I'm on a bit of a rice kick. I made salmon risotto not long ago. We ordered Chinese take-out for the first time in my life last week and all really I wanted from the long menu was the fried rice. I keep making pots of that killer Massa brown rice to replace other starches on our plates. I even have brown rice for breakfast.
So, My Beloved was not surprised to find that risotto was on the menu yet again. Mushroom risotto this time with carrots and broccoli thrown in and cooked in organic vegetable stock thanks to those enterprising folks over at Imagine.
Risotto is easy. If you have a job or come home late from shopping or perhaps got caught up reading (ahem!) the hair raising ending of the latest thriller, you can have dinner on the table and tasting delicious in about 45 minutes. Here's the deal:
Chop an onion and sauté it in a heavy-bottomed pot in generous butter until it's soft. Add about a dozen sliced mushrooms (you can use all one kind or, even better, some of several kinds) and let them sizzle with the onion until they are nicely browned (this is why the butter should be generous) - you need to watch this and stir frequently.
Throw in a cup of risotto rice (canaroli or arborio - both keep forever in the pantry) and let it cook for about five minutes, stirring every few minutes. Pour in about a half cup of white wine, or use half that amount of fresh lemon juice and stir it around. While that cooks down a tad, chop the carrots and broccoli into bite-size pieces, and grate about a cup of Parmesan cheese.
Heat about three cups of veggie stock in the microwave - it need not be boiling, just nicely warmed. Add the veggie stock about half a cup at a time, stirring with each new addition to make sure the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Let the stock cook with the rice until it is absorbed before adding another half cup and repeating the process.
When you have added all the stock, it's time to dump in the carrots and broccoli, stirring them in, and let them cook for a few minutes 'til the broccoli is bright green. Add the grated cheese and stir that in evenly. Offer more Parmesan cheese at the table.
You can, of course, add all kinds of little bits of flavor - shredded chicken, meat or fish, different veggies, different flavorings and herbs, meat broths instead of veggie - the possibilities are legion. Even if you're not on a rice kick, you'll love risotto.