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Saturday, December 11, 2010


I LOVE risotto. Love it. And I don't mind making it, but it's just so darn needy. It makes a great appetizer, side dish, or even main dish with the right components.

Here's my basic risotto recipe.


a couple tablespoons olive oil
about 5 cups chicken brothabout 1 1/3 cups Arborio Rice1 small onion, diced1/2-1 cup white cooking wine
fresh grated Parmesan cheesea few tablespoons of butter

You'll notice that none of these ingredients are exact. They don't need to be. Ah, the beauty of Italian cooking.

So, The first thing you do is heat up the chicken broth in a pan on the stove. You want to keep it just below simmering.

Next, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering (but not smoking), add your diced onion and saute until the onion is translucent on the outside.
After the onion is cooked, add the rice to the pan and stir quickly to coat all the rice in oil. Arborio rice is what you want to use. It's kind of pricey, but you just can't make risotto with anything else. Trust me.
Once the oil is absorbed, add 1/2 cup of white wine and stir rapidly until all the wine is absorbed by the rice. Turn the heat down to medium or even medium low, if you're extremely patient.

Add about 1/2 a cup of the hot chicken stock at a time to the rice, each time stirring constantly until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more. This process is VERY time consuming. You MUST stir the rice constantly or it will not cook correctly.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to TASTE along the way. This will tell you when your risotto is nearing completion. You may or may not need all of the broth you have sitting on heat. If you use all of your broth and still need more liquid, that's what the rest of the wine is for. It will absorb into the rice and leave a very nice flavor. You'll know when it's time to remove your risotto from the heat when the rice no longer has a bite to it and has a nice creamy texture.

At this point, you add the butter, fresh grated cheese, and I usually add some type of vegetable. Sometimes it's frozen peas, sometimes sauteed mushrooms (that I do BEFORE I cook the onion, etc, but in the same pan and then remove them until the end), and sometimes it's asparagus. If you use peas, please make sure they are frozen and not canned. Eeew. In this picture, I used peas. It was delicious. :-)

Enjoy your risotto! It can take several tries to get it just right, but the end result is always well worth it. All in all, I'd say this recipe takes about 30-45 minutes to complete. But again, well worth it. (-:

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