Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not So Difficult Risotto

I have always wanted to make risotto, but I was afraid is was hard to make and I would just screw up a lot of food, to be pitched to the varmints outside. So the other day, I was shopping and found this cool Italian rice, especially for risotto and I decided to be brave and try it. If it turned out good, I would post it, if it turned out bad, well every opossum in the neighborhood would have a tummy ache. Well, it turned out so good, we and Danny scarfed it down in minutes and I am going to make more tonight to go with our meatloaf. Remember, you can't use Minute Rice, you must use Italian Arborio Rice and be ready to stir, stir, stir! The line-up includes, Italian Arborio Rice, real butter, onion, fresh mushroom if you want it, pepper, 4 cups chicken stock, either in a can or made with bouillon cubes and Parmesan cheese. Be brave and make this sometime, chances are real good it will turn out fine and the little critters will have to find a tummy ache elsewhere.
Bring 4 cups of water to boil for the chicken stock, or you can used canned if you wish, either works fine. The pan on the front burner held my chicken soup, merrily boiling away.
In a separate saucepan bring 4 cups of water to boil and add 4 chicken bouillon cubes to dissolve, just keep this handy so that you can have it to add to the risotto when needed, you can turn off the heat after they are dissolved.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a 2 -4 quart saucepan and bring to medium high heat.
Add 1 cup of the Italian Arborio rice into the melted butter, not any rice will do, you must use the type of rice that is specific for risotto.
Add onion and garlic to the butter and rice mixture and cook until tender, keep stirring. I also added a couple of mushrooms, but forgot to include them in the picture, you don't have to add them, just adds to the flavor.
After the onions are tender, add about 1 cup of your chicken broth, stir and stir on medium heat until all of the broth is absorbed, then add an additional 1/2 cup at a time, until all liquid is absorbed and you are out of the broth, this takes at least 15-20 minutes to do.
Add 1 tablespoon of real butter, to increase the calories and the creaminess, oh this is looking very good.
Add 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, either fresh grated or I used the good old standby in the fancy plastic container, I ain't snotty, pick which ever your budget allows.
Add some coarse ground pepper, enough for your taste.
Rich, creamy risotto, not as difficult as the professionals seem to have you think. This is totally do-able by the home chef, just pick up a package of risotto pasta/rice, if we in po-dunk county have it, I'm sure most everyone else can get it. It could be an outstanding side dish or even a main course with added ingredients like peas, mushrooms, shrimp, etc. This would make an impressive dish to serve your best buddy on Valentine's Day. Love to you all!!

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