Risotto - My FAVORITE thing to cook and to eat!!!

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Preparation

Time: 1 hr (15 prep/45 cook)

Yield: Serves 2-4

Level: Medium

Ingredients

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (enough to generously coat the bottom of the sauce pan)
  • 1 medium Shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 8 oz dry white wine (chardonnay, pinot grigio, whatever you like to drink)
  • 32 oz, unsalted/low sodium chicken stock
  • 4 oz butter
  • 4-6 oz Parmigianna Reggiano (buy the real stuff)

Preparation

There are a couple things to say about MY FAVE thing to cook and eat:  this is not the ONLY way to prepare risotto…when I was in Parma, Italy I was taught by an Italian Culinary Instructor, another way to prepare this dish, however, I cannot stare at a pot for 20 minutes without stirring it once, LOL so I am sharing with you the way I have learned to make AMAZING risotto; its not difficult it just needs attention for the full 45 minutes.

  • In a medium sauce pan, pour the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reserve.  Keep in mind that when you add the stock,  you must have hot stock to add to the starch/rice to achieve the best texture.
  • In another large stock pot, add the olive oil and bring up to med-hi heat.
  • Add shallot and cook until translucent but not brown; about 3 minutes.
  • Add the rice and “toast” this doesn’t mean brown, rather, stir and cook until it starts to look translucent around the edges, and all kernels are coated in oil.
  • Add the wine, stirring so as not to stick to the bottom.  Reduce until about 1/4 the wine is left.
  • Start adding the HOT stock a couple ladles at a time and stir until almost absorbed.  Repeat until all of the stock has been used.
  • Add the butter and cheese, stir and remove from heat and cover.  Set aside until ready to serve.  It is best to serve immediately.
  • VARIATIONS:  Risotto is a fabulous base and plays well with other flavors.  for example you could do:
  • Mushroom:  buy some dried mushrooms and reconstitute them in the stock beforehand, then chop the mushrooms finely and add them back to the hot stock.  As you add this to the risotto, the rice will absorb the flavor of the mushrooms because that flavor is now in the stock.  you can also add fresh sautéed mushrooms at the end as well.
  • Vegetable:  pick one…artichoke, asparagus, zucchini, broccoli, or all of them at once. Blanche and Shock the vegetable of choice, chop up and throw into the risotto just before serving.
  • Arancini:  You can use day-old/leftover risotto to make arancini…that’s another recipe…stay tuned!