Sweet Corn Risotto with Mascarpone

adapted from Lidia’s Italian American Cookbook:


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, minced
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
2 cups arborio rice
½ cup white wine, dry
6 cups chicken stock

2/3 cup mascarpone cheese

2 ears of corn, boiled for 3 minutes, then shocked

½ teaspoon salt, or as needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
freshly ground black pepper

In a heavy, wide 3- to 4-quart casserole or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and shallots and cook them until golden, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Toast the rice until the edges become translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour in the wine and stir well until evaporated. Add 1/2 cup of the hot stock and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until all the stock has been absorbed. Continue to add hot stock in small batches- just enough to completely moisten the rice- and cook until each successive batch has been absorbed. Stir constantly and adjust the level of heat so the rice is simmering very gently while adding the stock until the rice mixture is creamy but al dente. This will take from 16 to 20 minutes from the time the wine was added. In the last 2 minutes of cooking the risotto, add the corn.

Remove the casserole from the heat. Beat in the butter until completely melted, then half of the grated cheese. Add the mascarpone. Adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary, and pepper.

Top each serving with some of the remaining grated cheese; serve immediately, ladled into warm shallow bowls.

this recipe can be halv ed easily…


Turkey Chili

It’s chili weather out here. A “storm” landed in the San Francisco area tonight so we decided it was time to whip up a batch of our favorite turkey chili to warm ourselves while we watched the Giants win. Storms, by the way, in the Bay Area just mean it’s raining. No thunder…no lightning…people are real lightweights about weather around here. Anyway, I’ve made a lot of chili in my time, and it’s all great, but this is a few notches above all the others.

The chili’s modeled after a recipe for Famous Dave’s Route 66 Truck Stop Chili, substituting ground turkey for the beef that’s normally used. It goes perfectly with with a huge slab of cornbread and a nice little carafe of rich Napa cabernet. I’m warming up already.


Yield: 6 to 8 servings

  • 3 pounds (80/20) coarse ground beef (or turkey)
  • 2 teaspoons Famous Dave’s Steak seasoning
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Maggi seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 large jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans hot chili beans
  • 1 (22-ounce) can tomato juice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 (10-ounce) can beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons Famous Dave’s BBQ sauce (any BBQ sauce will do)
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • sour cream, for topping (optional)
  • crackers, for topping (optional)
  • cheddar cheese, for topping (optional)
  1. Combine ground beef, steak seasoning, chili powder, black pepper, cumin, Maggi, basil and garlic powder in a stockpot and mix well. Cook until the ground beef begins to turn a crusty brown, stirring frequently. Add celery, onion, green pepper and jalapeno. Cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add undrained chili beans, tomato juice, undrained tomatoes, tomato puree, broth, BBQ sauce, Kahlua and Worcestershire sauce and mix well. Simmer until of the desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Ladle into chili bowls. Serve with shredded Cheddar cheese, minced onion, source cream and plenty of crackers.