May 05, 2013

basic risotto

Risotto is a great way to make a really simple meal seem really fancy.  Case in point, the simple risotto and grilled asparagus we made for dinner last weekend. 

Here are my (and Martha's :) step by step instructions on how to make a fool-proof basic risotto:

Basic Risotto

  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced small (I substituted for a 1/4 of a medium cooking onion because I didn't have shallots)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (1/4 ounce)

Note:  the key to a creamy, velvety risotto is to stir it constantly, so be prepared to stay with it during the full cook time which is around 30 mins.

1. In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a simmer; reduce heat and keep warm. 

2. In a 10-inch heavy-bottomed skillet or pot, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high. Add shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. 

3. Add rice and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until rice is translucent at edges and all of the rice is well coated with the melted butter, 1 minute.

4. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 2 minutes. 

5. With a ladle, add about 1 cup broth to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed, 4 minutes. (Tip: you'll know when it's time to add more broth, when you scraped the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon and you can see the bottom of the pan for a while ie. the liquid doesn't cover it right up). 

6. Repeat, gradually adding broth by the cupful and stirring constantly, until rice is tender but still a little al dente and sauce is creamy (you may not need all of broth), 20 to 25 minutes.

7. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons butter and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


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