Inspired by your risotto posting a few weeks ago I decided to make risotto a couple of days ago one Sunday evening that A and I were watching some TV and organizing the house. Now I had made risotto quite a few times before this one but never this way that I am about to tell you. A good family friend of ours has family from Italy, so all my attempts at making Italian food have been after learning from her. I should set up another ‘class’ with her because she is just a phenomenal cook, and her daughter is even better! So she gave me a risotto recipe that I have been following for quite some time now. This time though, I combined two recipes together into one. I also have never used truffle oil or saffron and my risottos are always delicious. The risotto tricolore is a combination of my friend’s recipe together with a recipe from the New York Times – Red Pepper Risotto.The one thing I have never been able to accomplish is making risotto like you eat in restaurants. For some reason, the risotto they make at restaurants is almost like soup, like a creamy soup and I have not been able to get to that point. Practice makes perfect right?
So I think that risotto is pretty simple. The difficult part is that you cannot just put it in the pot to cook and come back 20 minutes later to see if it is done. Risotto is an active food – meaning you have to be active and constantly interacting with it in order for it to come out right. Risotto should also always be eaten fresh, even though leftovers are not bad at all.
- 6 to 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion or shallot
- 2 plump garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large red pepper, finely diced
- 1 large green pepper, finely diced
- 1 1/4 ounce of mushrooms
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- A generous pinch of saffron threads (optional)
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or a mixture of parsley and thyme
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
- Cook the mushrooms and peppers in a pan with oil, salt, and pepper.
- While the vegetables are cooking, place the oil with the onion and garlic in a large pot and cook until the onion is translucent and in a separate pot bring the stock to a simmer. I usually boil water and then add vegetable stock powder, about 1 Tbs.
- Add 2 cups of rice to the large cup and cook constantly mixing.
- Stir in the wine and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. The wine should bubble, but not too quickly — you want some of the flavor to cook into the rice. When the wine has almost evaporated, stir in about a cup of the stock, just enough to cover the rice. Cook, stirring often, until the stock is just about absorbed.
- Add the vegetables into the mixture together with about 1/2 cup of the broth and continue to stir until the stock is absorbed.
- Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, not too fast and not too slowly, stirring often and adding more stock when the rice is almost dry. Continue for 25 minutes, until the rice is cooked through but still a little chewy. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- When the rice is cooked through, add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, and stir in another half cup of stock, the Parmesan and the herbs. Remove from the heat. The rice should be creamy; if it isn’t, add a little more stock. Stir once, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve.
*If you want to prepare in advance, the NYT article suggests cooking it halfway through step 4, about 10 to 15 minutes, then spreading the rice out in the pan or on a baking sheet. Reheat and proceed with the recipe shortly before serving.
*You can use any types of mushrooms and even combine a few types. Frozen peas also make for good risotto.
The pictures are not so good this time…. they were taken at the wrong time of day…. 9PM!
This week there will not be that much cooking as Passover starts tonight. I will be making a dessert for my mom’s Seder which is tomorrow night. Not a boxed cake that you buy at the supermarket. I already did one of those for my grandma and it turned out terrible.