Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Risotto So Crazy it Just Might Work!

A few months ago I made Risotto for the first time.  Specifically, THIS risotto.

And I was in loooooove.

Lately, i've been craving more.  With a gigantic, final grad school paper standing between me and the rest of my life as a "real grown-up" I thought the time consuming task of risotto preparation would just be irresponsible.  But earlier this week I had a brief reprieve from the crazy project and before I had a chance to collapse in a paper-editing induced stupor on my living room floor, I declared:

"Tonight, I am making risotto!"

The leftover asparagus spears were egging me on from their spot in the refrigerator anyway.

The only problem was, this risotto calls for things like mushrooms, artichoke, white wine, and um... Arborio rice.  When I took stock of my food storage situation, I realized I was missing most of the ingredients that make risotto risotto!

But powering through an entire paper looking for extra/missing commas and periods in the phrase "et al.," for several hours gave me the sense that I really deserved this risotto and I was going to make it work!

So, I swapped the mushrooms and artichoke for some leftover shallot, the white wine for RED!

The biggest challenge was that I only had a tiiiiiiiny bit of Arborio rice; clearly not enough for a big pot of risotto. So I decided to mix it with Quinoa!

All in all, it turned out to be SO good!  This recipe is creamy, buttery, nutty, light, and a little tangy! (And of course, lactose free!)

And besides the deliciousness, there are secret benefits of risotto.  You have to know, risotto takes TIME.  You have to watch it, and stir it, and love it, and take care of it so it doesn't burn and stick to the pot.  And the undivided attention you have to give it creates sort of a meditation like state. It's all very Zen. And don't forget all the calories you burn from the stirring!

That being said, making risotto is basically just like going to a yoga class.
So mix, stir, eat, and then have a little savasana for dessert!

Risotto So Crazy it Just Might Work


About 2/3 cup of Arborio Rice 
About 2/3 cup of Quinoa
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I prefer home made but in this case, Better than Bullion)
1/4 cup of red wine
Half a shallot, chopped 
Half a cup of chopped onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
A few sage leves
3 tablespoons "butter"
Olive oil (as needed)
A bunch of asparagus spears, cut into  2-inch pieces
A splash of milk (I used soy)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Get out two cooking pots: one larger for your risotto, one smaller for your stock. Get out a ladle or scoop. (I like to use a 1/2 cup measuring cup). Like so:

  • Bring the stock to a simmer then turn it down so the stock stays hot but not boiling the whole time you're cooking.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of the "butter" with some olive oil in your bigger pot until hot
  • Add shallot and onion. Cook until almost translucent.
  • Add garlic, sage, and asparagus.
  • Cook for about 4 minutes.  You don't want anything to burn.
  • Take out the veggies/herbs and put them in a separate bowl.
  • Add a little more olive oil to your big pot.
  • Pour in the rice/quinoa and mix together.
  • Cook until just toasted.
  • Add the wine. Stir it up.
  • When the wine is absorbed, add 1/2 a cup of the stock. 
  • Stir, stir stir until absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup and stir it up...
  • Keep adding 1/2 a cup at a time and stirring constantly.  If you forget, your risotto will burn and you will cry :(
  • Once most of the stock is absorbed, check your quinoa to see if it's soft.  If it isn't add the rest of the stock and cover the pot for a few minutes.  Then stir and stir until all absorbed.
  • Add the veggies back in, add the milk, and a tablespoon of "butter" and stir some more

Bon appetit!

1 comment:

  1. Namasday! (Sp) What a great idea! I'll be trying this next week.