Thursday, May 04, 2006

"Conference Call Risotto"

Somebody made a delicious risotto at a recent potluck that I attended, and I decided that I would learn how to cook this Northern Italian creamy short-grained (arborio) rice dish that I have occasionally enjoyed at restaurants (that use vegetable broth and no butter). Traditionally, risotto is cooked in butter or olive oil then simmered in broth added a little at a time. Frequent stirring gives risotto its creamy texture, thickened with starch released into the broth.

So this was my first try at risotto and it came out well! I was on a conference call for part of the time I was cooking it and that worked out quite well to break up the monotony of the stirring; maybe I'll call this my "multitasking conference call risotto" or something! I hope soon to make another batch to improve it further (I'm going to use white wine to keep from coloring the risotto and use spinach or maybe asparagus instead of broccoli).

I sauteed about half a large onion, as well as a small handful of mixed mushrooms. Then I added a (soy) yogurt container full of arborio rice and stirred it into the oil for a minute or two. I added half of the container full of red wine and stirred till the wine was absorbed into the grain, then started adding hot vegetable broth in small quantities (about half the yogurt container or so), stirring, and keeping the rice moist but not swimming in broth. As the broth was absorbed, I would add a little more hot broth. I kept doing this for about 20 minutes, till the rice tasted done but was still al dente - risotto takes about 3 to 3 1/2 parts broth to 1 part rice. When the rice was almost done, I mixed in small broccoli florets, and once the rice was cooked, I added freshly ground black pepper, salt, and vegan Parm! "parmesan cheese", and, to make it creamier, a little bit of Earth Balance margarine. My wife and I loved the risotto!

My wife brought home a lovely thin loaf of freshly baked black olive bread - it was so tasty that the olive oil I added wasn't even really needed. The dinner was good, but looking at the picture now, I wish I had added more color, such as with some slices of tomato or carrot sticks.


At Tue Sep 05, 04:11:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dilip said...

Yesterday, September 4, 2006, I received an email from the cookware company Williams-Sonoma with a link to some intriguing sounding risotto recipes. I thought I would capture a link to my search on their site - I'd like to use some of these as inspirations for future risottos!


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