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This is one of my favorite tricks for leftover risotto, which can be sort of gluey and unappetizing the next day. Not so much a recipe as a method. If you have a deep fryer (uh…I don’t know anyone who does) that’s probably easiest, but otherwise you can just fry these in 1/4″ or so of oil in a cast iron skillet. Roll the risotto into balls, then take a hunk of mozzarella or other melting cheese and push it into the center of the ball. Close up completely. Then roll in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs (makes a nice crispy crust) and fry until deeply golden brown all over. Don’t make them too large, or your cheese won’t melt in the center. This one is a crowd pleaser!

I’m slightly ashamed to admit two things: this is the first and only batch of summer corn I’ve bought so far from the farmer’s market, and that I got inspiration for this recipe from Rachael Ray. I don’t have a problem with her the way some people do, but I will admit that when I watch her show I can’t look away — I find her sort of horrifying yet mesmerizing. Most of the time I think her recipes are pretty clunky, but when she made a combination of corn chowder and pasta, I was listening.

So I took it one step further and made it into a risotto. Red peppers, bacon, fresh corn, a little bit of cream, topped with parmesan cheese and basil. It was smoky, sweet, and creamy…and then I made the leftover risotto into risotto balls! (you’ll have to wait for that post). Make sure to serve it with something light and crisp and tangy — this is extremely rich. You could easily leave out the bacon, and actually next time I think I will. Although it’s a classic combination, I felt the smokiness overshadowed the sweetness of the corn a bit too much, and really, you want the corn to be the star.

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