Risotto

I know, I know, I haven’t posted in forever and I didn’t write about grapefruit juice. I was excited to put my first drink recipes up, but somewhere along the line I lost my steam. If you were anxiously awaiting instructions on how to make a “salty dog” or a “grapefruit rickey” let me know and I will send them to you. Otherwise, it’s a new year and I’m moving on! Looking back at the past (half) year I have been blogging I noticed that there is a serious lack of Italian food considering it is my inspiration. So for my first post of 2011 I think it is right to start with a recipe I learned in Florence and instantly fell in love with – risotto.

Risotto is a popular Italian rice dish with endless possibilities. I made my favorite variety with prosciutto and peas, but you can add whatever you want: chicken and arugula; radicchio with scallions and carrots; or scallops and saffron. What makes risotto so good is its creaminess, and to make the perfect risotto you need to know the standard procedure and have a little patience. So for my first step-by-step photo guide, let’s go over the process:

Heat 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Add 3 shallots, finely chopped and cook for 3 minutes or until translucent. If you have a small onion on hand, that works just as well.

Add 2 cups of Arborio rice (the most popular and readily available regional variety of the rice) and stir constantly for 2 minutes.

Add 1 cup of room temperature dry white wine and stir occasionally, until just before the liquid is absorbed. Cold wine will shock the rice and its core will remain hard. Always keeping a little liquid in the pan will keep the rice from drying out.

Raise the heat to medium-high and add 1/2 cup of hot low-sodium chicken broth at a time (keep the broth at a simmer in a separate pot). Like with the wine, stir occasionally and wait until just before the liquid is absorbed. Then repeat this process until you have used all the broth or the risotto is al dente. This will take approximately 30 minutes.

Now you’re ready to season with salt and pepper, add some Parmesan and your mixing’s. Risotto is typically served as a primo or first course, but I usually can’t stop with a small serving. Serve it with a light salad and enjoy a truly decadent meal!

Risotto, serves 4-5

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into little pieces

In a small pot, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for 3 minutes or until translucent. Then add the rice to toast and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Pour in the dry white wine and stir occasionally, until just before the liquid is absorbed. Raise the heat to medium-high and add 1/2 cup of hot chicken broth at a time. Like with the wine, stir occasionally and wait until just before the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process until you have used all the broth or the risotto is al dente. This will take approximately 30 minutes. Transfer rice to a large bowl and mix in the salt & pepper, Parmesan, and peas. Just before serving top with sliced prosciutto (if you mix it in with everything else the Prosciutto will cook). Serve with salad or just go for a big serving!

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