Friday, September 12, 2008
This is the second time I've ever made a risotto and in my opinion it turned out pretty fab. There's just something about a nicely stirred, well flavored dish of risotto that's so comforting. Last time the Mil was here visiting we drove down to Carmel and had lunch at a little bistro. They had the most amazing saffron risotto with Portobella mushrooms - so divine. This is also when we found out that Husband's french fries dipped in Balsamic vinegar was seriously delicious. Yumm.
So, anyone that isn't familiar with risotto, which has to be pretty much no one at this point, I'll spell it out for you. Take some nice Arborio rice, brown it in a little butter and slowly add hot stock a bit at a time until it's all absorbed and the rice is tender. The constant stirring breaks down the starches and makes the rice very tender and oh so creamy. It's quite tasty. And pretty easy - if you discount stirring a skillet of rice and stock for 25 minutes. My recipe require a bit more cooking liquid than most. I cook it at a higher temperature so more of the liquid evaporates before being absorbed into the rice. I like how it results in a higher concentration of flavors though.
2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
3 2/3 cups stock (seafood, vegetable, or chicken)
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
sea salt and cracked black pepper
In a large skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat and cook the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the stock in a saucepan to a simmer. Keep at a simmer,the stock needs to be nearly boiling as it's added to the rice. Stir the rice into the onion and garlic, coating thoroughly with the melted butter. Add the wine and stir until absorbed. Begin adding the stock to the rice, 1/3 cup at a time. Cook until the stock is absorbed and then add another 1/3 cup until rice is cooked. Begin tasting the rice after about 2 1/3 cups of stock are added. Depending on the heat of your stove, whether it's a Tuesday, etc. you might need more or less stock. It also depends on personal preference of doneness. In the last 5 minutes of cooking add the shrimp and cook until pink and opaque. When risotto is finished quickly fold in the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.