Friday, January 23, 2009

Parmesan Risotto

After I told you that we were going to eat out less and I was going to make more meals at home, we broke the rule- on Monday!  Brian had the day off and forced me to go eat lunch at Longboards.  Of course I begged him to stay home and eat frozen pizza for lunch, but he would have none of it.

Okay, I lied, I wanted to go to.  But when was the last time I was at Longboards?  Maybe 2 months, or more ago?  I deserved it; plus I got two meals out of it.

This guy wasn't with us this time, but I just wanted to remind everyone how gigantic their burritos and wraps are (each burrito he is holding is actually a half burrito):

I did still manage to cook a great meal Monday night for dinner.  I made seared scallops, parmesan risotto and fresh green beans (they came out good this time since I figured out how to cook them!) with onions and bacon.  And guess what?  I didn't have to look at a single recipe!  All this cooking is finally paying off.  Maybe someday I can start to come up with my own recipes.  Okay,  I'm stretching it here.  I didn't make anything that complicating, but it is still a small accomplishment for me.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to show you of the meal, which is my favorite part, but I still wanted to write this recipe for risotto on the blog because I think a lot of people may be intimidated by it (as I was).  It's actually very easy to make, a little time consuming, but so worth it in the end.  It's great as a side dish or even as the main dish when you mix in a few other ingredients such as shrimp, mushrooms, peas, green beans, or anything you can think of.  Even the pickiest of eaters will like risotto (you don't have to add the onions if you don't want to).  The key to making risotto is to taste it before you call it done.  You want to make sure the rice is completely cooked before you serve it, otherwise it will be very bad- as I  found out the first time I made it.

Parmesan Risotto

1 cup arborio rice (can be found at Walmart in the rice section)
2 T olive oil (just drizzle some in the pan)
1/2 yellow onion,  chopped
3-4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine (you can substitute chicken broth if you don't have white wine)
4 cups chicken broth, warmed on the stove or in the microwave
1 cup heavy cream (room temperature)
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded (or any "harder" cheese will do such as romano or asiago)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
2. Throw in onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent (about 3 minutes).
3. Add rice to skillet and cook, while stirring, for about 1 minute.
4. Add in the white wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed.
5. Add in one cup of the chicken broth.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed.
6. Keep adding the broth, one cup at a time, waiting for the liquid to be absorbed each time before adding the next cup, until all of the chicken broth has been used.
7. Taste the rice to make sure it is done (not crunchy, kind of like how you would want pasta to taste).  If it still tastes crunchy, add another half cup of chicken broth.
8. When the rice is almost done (or done to your likeness, it really doesn't matter) add in the heavy cream and cook until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
9. Stir in the cheese, salt and pepper and serve immediately.