Saturday, September 12, 2009


Risotto is a rice dish that differs significantly from ordinary steamed rice because it is cooked with a great deal of liquid in a manner that absorbs repeated 'dosings' of liquid slowly. Where steamed rice is cooked in a covered pot without ever opening the lid or stirring it, good Risotto depends upon frequent additions of stock as well as devoted stirring.

Here is a Recipe for simple Risotto:

Heat 6 cups of chicken stock to the point where it simmers. Add chopped herbs to taste. Some recommended herbs are Fresh Parsley, Thyme or Basil. Have at least 2 more cups of Chicken Stock on hand for use if necessary later.

Chop one onion and some fresh garlic. Fresh fennel can be chopped and added to your Risotto if you like the taste. Set aside 1 cup of grated Romano cheese and in a separate bowl, one 1 cup of cooked green peas.

Heat two tablespoons of Butter or Olive Oil in a heavy skillet, then add the onions and garlic. Saute until golden, then add 1 cup of Arborio Rice. Stir well, making certain that the rice is fully coated with the oil/butter. Add 1/4 cup of white wine and once the wine is 3/4 absorbed, add enough chicken stock to cover the rice completely. Add the fennel now if you have chopped some.

Reduce the heat now to a low level and simmer the rice until the liquid decreases to 1/3 the original amount. At this point, you will need to add more chicken stock. When this decreases, add more again, contining to do this for about 20 more minutes.
At the end of this period, add the cooked green peas.

The rice should be almost done now. When it is quite done, but still with a hint of texture, add two tablespoons of butter with the Romano Cheese and mix thoroughly.

The basic Risotto Recipe can be varied by adding meat, poultry, squash, mushrooms and any other ingredient that appeals to the cook. It is a very hearty dish that is perfect in cold weather. Although it originally was a country dish, it has been modified by some gourmet chefs to the point where it can be one of the most delicate, exquisite dishes in the world.

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