Thursday, October 21, 2010


I used to only order this in a restaurant because I was afraid I couldn't make it. There are a few rules and if followed, nothing can go wrong.
1. You have to use the right rice - Arborio..that's it... Arborio is a must
2. You have to devote 30-35 minutes to this one dish stirring near constantly
3. You need to add the liquid a little at a time to allow the rice to absorb it and the flavors
This recipe originated in Northern Italy and is often a common replacement for pasta in the region. This is a basic recipe, but you can add vegetables or seafood. It is great with mushrooms, butternut squash, shrimp and of course big chunks of lobster...yum.
2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup grated or minced onion
1 tbl minced garlic
6 tbl unsalted butter
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup white wine
1/4 tsp saffron threads
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh white pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, and some for serving
2 tbl fresh minced italian parsley
Combine saffron and wine in a saucepan and cook over low heat until saffron dissolves then set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil then turn the heat to low to keep it warm.
In a large saute pan melt 5 tbl of butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook about 3 minutes. Add the "raw" rice and stir with a spoon, preferably wooden, until the rice is coated with the butter. Add the wine mixture to the rice and cook stirring constantly over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, about 3-4 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the warm chicken broth to the pan and stir constantly over low heat until the liquid has been absorbed, about 3-5 minutes. Repeat until all the broth is in the rice, always stirring constantly so the rice doesn't stick and the liquid is absorbed. Taste the rice to see if it is done, it should have a creamy consistency and be soft on the outside and a tiny bit chewy on the inside. The total time will be somewhere between 20-30 minutes depending on what you add.
Season with salt and pepper. Add the parmesan cheese and 1 tbl of parsley and mix well.
Serve with more cheese..YES MORE CHEESE!

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