Saturday, September 09, 2006

Let's talk Risotto

I love risotto. How can you not?! The creamy texture, the bite of the rice bits. Add some parmesan and it's heaven in a bowl. But a lot of people are intimidated by risotto. All that stirring and continual adding of liquid. How do you know what to do?! It's not that hard although you may mess up the first batch but don't dispare. Once you get the knack, you'll be whipping up this quick and delicious dinner on a regular basis.

First saute some Onion and a little garlic in Olive Oil over medium heat. We don't want any brown bits on the onions.
Add the arborio rice and let it saute for a minute. Then add some broth. Have broth ready. The boxed broth is very convenient and you can get the low sodium broth. Just have the box ready. Add about 1/2 cup at a time. Simmer over medium low heat, stirring regularily but not constantly.

Once the liquid absorbs into the rice, when you stir the rice out of the way and there is no water at the bottom of the pan, add more broth. You want to add the broth before the pan gets too dry. This is the part you have to get the hang of. But once you do, it's easy. Don't get discouraged if you don't get the first batch right. Once it comes to you that's it, you'll be making risotto for life!

Now you can just have risotto but I like to add veggies. This becomes a fantastic veggie dish. You can add meat. I like chicken. Have the veggies ready to go before you start cooking. The meat should be sauted first before adding to the risotto just so you don't have to worry about it being undercooked.

I added zucchini, asparagus and red pepper to my last risotto. I add it before the rice is done but is about halfway there. I wanted the veggies to remain their vibrant colours. If you are new to risotto, you may want to steam or saute your veggies seperately just to ensure you don't overcook them. Once you get comfortable with cooking arborio rice, you will find it easy to add veggies to allow them to cook with the rice without overcooking them.

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