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Make It Easy with Low-Maintenance Risotto

I find that I have become a big fan of risotto. I really like the creamy texture and you can do so many different things with it, add in vegetables that you really like, poultry, seafood or really anything your heart desires. The big drawback for risotto is, of course, that it not only takes a bit to make it takes a lot of you being involved in the process. You need to make sure it is stirred so the broth, wine, or water is absorbed properly and added in the right amounts if you want the risotto to come out well. It can be a bit tricky and it can be a pain to cook with all of the constant stirring you have to do for 30 minutes or so. So when I saw this recipe from PureWow for a low maintenance risotto, I figured I would give it a try and see if it really was low-maintenance and came out nicely.

Low-Maintenance Risotto

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely minced

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 cup arborio rice

1/3 cup dry white wine

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until it is shimmering. Add the minced onion and garlic and cook until the onion softens and is translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the arborio rice and stir to combine the rice with onion and to coat it, about 1 minute. Add the white wine and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer until the liquid is nearly absorbed, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the broth to the mixture 1 cup at a time. Bring the first cup to a simmer and cook until the rice has nearly absorbed all of the liquid, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the next cup of broth and allow it to simmer until it is nearly absorbed, about another 10 to 12 minutes. Repeat a third time with the last cup of broth and allow it to be absorbed, about another 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the butter and stir the rice vigorously until the mixture is well combined and the butter has melted. The vigorous stirring brings out the natural starches in the rice, which makes the risotto creamy.

Add the Parmesan cheese and mix well to combine. Season the risotto with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, spoon the risotto onto plates and top with any sautéed vegetables you like. Serve immediately.

I have to say that the risotto does turn out nicely and it is creamy and tasty. As far as the dish being low-maintenance, I guess it depends on your definition of low-maintenance. It’s true you do not have to constantly mix the risotto with this method and leave it to absorb the liquid, but you still must do vigorous stirring when the butter is added if you want it to be creamy. The recipe still takes just as long to cook as other risottos I have made, and you aren’t constantly stirring but there is still work involved. All in all, I think you could use this method or any other recipe and get quality results. Of course you can always add any vegetables or anything else you like at the end for added flavor.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of the day and enjoy your meal!

 

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Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Rice, Side Dishes

 

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Eat Your Peas and Carrots (Risotto)!

I have a lot of arborio rice on hand, which is the rice you want to use for risotto, and we all love risotto here, but it can be a bit of a chore to make. You need to commit to the constant stirring and adding of stock and then more stirring to make sure it comes out correctly, so it is not something I make very often. That being said, when I came across this recipe from Kitchen Daily the other day it seemed too good not to try and I liked the idea of it. The original recipe is for a fresh carrot risotto that makes use of carrot juice. Now, I don’t have carrot juice on hand nor do I have juicer. Remember, walk-in closet in my bedroom is as big as my kitchen, and neither is very big. So I decided to make a little bit of a change and call it a peas and carrots risotto. I swapped out the 2 cups of carrot juice for 4 large carrots instead and made it that way. I’ll include both options in the recipe so the choice is yours.

Peas and Carrots Risotto

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups fresh carrot juice (if using)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 shallot, finely chopped

4 large carrots, peeled and finely diced (if using)

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

1/2 cups dry white wine

2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup frozen peas

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the chicken stock and carrot juice, if using, to a simmer. Keep the pan warm.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the shallot and carrots, if using, and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the shallots are softened and the carrots are crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the arborio rice and cook, stirring the rice, until it turns slightly milky colored, about 1 minute. Add the white wine and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the hot stock mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly and adding more stock once it has been absorbed, about 20 minutes in total; the rice should be al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and 1 tablespoon of the butter, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir until the mixture is creamy.

In a medium skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the peas and season them with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat until the peas are warmed through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of white wine vinegar to the peas, then fold the peas into the risotto. Serve.

Admittedly the stirring is something of a pain but the end result is very worth it. You get a nice creamy risotto and this one has the great flavors of the peas and carrots. I can imagine that using the carrot juice would add even more flavor to the risotto. Since I didn’t use the carrot juice, I used 2 cups of stock in its place to make sure there was enough liquid to get the texture I wanted and we all really liked the taste with the peas and carrots. This one is definitely worth making again and you could certainly just eat the risotto as a meal on its own, but I served this with the glazed pork tenderloin that I  posted the recipe for yesterday to make a really nice meal.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe as there is plenty still to come. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Rice

 

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Grilled New York Strip Steaks and Sweet Pea Risotto

As promised, I did try a couple of new recipes last night for dinner. The first was from Williams – Sonoma and covered the main entrée for the evening, which was grilled steaks with cherry tomatoes and basil. It was pretty easy to make, although using the indoor grill pan always causes a problem around here with the smoke detector. After a few minutes of wrangling with this smoke detector, everything else was just fine.

Grilled Steaks with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more, to taste
2 New York strip steaks, each about 1 1/4 pound and 1 1/2 inches thick
8 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Brush a cast-iron grill pan with the oil and heat over medium high heat until hot. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, the 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the 2 teaspoons of salt. Rub the spice mixture evenly onto both sides of the steaks. In another bowl, combine that tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the steaks on the grill pan and cook, turning once, until nicely grill marked, approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare, or a grill in till they are done to your specific liking. Add the tomato mixture to the pan during the last two minutes of cooking. Transfer the steaks to a carving board and let rest for five minutes. Transfer of the tomatoes to what warmed platter. Cut the steak crosswise into 1/4 inch strips and arrange on the platter with that tomatoes.

This would be a good meal for you to cook on your outdoor grill as well. If you have the proper tools to cook that tomatoes right on the grill you can do them outside as well. I cooked the steaks to him about medium, which is the way we prefer to have it. These spice rub that is applied to the steaks adds great flavor and seems to go very well with the tomatoes and basil.

As a side dish, I decided I wanted to make some risotto. I looked around for a few different recipes, and I wanted to try to find one that would make good use of some of the spring vegetables that are around right now. The best one I found came from Marcus Samuelsson on his website at Food Republic. It was for a spring peak risotto and sounded really good.

Spring Pea Risotto

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
5 to 6 cups chicken stock
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 bunch asparagus stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh peas, shelled
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small sauce pan, heat the chicken stock to a warmed simmer. In a large stock pot, or any heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter and olive oil over medium low heat. Add the minced shallots and a pinch of salt, and sauté until the shallots are translucent. Add the rice, stir for about one minute until the grains begin to become translucent around the edges.

Pour in the wine and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add one ladle of stock at a time, stirring frequently until all the liquid is absorbed. Add another ladle of stock, and stir frequently until liquid is absorbed again. Repeat this process until almost all the stock has been used in the rice is cooked but still al–dente. The entire process should take about twenty minutes.

About five minutes before the rice is done cooking, stir in the asparagus and the peas. Add more chicken stock as necessary to continue cooking the rice. Once the rice has achieved the desired texture, stir in the Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and fresh mint. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Admittedly, making risotto is a lot of work. It requires constant attention and stirring on the stove. While it can be taxing, it is certainly worth the work that you put into it. I especially liked this recipe because of the fresh peas and asparagus that are used. It is the perfect time of year to try to incorporate some of the your spring vegetables into a dish like this and they tasted great. I would certainly make this dish again.

Those of the recipes for today. Tonight, I do plan to make some type of chicken and I have a couple of different recipes to choose from. Check back tomorrow and see which one I have decided to go with and see if you like the recipe yourself. I do have a couple of recipes for later on in the week that I plan to make. One is for another chicken dish, the other is for a strawberry rhubarb pie. I think both will be pretty good. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Beef, Cooking, Cooking Websites, Dinner, Grilling, Rice, Vegetables

 

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Jennifer Probst

a little bit naughty a little bit nice

Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

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