Sunday, October 2, 2011

A version of Rachael Ray's Creamy Lemon Risotto

This is a Rachael Ray recipe that I improvised.
You need:
1 quart of chicken broth
2 cups of water
1 Tbsp. Olive oil 
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or grated
1 medium onion FINELY chopped
1/2 cup of dry white wine
2 Tbsp. Butter cut in small pieces
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (or Rachael Ray uses Pecorino Romano)
1 medium lemon or 2 small (you will need the skin for zest and the juice as well) 

Heat 32 oz. of chicken stock and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan 

Cut your onion up FINELY especially if feeding kids or husbands like Joe :) I wonder if grating would work well? Hmmm.

Also get your garlic prepped. 

I used 2 small lemons that were more juicy for the juice. And one bigger lemon with a better skin for the zest. 

 Squeeze over something to catch the seeds. I got 1/4 cup of juice, that is a lot and will make the risotto VERY lemony. We don't like it too lemony so I only added MAYBE less then 1/8 of a cup. So a little less then 2 Tablespoons. 
Zest your lemon 
If you are using the same lemon for both juice and skin, Zest the lemon FIRST then cut open and juice. To try and zest a cut and squezeed lemon. Not easy.
Get your 2 Tablespoons of butter
and cut into small pieces
I had everything ready to go on a cutting board. Including the 1/2 cup of white wine and 1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese
Heat the 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a Risotto Pot or skillet with rounded bottom or if you are like me a dutch oven. 
Add the onion 
Add the garlic
 And cook to soften about 3 or 4 minutes
Here is the rice I used. It can be somewhat expensive so I try to buy it when I see it on sale and then save it for a rainy day :)

I made one cup which serves about 4 people. Or 2 big people and 4 little people 
 Add your rice to the pot and stir. 
Stir it in and heat the rice, onions, etc for 1-2 minutes before adding the wine. 
Also add the lemon zest 
Now add the wine and cook to evaporate.
Once evaporated...add the heated chicken stock and water, a few ladles at a time and stir for a minute each time to develop the starches, this will make the risotto creamy.
Keep adding stock each time the pan starts get dry around the edges.

The total cooking time is 18-20 minutes depending on your heat. It is involved but with your pork finishing up in the oven you've got time.  
 When the rice is cooked to al dente, season with salt and pepper and stir in the butter, cheese and lemon juice. Again if you love lemony food you can just keep adding to taste, but start with a little taste...add more... taste...until you like it. Don't just pour it all in. We are not huge lemon food fans at our house, but I especially think the lemon zest adds a nice contrast to the creaminess of the risotto. It is a nice blend of flavor. 

Oh! Rachael Ray also adds, basil and mint to her risotto, but again it's up to you. I just put a little basil sliced thin on top. 

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