Mini Roasted Poblano Risotto Cakes with Grilled Corn Salsa.

I present to you… my new favorite summer dish.

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!

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.

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.

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.


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Mini Roasted Poblano Risotto Cakes with Grilled Corn Salsa

Yield: serves 4

Cook Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

and you eat a lot of color too!