More Rice For Dinner

Last Friday night, I made rice pudding for my dinner. So this Friday, I'm using rice again, although this time it may be a slightly more appropriate dish for a main meal.  Many times I've made risotto when Steve is off at work on a Friday night.  To just stand there and stir a pot, adding things slowly and watching it come together - its very theraputic after a long week of working.
A few things I've noticed:
  • You can use a medium/large saucepan or a large sauté pan that's deep enough to hold it all and stir.  I think making it in a saucepan lets the starch develop a little more, but in a sauté pan, it goes a little faster because there's more surface area.
  • Use an onion that has a lot of flavor to it. I like vidalia's for most things, but they're not strong enough for this. Spanish yellow onions work well.
  • Go for the chicken stock. Once I used chicken broth and had to make it go a little farther with water, and the flavor was much weaker.
  • You've got to use the real deal when it comes to parmesan cheese - you want it to melt, and the Kraft parm (or similar type) just doesn't melt and mix as well.
Classic Risotto
Adapted from... lots of places

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon oil (olive oil or canola will do just fine)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
4-5 cups chicken stock
parmesan cheese for grating

In a saucepan, begin to heat your chicken stock on medium-low heat (this will not be the same pan you use to make the actual risotto).

Over medium-high heat, melt butter with oil in pan - add onions and sauté until soft and slightly translucent.  Pour in wine and stir to deglaze the pan; simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add rice and stir well - allow to get dry, almost as if you are toasting the rice. 

Once dry, add enough chicken stock to just come to the top of the rice.  Allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until all of the moisture has been absorbed. Repeat this step until rice has become tender and the mixture is creamy (35-45 minutes). You don't have to stir constantly, but I wouldn't wander too far from the stove.  When risotto is almost finished, grate a bit of cheese into it for some flavor. When its ready to serve, grate a little more cheese on top of each serving.

Makes 6 servings

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