Now I know what you’re thinking already. Risotto? Really? Isn’t that the fussiest dish of all time? I only have one thing to say in response: RELAX. Ratatouille was fussy as well and look how easy that turned out! Trust me, the things you see on TV or in movies that show Risotto to be fussy and time consuming are only half-truths. Yes, it does require some time to make, but at the same time, it’s not rocket science! So allow me to assuage your fears and show you that Risotto is indeed easy to make and absolutely delicious when it’s all said and done.
- 1 Cup of any Short Grain Rice
- 2 Ounces and 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic
- 1/2 Cup of Finely Chopped Onions
- 1 Cup of Peeled, Seeded and Chopped Tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup of White Wine
- 2 Cups of Hot Chicken Stock
- 4 Ounces of Sliced Mushrooms
- 1 Tablespoon of Chopped Parsley
- 1 Teaspoon of Butter
- 2 Ounces of Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Medium Sauce Pot
- Saute Pan
- Wooden Spoon
- A Medium-sized Ladle (nothing too big. you’ll see why soon)
- Another small pot
- In the small pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer and then kill the heat. Then, add the wine. Hold this mixture hot at all times until the cooking process is done.
- Add the 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil and saute the mushrooms on high heat until they’re golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Set them aside for now.
- Heat the 2 Ounces of Olive Oil in the sauce pot.
- Add the onions and the garlic and sweat on medium just until the garlic begins to turn golden. Remember, if it burns, it’s going to be bitter.
- Add all the rice and stir to coat all the kernels with oil. Toast the rice until the individual kernels are slightly translucent.
- Using your ladle, add in your first bit of stock/wine mixture and then stir occasionally until the bottom of the pan looks “dry.” This means the rice has absorbed all the stock and it’s ready for the next addition of liquid. Now, here’s the only tricky part about making Risotto; the amount of liquid needed. Depending on the type of rice you got, the conditions in your kitchen and other factors, the Risotto may need all the liquid or it may not. Just keep adding the liquid and tasting as you go along. The texture of the Risotto should be creamy and smooth. The rice kernels shouldn’t be hard, but they shouldn’t be like mashed potatoes either. Once you’ve got the right consistency…
- Kill the heat and add in the tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese and butter. Stir to melt the butter and the cheese. Check for seasonings and season with salt and pepper if needed. Finish the dish with the chopped parsley.
See? That wasn’t so hard was it? A lot of the dishes that people make out to be hard and/or time-consuming really aren’t. Sure, Risotto is a little hands-on, but as I said in my Ratatouille entry: the best dishes are always hands-on and a little fussy. Enjoy!