As a Pastor, the stereotype tends to be that I spend a lot of time telling people that they are not good enough. Well today friends, that is what I have to tell you! Your life, mainly the part of it that consist of eating and cooking, is lacking, and that is because I have never taught you how to make a risotto.
Those of you who have partaken of this elusive unicorn like meal, know that the simple combination of Arborio Rice, Chicken Stock, White Wine, Butter, and parmigiano reggiano in the right order in the right intervals is enough to make an man or woman weak at the knees. In fact I must preface this post with a warning, that this dish never be made outside the confines of marriage, as it can tend to lead to... well, PG-13.
OK so here we go!
Here my friends is the finished product that we are headed for!!!
Sorry to show you the finished product from the get go, I know that I hate when the interior design show that,
To start out gather the following:
1-2 Cups of Arborio Rice (You can find this at any grocer or even walmart these days, you CAN NOT use regular old long grain rice)
1 Cup of Dry White Wine, or Champagne (You, Fancy Pants you!)
2 Swanson Boxes of Chicken stock
3 Tablespoons of small diced shallots (or just an onion for redneck risotto)
2 Cloves of Gallic minced
1 tsp of basil oregano and parsley
Salt (Kosher please, what would Moses use!)
Pepper (freshly Ground)
2 Tablespoons of Butter
3/4 of a cup of Good Parmesan (parmigiano reggiano if you can get it, but for goodness sake it better not come from a plastic shaker!!)
and 3/4 cup of precooked shredded or chopped Chicken (this one is optional)
You will also need:
2 medium to large sized sauce pans, or even better a saucier
A Spatula that you don't mind stirring with for 30 minutes
Ok got all that! Then off we go!
First take that Chicken stock of yours and put into which ever sauce pan you don't like as much (you know you have a favorite) and get it to and keep it at a simmer. It should look like this:
If that step was hard for you then, just stop right there and make a grilled cheese. For those of you continuing on, congrats!
Next take your fav sauce pan or Saucier, and heat enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan about a quarter of an inch in oil heat this over medium until it shimmers, and apparently (thanks to my infrared thermometer!) is about 135 degree's
Add to this oil your dice shallot and cook with a small amount of salt until it looks like it has softened. When said softening is achieved and the corner of the shallot are just about to turn brown add your garlic.
We only want to cook the garlic for about 20-30 second just until you start to smell it's fantastic Twilight repelling smell, any more and you will have burned it.
Add in your Arborio Rice and stir to coat all of the grains in oil. Let this sit stirring occasionally for 1-3 minutes until the rice starts to smell a bit nutty (just like your favorite crazy uncle!) At this point if you are adding chicken at the end it would be wise to get it reheated or completely cooked so it can wait at the side, you are going to want to add it while it is still hot from cooking or has been reheated!
Ok Moody Students, tea totters, and Baptist buckle up! At this point we do need to add just a tiny bit of wine. I know I know but won't buying probably get me kicked out of my church! Well folks Jesus made it, and I think we will be ok cooking with it! But if this step makes you squirm (or if you are at risk for alcoholism, no jokes here) then just skip it.
Add Just enough wine to cover the rice and stir until everything is wet.
Let this simmer until all of the liquid is gone but the pan is not completely dry stirring every 30 seconds or so.
For the next 20 minutes you will enter into a time consuming process of truly cooking this dish.
Ladle into the rice the already simmering chicken stock which is hopefully next to your rice on the stove, again you want to just cover the rice in liquid, don't fill the pot with stock, but also don't add so little that your adding stock every other minute. It should look like this:
KEEP Stirring the rice as the liquid evaporates, again until the pot is just about dry, and looks like this:
Now repeat the above steps at least two more times, after the Third addition of the stock the rice will likely be getting hard to stir as you are gently pulling the starches out of the rice, which is just one of the many proofs that we serve a Divine and benevolent God. After the third addition of Stock is added taste the rice,
it should be still a bit hard in the middle but getting very close to done, and salt until it taste almost seasoned enough, but error on the safe side, since the Parmesan we are adding latter is quite salty. Also add the green spices that we set aside earlier and a pinch of black pepper.
Now add about half as much stock as you have been in the previous steps, let it evaporate and taste, do this until the rice taste just slightly more aldente in the middle than you would like. If your adding chicken do it before you add this next bit of stock so it has time to completely heat throughout in case it has cooled at all since cooking or reheating!
Now we finish!!
Add in the cheese and about 2.5 tablespoons of Butter and stir over the heat until they have melted into the rice completely, taste the dish, shout for joy at its amazing flavor, and add any additional salt or pepper to your taste.
Plate up the dish in two-three bowls or plates and garnish with fresh parsley, and parm shavings! And Enjoy! :)
Ok everyone I hope you enjoy your dinner!! Thank-you cards, containing money of course, would probably be appropriate.