As I chowed down on a bowl of frosted wheat square cereal and soymilk for lunch I thought to myself, there has to be a better way! Somehow the next logical step was risotto. I was in a bowl and spoon mood I guess?
One theory I have on cooking, and eating in general, is that if you can’t master and appreciate the basics then you have no business in the big leagues. It’s why I always judge a restaurant on their margherita pizza, why I have an affinity towards the sugar cookie, and why I prefer to make plain risotto. I made up my own recipe but used this classic recipe from Pioneer Woman as my initial guide.
Kim’s Risotto Recipe
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
1 heaping tsp. of crushed garlic
1 & 1/4 cups arborio rice
4 cups (32 oz). chicken stock
1 cup parmesan cheese
1.5 tbsp. EVOO
2 tsp. butter (I used Smart Balance, whatever works)
1 tsp. cracked pepper
1.5 tsp. paprika
Chop one medium yellow onion finely and toss it in a warm pan with the EVOO and half of the butter.
Stir the onion until it becomes soft and translucent.
I use crushed garlic because it’s super easy but you could chop your own or use whatever size minced garlic you have.
When the onion and garlic have combined completely, throw in the arborio rice. I let it cook for a minute or so with the onion, garlic, and EVOO before I begin with the chicken broth.
OK, chicken stock. You have to add it one cup at a time, stirring all the while. The whole process with all 4 cups will take 20 or so minutes. You’ll know when it’s time for the next cup of stock when the prior cup has been absorbed into the rice. At each round I recommend trying a nibble or two to check the grains’ doneness.
I recommend doing this whole process on medium-low heat. No sense in rushing a dish that’s going to take 20-30 minutes anyways. Plus, if the temperature is too high you’ll cook out the stock quicker than it can be absorbed. And that’s not good eats.
As the rice thickens, add another cup of chicken stock.
When you add the final cup of chicken stock, add the rest of the butter.
OK, I fibbed. I was supposed to be stirring but I was grinding fresh pepper instead…
Look at how fluffy it’s getting!
When all 4 cups of stock have been absorbed, add your parmesan cheese, pepper, and paprika.
Give it a final stir and it’s done!
Plain old average risotto, ha! It’s anything but. The paprika gives it such nice color, no?
Big finish ideas:
You could top the final bowl with extra parmesan, a drizzle of EVOO, or some fresh chives. I was too eager to dig in but you could do those things when you make this!
Better than cereal any day.