Sunday, January 30, 2011

Where You Been, Making Risotto? has been over a week since my last post. What am I lazy or something? No, not really, as I've been blogging for the last week over at eGullet and we (my friends and I) did one heckuva job. I mean really blogging; taking pictures and writing about every damn thing that crossed my lips...and then some. It's hard to do. A lot of work. I'm sure glad I don't do that here.

However, some of it was so good that I figured I 'd share with you. And I'm starting with rice. Well...risotto to be more precise. In the past, I used only arborio rice to make risotto; now it depends on what type of risotto I'm cooking. However, if you only want to keep 1 type of risotto rice on hand, my go-to is carnaroli works well for all styles of risotto and doesn't overcook as easily as the others.

Since we were engaged in a little competition, we all had the same ingredients to make a meal with. I had a good pound of baby artichokes (which aren't really babies, but that's another story altogether), a bunch of spring onions and a quart of homemade chicken stock in the freezer. Sure, you can use canned or boxed (Swanson's Low Sodium; Pacific) chicken stock, but will it ever be as good as homemade? No. You can even make you're own vegetable stock if you're a...gasp...vegetarian; that's easy and only takes an hour. If you're a vegan, well - work on that yourself. Pantry wise, I always have Parmesan cheese, and really - you don't need much else. Salt & pepper - of course.

I wanted something a little special for the garnish (it was a competition, after all), so after cleaning the artichokes, I frizzled them. Okay, deep fried...

Then I proceeded to make the risotto. First, sweat (which means to lightly fry without getting the vegetables all brown) the onions and artichokes in butter and olive oil till they're soft, then add the rice till it's translucent...

Then add 1/2 cup wine, and continue making the know, waiting until each addition of stock is absorbed before you add more and stirring a lot...

The final step in making a risotto is generally adding the cheese and sometimes more butter. I try to be a little judicious, only because. So, when the risotto is almost done to your liking - you're tasting it, aren't you? - turn off the heat. Then add the cheese. If it gets too tight, a little more stock can't hurt; it will get absorbed, and it's why I start with at least 4 times the amount of stock vs. rice.

I like to serve the risotto in bowls, garnished with a little finely minced parsley and those frizzled baby artichoke hearts. It's so good...

Oh - make enough for leftovers, which make awesome risotto pancakes.

Baby Artichoke and Spring Onion Risotto - serves 2 with leftovers

1 C Carnaroli rice
4 C stock (chicken preferred, vegetable okay)
1/2 C dry white wine
1 T butter and olive oil ( or 2 T of one or the other, I don't care)
1 lb. baby artichokes, cleaned and sliced
1 bu. spring onions (or 1 medium onion, diced)
1 C grated Parmersan
2 T Italian parsley

Make risotto. Some directions are above.

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious, I had a risotto craving this week too - love it!