Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Birthday Risotto

I made this a few weeks ago, and Rugrat liked it so much he asked for seconds! And when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner this year, this is what he chose. :) Risotto only seems difficult if you've never made it before. And this version is fancy enough to serve at a dinner party (although maybe I'd use fresh asparagus instead of frozen peas, in that case).

Birthday Risotto
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
1 c arborio rice
1/2 c dry white wine
4-5 c chicken stock
1 c tiny bay shrimp
3/4 c frozen peas
1 c shredded parmesan cheese
1 tsp white truffle oil
salt & pepper

Put the chicken stock in a pot over medium-high heat until it's simmering, then reduce temperature to maintain a simmer. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion, season with salt & pepper, and saute for about 7-8 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the rice, stirring to coat all the grains in the oil/butter, and turn the heat down just a smidge, to medium-low. After a minute or so, add the wine. When the wine is nearly all absorbed, add 1/2 - 1 cup of the simmering chicken stock. Stir frequently, until the chicken stock is nearly all absorbed. You'll know it's time to add more stock when you run your spoon along the bottom of the pan and you can see the bottom of the pan for a split second before the liquid rolls back over it. Keep adding stock, about a cup at a time, stirring frequently, until you've got about a cup of stock left in your pot. Taste the rice, and if it is still very raw, you'll want to add a bit more chicken stock to your simmering pot, because one more cup won't be enough. It takes me about 25-30 minutes to cook the rice. (One more way to tell if your rice is almost done: it starts absorbing the liquid MUCH slower -- your last addition of stock seems to take forever to absorb.) When the rice is al dente, throw in the shrimp & frozen peas. Let the risotto get hot again, turn off the heat, and then add your parmesan cheese. Finish with a drizzle of the white truffle oil.

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