Creamed Corn and Pancetta Orzo

Corn To Be Wild!

IMG_5053Creamed Corn and Pancetta Orzo

Side or Main Dish:

From the Tracy’s Kitchen archives, here is a recipe that I first came across in Bon Appétit magazine and it was our Recipe of the Year for 2008.  I have made this periodically over the years and had forgotten how really good it is.  Of course, I had to amp it up with the addition of Pancetta (Pancetta could be one of my all-time favorite ingredients).  To save some time you can use a bag of frozen sweet corn, but fresh picked summer corn is hard to beat.

We paired this with a BBQ Tri Tip, an arugula salad and Skillet Corn Bread I made using Hatch Chiles.  I think some Strawberry Grand Marnier Fig Jam drizzled over vanilla ice cream would be a perfect end to this meal.  Late summer deliciousness.  Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
1 1/3 c. orzo
2 c. whipping cream
4 ears of fresh sweet corn, kernels cut from cobs, divided (1 cob reserved)
2 T. olive oil
1 leek (finely chopped, white part only)
1/3 c. dry white wine
4 slices pancetta (about ½ lb. sliced 1/4” thick, chopped) or more!
Chopped fresh chives for garnish

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Directions:
Place cream, half of the corn kernels, and reserved cob in heavy medium saucepan.  Boil over medium heat until thickened, about 15 minutes.  Discard cob.  Puree sauce with immersion blender until smooth (if you don’t have time or a blender, you can skip this step).

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté pancetta until crispy, remove from pan and let drain on a paper towel.

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While the pancetta is cooking, cook the orzo according to directions in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.  Drain but don’t rinse.

Add leek to pancetta drippings and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Add remaining corn kernels and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in pancetta, creamed corn sauce and cooked orzo.  Bring to simmer.  Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Transfer to bowl, sprinkle with chives, and serve.

Serves: 8 side servings or 4 main course.

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