Friday, July 1, 2011

Risotto 101

I can't believe I have made it this far without posting about risotto!  It is one of my favorite dishes to make as it can be very versatile.  This demonstrates a "basic" risotto just using extra onion and a bit of tomato flavor.  In any risotto you will always start with onion, but because I didn't add any additional veggies or meat I upped the amount of onion.  As well please note you will have to begin cooking 5-6 cups of your choice of broth as you start your risotto.  I obviously use vegetable broth, but you could use chicken, beef whatever.  The broth choice could compliment your other dishes you are serving.  As well you will need to add a bit of wine, but again just use whatever you might have....once I used beer because there was no wine in sight.  If you are making a special risotto try champagne!  I think risotto while it is a humble and satisfying dish, is also very special.  You have to really stand there and watch it, you can't really set it and walk away as you are constantly stirring and adding broth while it cooks.  So a lot of attention and care goes into its preparation.  I recently read about a famous "engagement chicken" recipe where if you make your man this chicken he will propose.  I think any risotto could be considered an "engagement" dish, because anyone you make it for is sure to feel loved.

Dice up 2-3 large onions and begin to cook in olive oil over medium high
Add a few cloves of garlic...I add them whole to get the flavor and not to be overpowering
This is a basic risotto, so sometimes I add tomato puree to add more tomato flavor, this time I just add the magic Cirio paste I have mentioned here :
What you get after the onions cook with the garlic and tomato paste
Depending on your crowd I cook 2 cups of arborio rice
Let the arborio cook for a few minutes before you add your wine, then commence to adding broth
Here is the set-up, have your simmering broth next to the pot with the rice this way you are ready to go when the rice calls, basically add one ladleful at a time let the rice absorb then add more, all the while stirring to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan
Here is how it looks after adding a ladle full of broth, the rice will absorb it so watch carefully
After cooking for 20 minutes adding broth and stirring, add a pat of butter at the end to tighten it all up
My husband usually likes a heaping mound of grated parmigiano but this amount is just fine
I would call any risotto "engagement" risotto, as it takes time and care to make

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