Risotto Anyone?

My husband, Mark, and I had a date last Friday evening. Not a date in the sense of going out and doing something but a date in helping each other. I am not particularly good at making changes to my website and he is not particularly good at cooking. So, we were going to help each other out. He would help me with my website and I was going to make risotto for a group of people that were going to our cabin to work.

 
The logistics of this seemed perfect! Unfortunately, the reality of it hit home at about 6:30 p.m. Friday night. We were both exhausted from the week. Because of this, we rescheduled the website changes to next Saturday morning when we are more refreshed. Then, I gave him the instructions about how to make the risotto.

 
This is a recipe that I have made a lot. It has been used so often that it has completely fallen out of the cookbook (a cookbook that I purchased as a fundraiser for a friend that was dying of cancer, titled: Michelle’s Cookbook, Circle of Family and Friends). This recipe works perfectly every time!

 
One member of the group that Mark was making this for is a vegetarian, so I tweaked the recipe by excluding chicken but adding shrimp. I gave him the written changes.

 
When he went to the grocery store, he purchased already grated parmesan cheese and already cooked shrimp.  Doing this made it faster and easier to make.

 
After he got home from the weekend, I asked him how the risotto came out. He said everyone loved it. Then I asked, ‘who made it?’ Because I was not convinced he made it himself. I was right! His friend Jeff ‘helped’!

 
If you look closely at the recipe you will notice that this is a ‘cheaters’ recipe. Jeff is an awesome cook and our friend Mike owns a restaurant. So, needless to say, they were skeptical. They apparently had a conversation about how Arborio rice needs to be slowly added to make it creamy.  I completely agree, however this is so easy I thought Mark could do it himself! Which he can, I just like to tease him and now I can in my blog! Hahaha!

 
If you are interested in making a super tasty risotto, try one of these:

 
Shrimp Rissotto
1 lb. cooked shrimp
½ cup of dry white wine
3 ½ cups vegetable stock
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. uncooked Arborio Rice
1 ½ minced fresh garlic
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (can be oiled packed, cut into ½” pieces)
6 medium sized fresh asparagus spears cut into ½” pieces (about ½ cup)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup fresh basil

 
In a saucepan, bring wine and stock to a boil. In another heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add rice and garlic to butter, stir to coat. Pour boiling stock mixture into rice all at once. Reduce heat, cover pan and simmer about 10-12 minutes until rice is about three-quarters cooked. Add cream, tomatoes, asparagus and cooked shrimp. Cover, let simmer 3-4 minutes. The rice should be firm to the bite. Stir in cheese. Add salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh basil.

 

 

 

The original recipe by Linda Grover:
Risotto
2 (8oz) skinned and boned chicken breasts
½ tsp. dried basil or 1 ½ tsp. minced fresh basil
½ tsp. dried oregano or 1 ½ tsp. minced fresh oregano
½ tsp. dried rosemary or 1 ½ tsp. minced fresh rosemary
Olive oil
Salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup of dry white wine
3 ½ cups chicken stock
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. uncooked Arborio Rice
1 ½ minced fresh garlic
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (can be oiled packed, cut into ½” pieces)
6 medium sized fresh asparagus spears cut into ½” pieces (about ½ cup)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat one side of the chicken breasts with basil, oregano and rosemary. Coat an ovenproof skillet with olive oil and heat on the stovetop until almost smoking. Remove from heat and put the chicken in the pan, herbed side down. Place the pan in the oven, cook 9-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (Watch carefully, times will vary with size of chicken pieces.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut each breast into quarters. Set aside. (This can be done in advance; refrigerate until ready to make the risotto).

 
In a saucepan, bring wine and stock to a boil. In another heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add rice and garlic to butter, stir to coat. Pour boiling stock mixture into rice all at once. Reduce heat, cover pan and simmer about 10-12 minutes until rice is about three-quarters cooked. Add cream, tomatoes, asparagus and chicken. Cover, let simmer 3-4 minutes. The rice should be firm to the bite. Stir in cheese. Add salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.

 

 

Bon Appétit