.
5. When you have about 1 cup of chicken stock left, add remaining stock, corn, and sage.
6. When absorbed, finished with butter, salt, and pepper. Add cheese if you please Note: be careful with salt, if you are going to add bacon, cheese, and/or sage bites.
7. Serve and garnish with bacon and Anchovy Sage Bite for fun.


Anchovy Sage Bite:

  • sage leaf
  • anchovy
  • rice flour
  • pepper
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • canola oil
1. Mash anchovies in dish. Approx. 1/2 anchovy per sage leaf. You can make one or a dozen. Spread on one side of leaf.
2. Roll leaf in rice flour with pepper. Shake off excess.
3. Dip leaf in beaten egg.
4. Place egged leaf in canola oil that has been heating in a sauce pan.
5. Brown, drain and serve. I like to use them for garnish.
By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.

Jennifer Steinhauer

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mcs3000 October 19, 2010
Yes, please! ps. non-recipe related - am a west coast fan too, but ditto about lovely DC fall mornings.
Jestei October 20, 2010
there was one nice one.
mcs3000 October 23, 2010
you are too funny!
chacha October 19, 2010
Recipe sounds great, but I'm confused: are you using fresh or canned anchovies? I live in Europe and there are so many options..
Amanda H. October 19, 2010
Canned or jarred.
Jestei October 19, 2010
I try to always have some jarred on hand from Italy.
phyllis October 18, 2010
I cook corn & bacon risotto several times/year. Love the idea of the sage, and will definitely add that in next time. Thank you!!! Frozen corn isn't so bad, especially if you purchase the slightly more expensive mix of white & yellow. Thanks, Jenny, for the laughs and for the sage!!!
Jestei October 19, 2010
totally agree on the mix. a nice sweet mid winter treat!!
MyCommunalTable October 18, 2010
Hey, Jenny thanks for making my recipe. I laughed out loud when I read it. I think that I will make it again, probably use frozen corn because who cares when you are drunk mommy stirring the risotto. haha
Jestei October 19, 2010
that's right: drunk mommies unite over the occasional frozen vegetable (but still will not serve store bought cookies at the bake sale)
Denise October 18, 2010
I see what you mean about the anchovy bites seeming beyond weeknight cooking, but they sure look good. I'd love to have someone make this entire meal for me while I sip wine and patiently watch.
Jestei October 18, 2010
me too, believe me. next time i will make them.
Amanda H. October 18, 2010
We made them for the photo above -- and they're delicious. Also they take no time at all but they do dirty another pan.
Rhonda35 October 21, 2010
First time I ever saw anchovy bites (which had a more refined name such as "tempura sage fritters with anchovy" or something close) was in the first River Cafe book. I happened to be a houseguest and served them to my work-weary hosts along with chilled glasses of wine. I was immediately invited to move in. They are THAT good! I agree with Amanda, they really are not difficult to make, but I can also see how they could seem daunting on a weeknight. I'm wondering if a tiny bit of anchovy paste, stirred into the risotto, would give the same flavor kick?
AntoniaJames October 18, 2010
I'm not a huge fan of sage, but this recipe and your wonderful (as always) write-up, Jenny, have me re-thinking that aversion. Thanks for another great blog piece, on what looks like such a nice dinner!! (I'm trying to figure out the flat tax, too, by the way . . . as well as the economic substance doctrine with respect to tax equity financings of partnerships and leases.) ;o)
Jestei October 18, 2010
please alert the hive when you have it mastered:)
mrslarkin October 18, 2010
Jestei October 18, 2010
it seriously is.
Lizthechef October 18, 2010
Big shout-out to MyCommunalTable !!
Jestei October 18, 2010
its a good one!
Morgan October 18, 2010
Love Corn Risotto, but not sure I'll be able to find corn this time of year.
Jestei October 18, 2010
i don't extend this to many other veggies, but i am truly agnostic on topic of frozen corn if it is mixed up in a high fat manner
drbabs October 18, 2010
Hi Jenny. Thanks for finding this recipe! There's a little farmer right down the road from us and I think he still has corn--now I know what I'm making for dinner tomorrow night! (P.S. Does the incipient vegetarian consider bacon a vegetable? XO)
Jestei October 18, 2010
incipient vegetarian was cut out of this meal!!!