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November 12, 2017

Easy Parmesan "Risotto"



I love risotto. If it's on the menu, I order it. If it's not included as a side, I ask for a substitution. For instance, one of our local restaurants serves a delicious halibut dish with capellini pasta. I love capellini, but I love risotto even more. Especially with seafood. Most restaurants are perfectly willing to make the substitution, so why not ask?

I first discovered my love for risotto at a friend's home many years ago. He stood over the pot, stirring and adding wine, while sipping on a glass himself. We all stood around chatting as the risotto cooked and once it was al dente, he added some beautiful mushrooms, another splash of wine and some Parmesan. It was love at first bite and I knew I had to make it for our next dinner party. 




Unfortunately, no matter how many times I've made it, it's never quite as good as Scott's or that which I can order in a restaurant. I follow the recipe and am patient, even cooking past the recommended amount of time, stirring, stirring, stirring. Somehow, the rice never feels quite done, at least not to my liking. So I was beyond thrilled to discover this recipe from Ina Garten's cookbook How Easy Is That? She says she found the process for the recipe from Donna Hay, a cookbook writer from Australia. Not only is it quick and easy, but now I can make one of my favorite appetizers (risotto cakes) without spending the entire day in the kitchen. Hallelujah!





Easy Parmesan "Risotto"
Ina Garten - How Easy Is That?

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the rice and 4 cups of the chicken stock in a Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, wine, butter, salt, and pepper, and stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Add the peas and stir until heated through. Serve hot.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Hooray for easy recipes! Thanks, Ina and Donna!


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17 comments:

  1. This sounds fabulous!!

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    1. Juli, it is! I didn't care too much for the peas (I love peas, but there were too many) and will try it with mushrooms next time around.

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  2. I've wondered how restaurants these days could spend their scarce human resources on just one side dish -- I bet this is how they do it. Of course in the days of real underpaid kids who apprenticed in European restaurant kitchens, they probably did have someone to stand over the stove stirring and stirring.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Mae Travels, I've always wondered how a restaurant makes their risotto. It's so time consuming and not something you would want to make ahead of time and just keep warm.

      Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  3. Our favorite neighborhood restaurant, Lusardi's, makes the most fantastic four cheese risotto, and Ina's is the best risotto recipe for the home cook.

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    1. Diane, I have found Ina Garten's recipes to be hit-or-miss, so I was thrilled when I discover this one and it was a hit. The four cheese risotto sounds delicious! I'll bet I can modify Ina's and come close. Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

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  4. Anonymous6:08 PM

    Appreciate this post. Will try it out.

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  5. I've only had risotto once and I do not think it was as heavenly as what you describe. I love the idea of those risotto cakes- will have to try the recipe
    visiting from Weekend Cooking

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Judee, the risotto cakes are quite yummy. I got the recipe from Bon Appetit many years ago. Easy to over-indulge!

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  6. I love risotto too! I'm going to take a copy of this and see if my husband is up for making it!

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    1. Iliana, I'd be surprised if you didn't fall in love with it!

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  7. Definitely checking this out - I love to make risotto but I'd love it even more if I didn't have to babysit it!

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    1. Lisa, that's exactly how I feel about it.

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  8. I adore risotto and generally make it in the pressure cooker, but I'm going to have give this oven version a try. If you, Donna Hay, and Ina Garten recommend it, it has to be good. (I was traveling last week and have just found time to visit my visitors!)

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    1. Candace, I've never used a pressure cooker but we just got an Instapot, so I may have to try it in there.

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