Chili Pepper Madness

October 19, 2015

Sweet Corn Risotto with Butter-Chili Poached King Crab

Sweet Corn Risotto with Butter-Chili Poached King Crab Sweet Corn Risotto with Butter-Chili Poached King Crab

Typical story here in the Madness household. Walking through the store, just sort of perusing, getting an eyeful of what there is to offer and WHAM! I see these gorgeous King crab legs resting over ice in our local grocery store. I froze there, absorbing the sight of them, and before I even realized what was happening, the seafood lady was already wrapping one of them up for us. We LOVE King crab. It is so succulent and meaty, and when it pulls out of the freshly cracked shell in one long piece, you experience a bit of heaven right there. Tops! I did a quick preparation, a simple butter poach with dried chili flakes.

We don't live near the coast so the seafood is typically frozen or flown in that day, but it is still pretty darned good. I had been planning a risotto for a while now because I had several portions of seafood stock I'd prepared weeks before. I like to save discarded shrimp shells, chicken parts, parmesan rinds and the like to make homemade stocks for meals like this. A good homemade stock makes a big difference, in my opinion, but you can use any broth you'd like. I also used a bit of frozen sweet corn. Sweet corn season ends for us in the beginning of October. We can still find a few ears here and there, but I'll usually freeze some so that I know where it came from.

If you've ever had the pleasure of experiencing risotto, you'll know that it has a unique creaminess from the rice. It's a versatile dish, uber Italy, though I used a variety of ingredients here to give it a different spin. Lots of chili seasonings, more of a Mexican flair. I made an extra large batch with the intention to stuff some peppers, and I hope to get that ready soon. Leftover risotto is amazing! So perfect for stuffing peppers, making arancini or rice balls, or even just enjoying for a quick leftover meal. I hope you enjoy it.

Sweet Corn Risotto with Butter-Chili Poached King Crab

Sweet Corn Risotto with Butter-Chili Poached King Crab


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • Corn from 2 ears
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups seafood stock
  • 1 tablespoon ancho powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 16 ounces crab meat from King Crab legs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes

Cooking Directions

  1. Add the seafood stock to a pot and heat it gently on the stove. Keep it low and warm.
  2. Heat a separate large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Heat through.
  3. Add onion, peppers and corn. Cook about 5 minutes to soften, and until the corn just starts to turn golden.
  4. Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring, until fragrant.
  5. Add rice and stir to coat.
  6. Add the cup of wine and allow the rice to absorb the liquid, stirring often, about 5 minutes or so.
  7. Add the seafood stock a half cup at a time, stirring often, until it is absorbed into the rice. The entire process can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes or so, depending on how al dente you like your rice.
  8. Stir in the ancho powder, cumin and paprika about half way through the stock process, allowing the seasoning to incorporate.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped tomato and half the Parmesan cheese.
  10. Serve into 8 bowls.
  11. In another large pot, add butter, chili flakes and crab meat. Heat to medium-low and lightly poach the crab meat to warm it and infuse it with the chili flavor.
  12. Top the risotto bowls with 2 ounces crab meat each and serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

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1 comment

  • Comment Link Kevin King October 19, 2015 posted by Kevin King

    So we had our first hard freeze here in Northern north Carolina last night. Yesterday, in anticipation, I went to the garden and pulled all the pepper plants that still had unripe fruit on them. A few jalapeno and red thai chilis but a BUNCH (50-60) of green habeneros.
    Any ideas on using these? I have already pickled and sauced the ripe ones. Was thinking abought putting them on the smoker. Any additional ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!

    REPLY: Kevin, you can try to let some ripen on the windowsill. Some may do so. You can still cook with the greener, unripened peppers. You can also mix them in with riper peppers to reduce that green quality to them. They're also still good for powders. Smoking them is a great idea. - Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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