Comfort Food: Risotto for Even a Rookie

When I tell my friends that I can make risotto, the response usually goes something like this:

Whaaaaaaaat?

Doesn’t that take like 10 hours to make?

Isn’t that really hard?

I’m pretty sure I’ve only had that at fancy places….

Risotto is NOT hard at all. When I first read that I could make risotto (without a recipe) according to Anne Burrell, I was incredulous too. But truly, this one pot meal has been a life saver and dinner staple ever since.

Today I am attaching the most basic recipe- just the rice cooking method. If you enjoy that (and I am pretty sure you will based on everyone else’s reaction to trying it), feel free to experiment and add some mix-ins like:

  • Spring veggie risotto: Basic recipe + blanched asparagus + sauteed mushrooms + frozen peas (which defrost in the pot)
  • Shrimp and lemon risotto: Basic recipe + lemon zest + grilled or sauteed shrimp
  • Chicken risotto: Basic recipe + shredded grilled or rotisserie chicken

These are just some of my go-to creations, but this starter recipe is so versitle, that just about anything can be mixed in. Bon apetite!


Risotto without a Recipe (once you get the hang of it, it is so simple)

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • Salt
  •  Olive oil
  • 2 cups arborio rice (yes very important to get this)
  • 2 cups dry, white wine
  • 6-7 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2-3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Steps:

  1. In a saucepan over low heat, heat all the chicken stock
  2. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and onions over medium high heat. Season with salt. Cook 8-10 minutes until onions are fragrant and translucent.
  3. Stir in the rice and cook 2-3 minutes to toast it (another necessary step. Stir regularly.
  4. Stir in the wine and cook until the rice absorbs all the liquid.
  5. Add enough chicken stock to cover the rice and season with salt. Stir regularly until all the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Repeat step 5 again.
  7. And again.
  8. Test the rice now- it should be chewy yet tender. If it’s not done yet, repeat step 5 again.
  9. When the rice is ready, turn the heat off, and add the butter and parmesan. Stir vigorously to combine. This will give it the light, creamy, fluffy texture restaurants serve!
  10. Enjoy!
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