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How to make the creamiest risotto in under 30 minutes

6 May 2019

Whenever I make risotto, it’s because I am in the mood to make risotto. It’s one of those dishes that requires your care and attention, but in the best way possible. The scent of browned butter, sweet onions and wine cooking together will take you to another world. Moving the back of a wooden spoon through the creamy pot of arborio rice as it cooks and thickens is the epitome of mindful cooking. Add in a glass of wine and some good background music and you’ll know what I mean when I say in the mood for making risotto.

The key to making risotto is achieving the right texture. Not too runny, not too dense – just perfectly creamy and thick. I have made risotto several different ways and have noted a few tips and tricks.

Don’t hold back on the butter. This is meant to be an indulgent and heavy meal, which makes it great for Canadian winter or cool rainy days. Use a few tablespoons of butter at the beginning, and add some more at the end. Trust me on this.

Another important factor is the parmesan cheese. Use the good stuff. I often get a large block of parmesan from Costso – it usually lasts for a couple months! Grate the parmesan cheese yourself so it’s fresh.

The rice should be fully cooked in under 25 min. Don’t go over this time limit or it will be overcooked.

I am sharing two ways of making risotto, one with mushrooms & beets and one with lemon and asparagus. Both are delicious. But remember to immerse yourself in the experience of making risotto; your care and attention is just as important as the ingredients. You won’t regret it.

Mushroom and Beet Risotto
Serves 4

1 chopped red onion
1/4 cup butter
1.5 c Arborio rice
1 cup of chopped mushrooms, such as cremini
6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup of shredded Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the stock in a separate pot. Melt half the butter in a pot on med high heat. Add onions once the butter is bubbly, and saut̩ until golden, about 7 min. Add mushrooms, stir for a couple min, then add arborio rice and coat in onions for about 3 min more. Add the wine and let the rice absorb it all. Lower the heat to medium. Start adding the stock to the risotto, 1/2 cup at a time, and massage the risotto with the back of a wooden spoon until the stock is absorbed. Add the next 1/2 cup and continue until all the stock is absorbed Рabout 25 min. At the end, add grated Parmesan and about 2tbsp grated butter. Cover and remove from heat, and let sit for 5-10 min. Optional: add one shredded, cooked beet and mix for the pink colour.

Lemon, Asparagus and Browned Butter Risotto
Serves 4

1 chopped red onion
1/4 cup butter
1.5 c Arborio rice
1 cup of asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup of shredded Parmesan
Juice of one lemon
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the stock in a separate pot. Melt half the butter in a pot on med high heat. Let it brown, but be careful not to let it burn. Once it starts bubbling, lower the heat to medium and add the onion and sauté until golden, about 6 min.

Add the arborio rice and coat in onions for about 3 min more. Add the wine and let the rice absorb it all. Start adding the stock to the risotto, 1/2 cup at a time, and massage the risotto with the back of a wooden spoon until the stock is absorbed. Add the next 1/2 cup and continue for about 15 min. Add the chopped asparagus, lemon and lemon zest. Continue adding the stock for about 7-10 more minutes. At the end, add grated Parmesan and about 2tbsp of butter. Cover the pot and remove from heat, and let sit for 5-10 min. Serve immediately. Pairs well with baked sole (baked in the oven at 375 for 12-15 min).

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