Lemon + Parmesan Risotto

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This was one of those 'I don't have a thing to make dinner with' situation.  (Also, an 'I do not want to go to the grocery store nor do I want to order in but I am very hungry for dinner' situation.  What can I say?  I can be difficult.)  I realized, I had, and just about always have, all the things I needed to make risotto.  Risotto is great.  It's so easy, just requires a bit of patience for stirring.  This one is punched up with tastes of lemon and fresh thyme.  

We ate this as a main course - remember?  Low fridge inventory/laziness - but It would be great served with grilled chicken or sautéed vegetables. 

Makes 2-4 servings. 

Lemon + Parmesan Risotto

1 tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 cup aborio rice

1/4 cup water + 1/4 cup white vinegar

1 quart chicken stock (or vegetable, for all you veggies), kept hot on the stove

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

zest of 1/2 lemon

s + p

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic thyme leaves and rice, stir to coat in butter and cook until rice is glossy and edges become translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add water and vinegar.  Cook, stirring until almost all evaporated.  

Add hot stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously until absorbed before the next 1/2 cup addition.  Continue adding stock, stirring, absorbing until rice is creamy and soft but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and lemon zest.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.   

French Onion Risotto

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You heard me.  Just when we thought risotto couldn't get any better.  

Serves 2 huge portions or 3 normal portions.

French Onion Risotto

6 cups beef stock

2 bay leaves

4 springs thyme

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 yellow onion, sliced

splash olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup aborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese

Heat stock, bay, 2 thyme sprigs, a couple slices of onion and peppercorns.  Keep warm without boiling or simmering. 

Add onion slices and 2 thyme sprigs to a saucepan over medium heat.  Stirring every minute or so, cook for 20 minutes.  Add a splash of olive oil, reduce heat,  cover and cook 20 minutes more.  Remove thyme sprigs.  

Strain stock.  

In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter in splash of olive oil.  Add aborio rice, stir to coat, cook 1 minute.  Add white with, cook and stir until evaporated.  Spoon stock, half a cup at a time, into rice, stirring until absorbed into rice.  Repeat until almost all stock is gone and rice is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Stir in caramelized onions and cheese.  Spoon onto dinner plates, garnish with a pinch of onions, cheese and stock.  

 

 

Mushroom + Asparagus Risotto

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Valentine's Day is fast approaching people!  (What happened to January?)  I make risotto every year.  What will you make for your loved one?  

If you decide to make this risotto you can either make the mushroom stock or use an already made one, it's up to you.  The Crescenza cheese is also sometimes called Stracchino cheese.  It is a soft, young cheese from Italy that tastes like milk. 

Makes 2 large servings.

Mushroom + Asparagus Risotto

for the stock

4 cups water

1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms

for the risotto

About 12 spears asparagus, chopped

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned, sliced

drizzle olive oil

1 shallot, minced

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup aborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

s + p

3 oz Crescenza Cheese

For stock:

 In a small pot, bring to a boil water, dried porcini mushrooms and stems from the 1/2 lb of cremini muchrooms.  Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.  Let sit for about 20 minutes and then strain through a fine mesh sieve.  Discard solids and set liquid aside.

For risotto:

 Blanche Asparagus for 1 minute and set aside.  

In a pan, sauté mushroom caps (stems on if you didn't need them to make above stock) in a drizzle of olive oil for 3 minutes.  Set aside with asparagus.  

In a pan, cook shallot in butter about 2 minutes until soft and clear.  Add aborio rice and stir to coat in butter about 1 minute.

Add white wine and evaporate then begin adding mushroom stock 1/2 cup at a time.  Stir slowly, letting rice absorb stock before adding more.  This will take about 20-25 minutes.  After all stock has been added rice will appear creamy and be just cooked.  

Stir in mushrooms and asparagus, reserving some asparagus tips for garnish.  Add parmesan cheese and an optional 1/2 tablespoon of butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  

Spoon into bowl and top each with asparagus tips and crescenza cheese.