Risotto is creamy delicious rice that can make any meal seem fancy. I love to watch this show on Food Network called Chopped. It is a show where four chefs are given a basket of interesting ingredients and they have a half and hour to make either an appetizer, main course, or dessert for a panel of judges using the ingredients given. After each course one chef is “chopped” or eliminated. The remaining chef gets $10,000. They always seem to decide to make risotto that they can serve with the main dish, and they also run out of time and end up serving the risotto “al dente.” If you are going to make risotto, plan at least a half an hour so you can get a creamy, fancy side dish. Serve it with this.
1. Bring stock to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer.
2. Ladle a little stock into a small bowl and add the saffron threads and let infuse. I actually skipped this step. I was also using safflower instead of saffron. I am not sure if the difference is significant, but I think you have to use a lot more safflower than saffron, but it is much much cheaper. I got it at a farmers market and I use it where ever it calls for saffron.
3. Melt 4 TBSP. of butter in a large sauce pan until foaming. Add onions, stirring frequently, and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook until the onions are softened, but not browned.
4. Add the rice and stir until the grains start to swell and burst. Add a few ladles of stock, saffron liquid, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir over low heat until the liquid has been absorbed. Keep adding stock, letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more.
5. Stir constantly. After about 20-25 minutes, the rice should be just tender and the risotto golden and creamy. Take of the heat and add 2/3 C. parmesan cheese and the remaining butter, mixing until butter has melted (I actually didn’t add the remaining butter because I felt like it was already very flavorful and rich). Season to taste, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and serve while hot.
Note: I wished that I had added chopped mushrooms with the mushrooms. I thought that they would have been a good addition. Next time I will.
Recipe adapted from Food.com.