As I’ve mentioned before, I was raised on white rice and potatoes. My dad was born and raised in South Carolina, where rice is a staple crop. He loved it! So I was raised to love it, too, in its sticky, gummy whiteness, usually bathed in a pool of chicken gravy. There was even a funny way we’d express that something was really good when I was little; “it’s almost as good as……chicken gravy!”
Well, I have started branching out from the old dependable rice and beans in recent months. In February I started making couscous, which is fantastic! Here’s the recipe I used: Moroccan CousCous. It’s really easy to do, and the taste and texture are uniquely delicious. Hope you’ll give it a try.
This week I learned to make a basic creamy risotto. I’m in love. I’ve made it twice this week, and all five of us are happily devouring it. I enjoyed the chopping and the stirring while I watche Julie & Julia again. I was in what is known as “my happy place.” 🙂 Let me know what you think of it, and trust me when I say that the flavor is much more complex than boiled rice. You’ll love it, I just know it!
Here’s the recipe:
Classic Creamy Risotto
Gourmet House® Italian Arborio Rice
dry white wine
chicken broth, divided
Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Cook onion until soft in 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add rice and stir 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine; stir until absorbed. Increase heat to medium high; stir in 1 cup broth. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue stirring and add remaining broth and water 1 cup at a time, allowing each cup to be absorbed before adding another, until rice is tender and mixture has a creamy consistency. It will take approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in cheese, salt, pepper, cream and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir until mixture is creamy about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Notes: I didn’t have any white wine, so just used 1/2 cup of chicken broth instead. Also, I encourage you to grate your own parmesan, as the flavor is completely different than the stuff in the green can, which has an odd, off flavor. I had parmigiano-reggiano, so that’s what I used. It’s fantastic. I keep a chunk of it in my fridge almost always, and it lasts a long time; longer, really, than the pre-shredded kind, which molds more quickly, and when it does mold, you have to throw it away, whereas with a block of hard cheese you can just trim it off and use the rest. (Here’s a specific list from Mayo Clinic describing what kinds of cheeses you should NOT use when moldy, and how to trim off the mold on the ones you CAN use. Mayo Clinic Cheese Safety Chart & article)
Here’s how my risotto looked after I finished stirring it all up; I totally LOVE it! Serve with some stir-fried pork chunks, or some pan-fried marinated chicken thighs. It’s great-tasting, simple food, even better than (dare I say it?) chicken gravy. 😉