I used to be really intimidated by risotto. I thought that I couldn't possibly make something so complex in my own kitchen. Boy, was I wrong! Risotto is amazingly simple, but has great rewards in the oooh and aaah department. It looks and tastes like you worked really hard.
Simple Risotto (recipe from Joy of Cooking, tweaks and extras by me.)(Ingredients in bold.)
- Simmer 8 cups of chicken broth in a sauce pan. Keep warm for later.
- Use a large skillet or wok style pan. Deep is good.
- Heat 1Tbsp. olive oil and 1 Tbsp. butter until melted.
- Add one whole onion finely diced. Cook, stirring until onions are translucent but not browned.
- Add 2 cups Italian rice. (risotto, arborio, or American medium grain.) Stir in pan until rice is translucent, with a white dot in the middle. (About 3 minutes.)
- Add 1/2 cup of white wine. (Just about any regular wine will do. Just don't use any super sweet/dessert wine.)
- Remember to stir almost continually throughout the cooking time!
- Add chicken stock 1 cup at a time, stirring until all liquid is absorbed before adding more. Begin tasting rice after 6 cups. Rice should still be firm, not mushy. Add liquid at 1/2 cup intervals now, until done. (If you have left over broth pour it in ice trays and save for your next soup or slow-cooker meal.)
- Fold in 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Fold in about 3/4 lb. precooked, deveined, shelled shrimp. (Here's where you can get creative. You can try chicken, italian sausage, scallops, just about any kind of meat. Just make sure it's precooked. I think pounded, sauteed chicken sounds great, and may try it next time.)
- Top with a few spears of asparagus. (Cook them in your veggie steamer while adding the liquid.)(You can also get creative here: zucchini, broccoli, peppers, whatever kind of veggie you might want should be ok.)
- Garnish with fresh diced tomatoes. (Or whatever. You get the drift.)
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