Yippee there's a new addition to B.B, a new camera!
The photos I took last year were taken on my phone, Hauwei Mate 20 Pro. Before this I'd been using a Nikon DSLR camera that I really didn't enjoy using, just too bulky!
This is why I moved to a phone that I knew was praised for it's high quality camera and pro settings.
My Hauwei served me well last year, but the images the phone created were missing something.
For Christmas I asked for a compact camera, the Olympus Pen E-PL9 to hopefully create what I'm looking for.
So far I love it! It looks absolutely gorgeous and it has some pretty unexpected smart functions. TBC…
My Southern Style Corn Risotto is the first recipe to be taken using my Olympus Pen.
I'm sure you can see the difference!
A New Year's goals of mine is to find my style, how the image is being produced & edited.
I take inspiration from many incredible food photographers, such as Top with Cinnamon & Golubka Kitchen, and I hope by the end of 2020 I too create some stunning shots.
Moving onto the recipe.
I'm sure you've realised that here I have dam delicious risotto!
A lot of vegan risotto's use tahini, cashews, plant-based mylk's or dairy free cheeses to create the creamy element found in many traditional risotto recipes, however in mine I've used corn, yes corn!
I really stumbled on this method of cooking when I wanted to create a dish using the southern flavours of South America.
Southern food is hard to pinpoint with influences coming from France, China, Italy and Mexico, due to its diverse history.
There is really no set of rules when it comes to their cooking, with the countries known ingredients overlapping in many dishes.
To make my risotto creamy, I blend corn kernels with a bay leaf & celery infused corn cob stock, which ultimately produces a mylk and perfect in making things ultra creamy.
This dish tastes delightful and perfect when you're craving something indulgent and comforting.
I think this one is dinner party worthy too!
Love Alex, Ballerina Bites. Xx
PS: Be sure to tag me at @ballerina_bites on Instagram so I can your wonderful recreations!
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp celery salt
1 cup arborio rice
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
½ cup frozen corn kernels
⅓ cup raw pecan nuts
3 cups water
2 corn cobs
1 celery stick, chopped into three
3 bay leaves
A generous pinch of salt
Juice of 1/2 a lemon (optional)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
Preheat your oven to 180°c and scatter frozen corn kernels over a large lined tray.
Create space for your pecan nuts and pop tray into the oven.
Roast nuts for 5-7mins until toasted (keep an eye on them!) and once golden transfer to a plate.
Roughly chop nuts and set aside.
Allow the corn to continue cooking until golden and slightly charred.
To make the stock, carefully remove the corn kernels from the cobs and set aside in a bowl.
Add water, corn cobs, celery, bay leaves and sea salt to a medium size saucepan.
Bring to a boil, before reducing heat to low and covering.
Meanwhile in a large saucepan add a glug of oil and set heat to medium.
Add onion and sauté until translucent.
Stir in the garlic, paprika, celery salt, rice and a crack of black pepper.
Allow to toast, stirring throughout until the rice begins to change colour, from white to opaque.
Now add in the thyme.
Remove the corn cobs and bay leaves from the stock.
Transfer stock & celery to a blender along with the fresh corn kernels you set aside before.
Blend until smooth.
In 1/2- 1 cup stages, stir in the corn stock allowing the previous liquid to be absorbed by the rice before adding more.
Repeat the process, stirring throughout until no corn stock remains.
Taste some rice to see if it’s cooked through, if you feel like it’s hard add boiling water in small stages until softened,
Finally stir in the lemon juice, nutritional yeast (if using) and more salt and pepper if needed.
Remove the thyme sprigs, before serving risotto between three bowls
Top each risotto with a scatter of the roasted corn & pecans, thyme leaves and a drizzle of olive or truffle oil.