Please don't mind the messy spot on the pic. I just couldn't help myself....
Okay, seriously, I want risotto for my last meal. This stuff is soooooo yummy, I almost can't stand it. Life before risotto was dull and boring. Life with this goodness...oh sweet lordy! Mmm! I'd make it everyday if Graham would let me.
I didn't have everything necessary to make my favorite risotto tonight, so I improvised with what I had. Overall it was good. Graham didn't care for the lemon, but I liked it. See my notes for more detail.
The Good Stuff: Risotto
4 c. chicken stock (or broth for less salt)
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 1/2 c. Arborio rice
1/2 c. lemon juice
Zest of 1 small lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper, to taste
In a medium saucepan, bring stock to a healthy simmer over medium heat. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil. Add shallot and cook till it begins to soften, approx. 3 minutes.
Add Arborio and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add lemon juice and simmer, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, until all juice is absorbed. Add 1/2 c. stock, salt, and pepper. Simmer and stir until stock absorbs into rice.
Tasting as you go, continue to add, simmer, and stir stock, adding 1/2 c. at a time until all stock has been added, or until rice is tender and creamy, around 20 minutes. Stir in more stock if rice isn't thick and creamy. When rice is done, stir in lemon zest. Serve immediately.
- I liked the bright, citrus flavor the lemon added, but Graham didn't care for it. Next time I'll reduce the lemon juice to 1/4 c. and/or mix with a little white wine to make a 1/2 c.
- Repeat after me: I will taste test my risotto as I stir. I will taste test my risotto as I stir. I will taste test....Seriously. If you don't taste test, you'll end up with rice that's too firm and unappetizing and that's not what risotto is/should be.
- I prefer to use chicken stock for my risotto, but if you don't want the higher salt content, use low-sodium stock or broth.
- As always, vegetable broth can be subbed in for the chicken broth to make this vegetarian.
- This is a great basic risotto for mix-ins...peas, mushrooms, shaved carrot, etc.
- Again, I'm a big fan of adding liquid, stirring for a few minutes, then walking away and letting it sit for a few. The liquid will still absorb and you don't need to stand there and stir and try not to pass out in your pot of deliciousness.
- If you haven't yet tried risotto, either in your kitchen or from someone else's, let me say this...TRY. IT. NOW. You have no clue what you're missing.