I present to you… my new favorite summer dish.

Mini Roasted Poblano Risotto Cakes with Grilled Corn Salsa I howsweeteats.com

Leave it to me to destroy traditional Italian rice and trash it up with as many tex-mex flavors as I can!! Obvi.

Oh yes. Is this sacrilegious? I have not a drop of Italian blood in my body so I think it’s okay.

Because if I were a risotto cake I would want to be this risotto cake. It has all good things like cheese and grilled corn and is only missing basics like chocolate and bourbon but I’m not sure exactly how that would work. Pretty sure I could figure it out though. Don’t doubt it!

Mini Roasted Poblano Risotto Cakes with Grilled Corn Salsa I howsweeteats.com

This is quite the fancy dish for a Monday and I say that because many Mondays I revert to the easiest turkey tacos or I quickly make some pasta and dump everything from the fridge on top. Having something like this on Monday is a total treat because all I really want to do is eat the leftover pizza from the weekend. That’s still in the fridge.

Have I ever told you that Eddie hates leftover pizza? Like refuses to eat it. Cold or reheated. WHO is he?

Never fear, at least someone in this house can deal with that issue. Cough cough.

Mini Roasted Poblano Risotto Cakes with Grilled Corn Salsa I howsweeteats.com

It’s only June 9th but can I say it’s summer now? I know it’s not technically summer but for me it is so summer. I’m doing summer things like sitting in the sun (and complaining about the heat) and leaving the windows open (and complaining that it’s too hot) and eating popsicles (but complaining that my hands are too cold) and drinking ice cold lemonade (and then freezing) which tastes so.darn.good.

I’m quite the joy to be around. No but really, I am l-o-v-i-n-g this season already. This meal is the epitome of that.

Mini Roasted Poblano Risotto Cakes with Grilled Corn Salsa I howsweeteats.com

This is the first dish I’m sharing for delallo happy hour week (yesterday I shared our little vid with a, uh, dirty martini spread (!!!)) and it miiiight just be my favorite. Or comes in at a close second. I used their arborio rice because it comes neatly packaged in this perfect little box fit for my kitchen and means I don’t have to whip out any measuring cups. Because I’m stubborn and if you tell me I need to measure something, I’m purposely not going to measure something. Hence all these lovely recipe disasters.

Not only did I roast some poblanos (well, okay – one day I grilled them, one day I roasted them – both delicious) and shove them inside the most flavorful risotto, I then pan-fried these little babies into cakes, covered them with a big fat drizzle of makeshift chipotle crema and topped ‘em off with some ridiculous grilled corn salsa.

Let’s just take a moment and eat that with a spoon.

Mini Roasted Poblano Risotto Cakes with Grilled Corn Salsa I howsweeteats.com


Mini Roasted Poblano Risotto Cakes with Grilled Corn Salsa

Yield: serves 4

Cook Time: 1.5 hours


4 cups leftover cooked, chilled risotto
2 poblano peppers
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup flour
1 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil

grilled corn salsa
4 ears sweet corn
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/3 cup freshly torn cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

chipotle lime crema
2/3 cup sour cream or full-fat greek yogurt
1 chipotle pepper, diced
1 tablespoon adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
1 lime, freshly zested and juiced
a pinch of salt


Begin by either roasting or grilling the poblano peppers. I either place them on the grill until charred, under the broiler in my oven until charred or on my gas stovetop until charred. Once the skin is black and charred, place the peppers in a ziplock bag and seal for 20 minutes. Set aside. After 20 minutes, rub the skin off of the peppers. Sometimes I do this with a paper towel or under water. Remove the seeds and dice the peppers.

Add the cooked risotto to a large bowl and break it apart with a fork. Add in the ricotta and flour and stir, then toss in the peppers. Bring the mixture together with your hands and form mini cakes about 1 1/2-2 inches in diameter and 1 inch in thickness. Pack the cakes together so they stick.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil - I usually start with about 1 1/2 tablespoons. Add the panko to a bowl. Place each risotto cake in the bread crumbs and press gently so the crumbs adhere. Add them to the skillet and cook until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Serve the risotto cakes immediately with the crema, grilled corn salsa and a wedge of lime.

As a note, I make my risotto the night before and let it sit in the fridge. I toasted the rice in 2 tablespoons olive oil, add 2 garlic cloves, use 2 cups of chardonnay and about 3 to 4 cups of low-sodium chicken stock. Once the liquid is absorbed, I add in 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano. This way the risotto is super flavorful to make the cakes.

grilled corn salsa
To grill the corn, rub the ears with the olive oil. Lately, I've been grilling my corn without the husks on and without foil, so it takes only a few minutes. Place the ears on the grill and cook until the corn is golden or charred - whichever you prefer - turning the ears as you go. Remove them from the grill and let cool slightly. Then slice the kernels from the cob.

Combine the corn, tomatoes, peppers, onion and cilantro together in a bowl. Add the juice of one lime, the salt and pepper and toss well. You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge.

chipotle lime crema
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. If the crema is still thick, add additional lime juice.

Mini Roasted Poblano Risotto Cakes with Grilled Corn Salsa I howsweeteats.com

and you eat a lot of color too!

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55 Responses to “Mini Roasted Poblano Risotto Cakes with Grilled Corn Salsa.”

  1. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — June 9, 2014 @ 6:44 am

    The grilled corn salsa with the tomatoes, the charred corn kernel, the lime and jalepeno – just that alone, I’d be stoked! And then the crema with the adobe chile sauce, the lime in that, oh wow. And you are so creative to use leftover risotto. Seriously, you blow me away! Pinned! And yes, I am loving summer too!


  2. #
    Mary @ The Kitchen Paper — June 9, 2014 @ 6:54 am

    Everything about this has my mouth watering. Like the charred corn. And the risotto. And the peppers. And tomatoes. AND LIME CREMA! OMG pretty much everything. Send these to Vietnam, please?


  3. #
    Bri | Bites of Bri — June 9, 2014 @ 7:00 am

    This is the perfect way to make risotto summery! Love these! I want to eat all of them.


  4. #
    Bri | Bites of Bri — June 9, 2014 @ 7:00 am

    This is the perfect way to make risotto summery! Love these! I want to eat all of them.


  5. #
    Bri | Bites of Bri — June 9, 2014 @ 7:00 am

    This is the perfect way to make risotto summery! Love these! I want to eat all of them.


  6. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — June 9, 2014 @ 7:06 am

    Eddie doesn’t like cold pizza?! Me and my hubs JUST talked about how that is greatest leftover, cold food in all the evers!
    I have never made risotto. But, charred corn, and lime crema? This needs to happen to my taste buds
    AND, I have those measuring spoons. Love. Pinned!


  7. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — June 9, 2014 @ 7:14 am

    So much summery goodness!


  8. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — June 9, 2014 @ 7:21 am

    Oh my gosh, grilled corn!!! I totally forgot about how much I loved that last year, and it’s definitely happening this weekend. LOVE all the colours in this dish – you can trash up my rice any time! ;)


  9. #
    Ashley — June 9, 2014 @ 7:40 am

    Hates leftover pizza???? Eddie!!!!!! Umm, this sounds amazing. Polenta is so so great with Tex-Mex flavors. Also, that 2nd photo. Love. (see you SOON!)


  10. #
    Jenna — June 9, 2014 @ 8:10 am

    I can always count on you to get me craving dinner for breakfast! Looks amazing!!


  11. #
    Harper — June 9, 2014 @ 8:17 am

    Made your chicken salad recipe last night. Took me about an hour to forgo the crackers and eat it with a spoon. Sweet Jesus it was good.


  12. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onions — June 9, 2014 @ 8:22 am

    Summer in a trashed up risotto patty, love it


  13. #
    Chelsea @ Gal on a Mission — June 9, 2014 @ 8:37 am

    Oh yum! Anything that contains grilled corn is always delicious. By the way, cold pizza is the bomb. Enjoy your week. :)


  14. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — June 9, 2014 @ 9:11 am

    That grilled corn!! These look so gooooood.


  15. #
    CakePants — June 9, 2014 @ 9:11 am

    Oh these look beyond delicious!! How is it possible that I’ve never had risotto cakes before?! Obviously, that needs to change ASAP :)


  16. #
    Christina — June 9, 2014 @ 9:45 am

    If I don’t have any leftover risotto, how many cups of arborio rice would I need to make four cups, cooked? Thanks!


  17. #
    Kim — June 9, 2014 @ 9:46 am

    I absolutely think you should make a chocolate + bacon risotto.


  18. #
    Barbara braun — June 9, 2014 @ 9:53 am

    Jess are you sure you donot have any Italian in you ?????? Cold pizza…….left over pizza………you better recheck!!!!!!! Love this risotto!!!


  19. #
    Amanda — June 9, 2014 @ 9:55 am

    These look great. I love that shot of the grilled corn, delicious! :)


  20. #
    Alyssa — June 9, 2014 @ 10:06 am

    Uggghhhh I so wish I had a grill!! I wonder if I can make this inside somehow…


  21. #
    JJ - 84thand3rd — June 9, 2014 @ 10:23 am

    Love the sound of these! If you really wanted to add chocolate and bourbon a dark mole sauce would do the trick … Because everything is better w chocolate and bourbon, obviously ;D


  22. #
    Katie — June 9, 2014 @ 10:27 am

    SUMMER! I want to immerse myself in this season as much as possible, so I probably need to eat this every day.


  23. #
    Julia — June 9, 2014 @ 10:50 am

    As a full-blooded, hot-headed Italian, I say this dish is a go! It’s so far from Italian cuisine, that it does not offend my meatball heart in any way. Instead, it looks AMAZING!
    Now, put chicken in your pasta or sugar in your tomato sauce and deem it “authentic Italian” and my people will have beef with you ;)


  24. #
    Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — June 9, 2014 @ 11:26 am

    I love trashing up risotto, it is one of my favorite Italian foods to completely muddy up with non-Italian flavors! and that grilled corn salsa looks incredible, pinning!


  25. #
    Adrienne @ Midwestern Belle — June 9, 2014 @ 11:43 am

    I can’t wait to try these with a side of margaritas!


  26. #
    Annie @Maebells — June 9, 2014 @ 12:23 pm

    I have been so into poblanos lately, I just can’t get enough! Love this mix of flavors, can’t wait to try!


  27. #
    joelle @ on a pink typewriter — June 9, 2014 @ 1:51 pm

    Mmmm, yum!


  28. #
    Alex @ Kenzie Life — June 9, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

    These look perfect for the summer! With a margarita slushy popsicle on the side :)


  29. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — June 9, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

    This photo is all sorts of perfection.


  30. #
    Lisa G — June 9, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

    Yum, beautimous!


  31. #
    collette — June 9, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

    YUM!!!! I love whole foods lemon risotto cakes and haven’t been brave enough to try to re-create them, but now with your recipe as a guide. I can attempt it. But I have to admit- your version sounds EVEN better!!!!


  32. #
    Erica @ Fulfillment From Scratch — June 9, 2014 @ 5:33 pm

    Oh man! I have been loving pairing poblano and corn lately and can;t get enough! I want to eat poblanos all summer long- will haev to try this recipe out ASAP. I recently adapted a corn poblano salad to include quinoa..another thing I can’t get enough of!


  33. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — June 9, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

    I love leftover pizza so much!…but so does my man, and he always eats it all!! WAH! Soooo in a way, you’re totally lucky.

    This recipe totally screams summer!! LOVE!


  34. #
    Heather @ Cleaning Girl — June 10, 2014 @ 5:01 am

    It’s so creative to use leftover risotto for this and it’s sounds to be very delicious. Everything on pictures looks amazing i will try to prepare it by myself. Really good summer food :)


  35. #
    Nicole deB. — June 10, 2014 @ 6:21 am

    What is this “leftover” risotto that you speak of?? I did not know risotto could be “leftover” ?!?!?! I thought it was tradition that you licked the plates and the pan clean when risotto was served!! :- P

    I’m totally trying this. any excuse for risotto….


  36. #
    Happy Valley Chow — June 10, 2014 @ 9:33 am

    Wow does that look incredible! I would absolutely devour that for sure :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow


  37. #
    Cate @ Chez CateyLou — June 10, 2014 @ 11:15 am

    I love that you put tex mex flavors into risotto! These look so amazing – what a fun dish for summer!


  38. #
    angela@spinachtiger — June 10, 2014 @ 11:22 am

    I’m Italian. I say it’s okay, cause these are beautiful.


  39. #
    Millie// addalittle — June 10, 2014 @ 11:30 am

    Ummm.. HOLD UP because these look totally amazing!


  40. #
    ami@naivecookcooks — June 10, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

    Wow, this is Brilliant!!


  41. #
    Stephanie @ Long Distance Baking — June 10, 2014 @ 9:44 pm

    These pictures are gorgeous! I’m craving this already. Also, I’m pretty sure I have about a 2 degree window where I’m a comfortable temperature, it’s always “I’m so hot let me drink this cold coffee. But now I’m cold! Let me put on a jacket. Now I’m hot! Let’s turn on the AC…” I have issues.


  42. #
    lisatberry — June 11, 2014 @ 6:55 am

    These risotto cakes are gorgeous and that’s coming from an Italian girl. Leftover pizza is the best especially reheated on the grill. Don’t let him go..that’s all the more pizza for you!!! I always joke with my husband that I wouldn’t have married him if I knew he didn’t like pizza crust..I don’t either and we always have this pile of crust on pizza nights. lol


  43. #
    Christina Michelle — June 11, 2014 @ 8:24 am

    I made this the other day and it was amazing!
    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. :D I will definitely be making it again!


  44. #
    Casey — June 12, 2014 @ 1:02 am

    omg YUM, anything involving grilled corn makes my heart skip a beat


  45. #
    Lish — June 12, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    I can’t believe I am just finding your blog (through another blog friend actually). Love it!!


  46. #
    Caroline H — June 12, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

    I totally made this and it was super ultra delicious. With the leftovers, I decided to add a bed of mixed salad greens in cllantro dressing (al la trader joes) and a poached egg on top. Two big thumbs up for both. I’ll be eating it round three again tonight haha!


  47. #
    Sara — June 13, 2014 @ 9:02 am

    These look AMAZING! Now I just need to manage to save up some leftover risotto. :)


  48. #
    Jennifer Stewart — June 13, 2014 @ 9:53 am

    I usually make risotto balls with my leftovers but I am totally going to make this next time! I love the idea and can’t wait to make the salsa and consume mass quantities of it. I am a corn salsa freak and love your mix of ingredients!
    Great blog!!!!


  49. #
    Larry — June 13, 2014 @ 7:34 pm

    I love colorful food, and I love anything that can be described with the word “cake!” I LOVE YOUR FACE.


  50. #
    bev @ bevcooks — June 16, 2014 @ 10:47 am

    GASH. I love these.



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