Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What you've always wanted: The Perfect Risotto!

My new comfort food is anything Carbs. Actually, I think it has always been my comfort food, but I am getting the chance to indulge it more now that I am exercising more.
It all starts with Arborio Rice, which can be expensive, but WELL worth it (mostly cause it expands to three times greater than how it starts!)

This is what it looks like before it is finished cooking.
You might want to do a couple taste tests to see if it is cooked through. All of the liquid should be absorbed and it should look like a thick, semi-globby paste, with rice.

Perfect Mushroom Risotto
about 6-8 mushrooms (I used babybella) chopped
3 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 c arborio rice
oregano, thyme, salt, pepper
half an onion
butter, olive oil
1. In a small saucepan, heat the stock until just warm, not boiling. In another saucepan, chop onion and sauté in butter and olive oil. Add mushrooms just as onions start to soften. Add about 1 tsp of oregano and 1/2 tsp of ground thyme.
2. Add arborio rice and toast for about 2 minutes.
3. Using a ladle, put about half a cup of the stock in the rice pot. Stir every few seconds. This pot should be at about medium heat--enough to where the rice is cooking, but not enough to where the mixture is sticking to the bottom of the pan or that it is violently bubbling. This step requires patience and lots of stirring. I've found that if you want really creamy risotto without the cream, you must stir.
4. After the stock is mostly absorbed into the rice, keep adding, in the same increments, until you've used all the stock and the rice is fully cooked. If rice is not cooked through, heat up more stock and add it to the rice. Cut off the heat and add a small handful of parmesan cheese.
Serve on its own, topped with chicken, or as a side.