One of my favorite things to make is risotto. I love it for its versatility and simple preparation. The basic formula for risotto is pretty simple, all you need rice, an onion, white wine, cooking stock and Parmesan cheese. This creates a nice and agreeable canvas to put any imaginable combination of ingredients into.
Risotto may seem intimidating if you’ve never made it before, but once you resolve to be invested in the constant stirring that is required, you will see how nicely the effort pays off. Well-cooked risotto should be slightly creamy, and slightly al dente. The constant stirring allows the starch in the rice to be released, and that is what contributes to the creamy texture of the finished dish, so do not underestimate the importance of this part of the process. Now when I talk about stirring, I don’t mean just standing there and swirling the contents of the pot around – I mean aggressive, arm-toning stirring.
With an abundance of asparagus this time of year, using it in risotto is a great way to enhance this basic recipe!
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 6 cups unsalted stock (vegetable or chicken), lightly simmered and kept warm
- 1-2 tbs fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 lb asparagus, cut into 1 inch slices on the bias, tips kept separately
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a sauce pan on medium and warm the olive oil. Add the onion and let sauté until translucent and soft, but do not let it brown
- Add the risotto and cook 1-2 minutes until it’s well incorporated into the onion mixture and starts to turn translucent
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, and continue to stir until the wine is fully absorbed
- Add 1 cup of stock to the pan, and continuously stir until fully absorbed
- Continue adding stock 1 cup at a time until the rice is almost al dente, about 14- 15 minutes
- Add the asparagus to the risotto and continue to add stock and stir for another 2-3 minutes
- While the asparagus is cooking in the risotto, heat a small sauté pan and add ½ tbs butter or olive oil. Lightly sauté the asparagus tips, 2-3 minutes
- Add the salt and pepper, and stir and taste for flavor
- Add the lemon juice and parmesan and continue stirring until it’s well incorporated
- Taste again and adjust for seasoning
- Once the risotto is done, plate and garnish with the asparagus tips
I had a hodge-podge mix of almost-enough-for-dinner leftover ingredients around the house this weekend, so I decided to throw them on a pizza. This also has enough good-for-you ingredients on it, so why don’t we just call it a healthy pizza, too?
Continue reading Mexican pizza
I am about 4 dishes behind on the blog! I’ve been cooking as much as usual, but haven’t had as much time to follow up with a post. Of the dishes I’ve recently made, this one is a stand out and looks really beautiful on the plate.
I recommend doing a trial run if you plan to serve it for a party. It is a little labor intensive, but you can do some of the work ahead of time. Unless you have a huge skillet, you’ll want to take the time to find similar-sized carrots so they all fit and can cook in the same amount of time. Keeping the greens on is also key for presentation.
Continue reading Spice-crusted carrots with harissa yogurt
Fall officially made its presence known this weekend. From a sleety, windy, freezing Halloween to being forced to pull out my winter jacket, everything screamed “hibernate”. I was up for the challenge – it’s been a while since the weather forced me inside for an entire weekend, so I decided I’d make this a practice run for the imminent, months-long winter isolation.
The first thing one must do when faced with such a challenge is to watch egregious amounts of TV, read and sleep. This doesn’t leave much time for an elaborate dinner, but that is fine because the only thing suitable to prepare in such a scenario is bubbly, warm, comfort foody macaroni and cheese.
If you have an hour, you can get this pulled together and get right back to binge watching/reading/sleeping in no time.
Continue reading Gruyere and white cheddar macaroni and cheese
The season has officially turned, but this weekend I’ve been enjoying the last few moments of summer-like weather. At this time of year, one never knows how many more chances there will be to have the windows open all day or sit outside and enjoy the sunshine.
The fair temperatures have not fooled my palate, however. My brain and taste buds know that it’s nearly October, and therefore I find myself craving hearty, rustic meals. Various types of squash are in abundance right now, so I took advantage of the fall’s bounty and pulled up this recipe I’ve had bookmarked for quite some time.
Continue reading Crispy spaghetti squash crepes with mushrooms and sage
As previously mentioned and evidenced by the number of recent risotto postings, I am a bit obsessed with risotto. Even though I made it just last weekend, I tried a new recipe last night. With the dramatic dip in temperatures, I was craving some comfort food and this fit the bill perfectly.
I borrowed the recipe for cream sauce from Real Simple, adapting it to not use the onions, but this sauce is AMAZING and light and would go well over many types of vegetables or fish.
Continue reading Mushroom risotto with tarragon cream sauce
I have a confession to make: I am a bit obsessed with risotto. I love everything about it – the process of making it, all the ingredients that go into it and not least of all, eating it. I love it because it’s versatile and is a dish you can eat year-round, customizing to ingredients and flavors that are in season. It can be made to appeal to any diet preference as well – it works wonderfully with light seafood such as scallops or shrimp and is a great vehicle to highlight seasonal vegetables.
Forever on the hunt for the next awesome flavor profile, I decided that caramelized onions and apples sounded like a good idea to try. I know what you’re thinking – there’s already plenty of onion in the base of risotto, won’t this be overkill? I was worried about that too, but I did it anyway and was glad I took the risk. Caramelizing the onions gives them a different flavor, so this wasn’t overkill with onion. You’re also only going to use a half cup of the onions, so you’ll have some leftover. (Looking for what to do with them? Try this crostini recipe.)
Continue reading Caramelized onion and apple risotto