Every once in a while, a food enters my life and I think to myself, “my life was so incomplete without you!”
A’s risotto is one of those foods. It’s creamy and delicious and comfort on a dish. I ask for it often…like really often. Like once a week often. And it never disappoints! So scrap your dinner plans for tonight and make this instead.
Arborio rice can sometimes be a little tricky to find, but check in the rice aisle of your grocery store and you should be successful. Just make sure you buy the unflavored kind-you want to be able to add in all this goodness yourself!
You’ll want to measure out 1/3 cup of the rice which makes enough for two healthy side dish portions. Finely mince one garlic clove and dice half of a shallot. You could use a white onion if you have that instead, but use only a quarter of the onion.
Add the shallot and garlic along with 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter to a pan on medium heat. Some folks use wine or olive oil instead of butter and that’s fine too. I just prefer the butter version the best.
Let everything sizzle away until the onions become translucent. Then add in the rice.
Stir everything together and let it do its thing for a few minutes or until the rice begins to show the faintest signs of browning.
That’s when it’s time to add in the first splash of chicken stock. You could use pre-made, homemade or hot water and a bouillon cube. No matter what version you use, you’ll need about two cups of it.
Add about a third of your stock to the pan and mix thoroughly. The key to risotto is to stir it… a lot. You should keep it moving almost constantly. Luckily, A has me to entertain annoy entertain him throughout the process.
After you’d added your stock, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the rice absorb all that wonderful flavor. Once the liquid has reduced by about 75% and you can hear things sizzling again, add in the next splash of stock.
The mixture will become thicker and the rice grains will expand as they soak up all the fluid. Your kitchen will smell amazing.
When you add the stock for the third time, you can also add in your mix ins. The choice of which to use is up to you (vegetables and shrimp make great additions): red pepper is one of my favorites.
This is also the time to season the risotto with salt and pepper to taste. You probably won’t need to add much salt as chicken stock can be a bit on the salty side, but taste it to decide for yourself.
Stir, stir, stir until the liquid has reduced significantly and the risotto is thick and creamy.
Now it’s time to add in the secret ingredient: a few tablespoons of heavy cream…
….and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Oh my gosh, my mouth is watering just looking at this picture.
Let the rice absorb the cream and the Parmesan melt before adding in a sprinkle of parsley. Give the risotto one final stir and and serve it to your very hungry wife.
Oh be still, my beating heart.