Happy Mother’s Day!

Risotto is one of my favorite dishes to prepare when I have company. It doesn’t require too many ingredients, is relatively simple to make, and can be mostly cooked ahead of time and finished off at the last minute. It’s also filling and can be spectacularly flavorful. My favorite savory risotto recipe comes from Giada De Laurentiis. However, while she uses chicken stock, I swap it for vegetable broth. Her recipe can be found here. But aside from making savory risotto as an entrée, I also love making chocolate-orange risotto for dessert (not in the same night, of course). It’s creamy and luscious and you will definitely find yourself licking your spoon. It’s also a wonderful recipe if you haven’t figured out what to make your mom for dessert yet…

What You Need:
1 cup Arborio rice
2 tbsp. sugar
3 cups skim milk
2 tbsp. butter
5 oz. of semisweet or dark chocolate chopped finely
Zest of 1 orange

What To Do:
In a pot, melt butter and add the Arborio rice. Over medium-low heat, toast the rice for about 10 minutes. In another pot, whisk together the milk, sugar and orange zest. Heat the milk so that it is just below a simmer and then keep it on a low flame. When the rice is toasted, add one ladleful of the milk and stir the rice constantly. When the first ladleful has been absorbed, add a second and so forth until all the milk has been added to the rice. Stir constantly throughout this process (about 25 minutes). When you add the final ladleful of milk, add the chocolate and stir vigorously. Serve warm.

While risotto is, in my opinion, relatively easy to make, I have occasionally managed to undercook it.  It is something that is supposed to be just al dente and come together on the plate, to ensure that you don’t undercook, make sure that you toast the rice for a full 10 minutes before adding any liquid. If you are at the point where you are about to serve your rice and you don’t think that carry over cooking is going to make it perfectly al dente, then heat some additional liquid and add that into the rice by stirring it and incorporating it. Then put a lid on the pan and let it come up to temperature for a few minutes. Removed the lid and continue stirring until you have the right consistency.

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