Monday, December 12, 2011

Risotto: A Watched Pot DOES Boil!




I've adjusted my cooking "practices" quite a bit this past year: Implementing more fruits & vegetables, limiting the number of times I go to the grocery store within a week, and reducing how much I use canned/boxed/processed foods.

E had a soccer game to coach tonight and I didn't feel like going to the store, so I thought I'd attempt making risotto from scratch for the first time. It was easier than I thought and much tastier than the box version of risotto (and healthier too). What's great about risotto is that it can be modified to your diet/tastes/ingredients on-hand. The most important thing is that you have to watch the pot and stir regularly until it's finished. Risotto takes about 25 minutes to make, so it's a fairly quick and healthy dinner.

Ingredients you'll need:
2 T. total of butter and/or extra virgin olive oil
veg from the onion family (onion, shallot, green onion, leek), chopped
1-1/2 c. arborio rice (the type of rice makes the difference!)
5 -6 c.Some type of stock/liquid (chicken stock, veg stock)
1/2 c. white wine (if you don't use alcohol in your cooking, you can use more stock!)
Salt and Pepper

Suggested Ingredients to add:
Carrots (my fav), celery
Butternut Squash
Mushrooms
Asparagus
Peas
Fresh herbs
Saffron
Lemon Zest/Juice
Parmesan cheese
Mascarpone cheese

Here's the method:
-Saute your onion and other root vegetables in the butter/EVOO mixture over medium heat, approx 5-7 min. I chose my beloved onion, celery, carrot combo.
-Add the rice and stir for about one minute.
-Deglaze the pan with 1/2 c. white wine (or stock)
-After the wine/stock has been absorbed by the rice, start adding your stock about 1 c. at a time. Keep rice to a low simmer. The rice will absorb the liquid and that's when it's time to add some more liquid.
-Continue to stir the risotto. When you're about 10-15 minutes into the cooking process, you can add your fresh herbs or gentler vegetables, like asparagus or peas. I added lemon zest, thyme and rosemary.
-After about 20 minutes into cooking the risotto, taste the risotto to see if it's done. You'll want it to be slightly more cooked than al dente (or according to your liking).

Divide the risotto into bowls and top with cheese/chives/lemon juice. This makes great leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day!

I'm Back!




Hello, Friends! My apologies for not blogging in such a long time. The last several months have been busier than normal for me. I got engaged, married, and work has been picking up: all very good things!

The Little Blog That Could was on the backburner, but my cooking was not! I have made several healthy meals and have taken several pictures. My new goal is to post on a weekly basis. Mark my words, it will happen. Stay tuned!