11 July 2013

Risotto for indulgent days

Normally I like to share healthy recipes because I usually try to eat that way, so please take note of the following disclaimer: this is not a healthy recipe. It's heavy, rich, creamy, and delicious. Among other ingredients, this has butter, wine, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese--all of those things we're supposed to consume in moderation thrown into one dish.  
The trick to creamy risotto is time.  Take your time letting the arborio soak up the liquid before adding more and stir slowly with each addition. Stirring slowly releases the starch from the rice and helps it stick to and thicken the liquid. Because of this, risotto is not, by any means, a quick dish--it requires constant attention. It's worth it, though.  
We eat our risotto as a main dish with a side salad and a slice of homemade bread, though I think it's probably more commonly served as a side.  I'm of the philosophy that when something takes a lot of time and care to make, it's going to be a main dish.  This recipe is my basic risotto recipe and one I've had for years-- I don't know where I found the original--and I've changed it (I change everything) to be as basic and simple as possible so I can add whatever I want to it. Usually I add chicken, but vegetables, sun dried tomatoes, or mushrooms would be fantastic.


2 cans, or 4 cups, low sodium chicken broth
1/2 C. water
1/3 C. white wine (any good white wine is fine)
1 1/2 C. arborio rice
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
Splash of lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat broth and water in a separate sauce pan and keep heated on low.
2. In a separate sauce pan, saute garlic in 1 T. butter and oil over medium-high heat until bubble and fragrant. Add arborio and stir well to coat with garlic mixture.
3. Add wine first, then gradually add broth (by about 1/2 cupfuls), stirring slowly and consistently throughout the cooking process. 
4. Once risotto is tender, add a splash of lemon and 1/2 T. butter.  Stir in Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

Serves 4-5.

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