Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oh, Risotto

Sometimes winter just feels like the time we spend waiting for summer. Maybe if I was a skier I could appreciate it more. Or if Seattle delivered any sort of wonderland, I would find it to be more special. But instead I wait for the days to get longer. The drizzle to let up. The produce to fill out.

As a consolation prize, for the past few years I have tried to really learn a recipe in the winter. Learn it so well that I wouldn’t dream of using a recipe. So I know what every tweak will do to the final dish. I’ve tackled red sauce, and risotto, and this year I am learning meatballs.
I’ve tried my first batch and I have many more to try before I get there. The first round was tasty, but the flavor was a little too bacony. I need to try other meats, like lamb, veal, and pork, and to mess with the fillers a bit. How many bread crumbs give that held-together texture without feeling diluted?
Tonight, I made dinner with my mom and we made very classic mushroom risotto, calling on my lessons from a few years ago. Here’s where I've ended up with risotto.
4 T butter
1onion, diced
3 small cloves garlic
6 cups liquid (broth, wine, mushroom water…)
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
1 T fresh herbs
1-2 cups solids (peas, cooked mushrooms, roasted squash, asparagus….)
½ cup parmesan or other hard salty cheese
  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet and sauté the onion until translucent, about 15 min.
  2. Add the rice and stir to coat.
  3. Bring the liquid to a simmer in a separate sauce pan.
  4. Add 1 ½ cups liquid to the rice. Stir until evaporated.
  5. Keep adding liquid, ½ cup at a time, and stirring until it evaporates.
  6. When you add the last of the liquid, add the solids and the herbs as well.
  7. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.


Kathryn said...

Your photographs are always so beautiful. The meatballs look good enough to eat just as they are. I know, I know, not a good idea.

pleasantcompany said...

Thanks, Kathryn! I'll have you over for a (cooked) meatball dinner anytime you want.


Brady said...

Your blog is just wonderful. Very elegant and mouth watering. "Oh, Risotto" indeed!