I wish I had some glamorous story of eating risotto at a fancy Italian restaurant or on a romantic vacation to the Eternal City, but I don’t. Most of my reference for risotto comes from watching all of the chef’s fail miserably at it on Hell’s Kitchen. I haven’t watched the last few seasons, but I love Gorden Ramsey memes. There’s one of him that says “if you can’t cook risotto or scallops, you’re about to have a really bad day”.
Don’t let that intimidate you too much. Risotto really isn’t difficult to make, but it is definitely more high maintenance than your favorite minute rice. While I was making this recipe it made me think about a cooking class I attended in New Orleans. The instructor was explaining how her grandmother lovingly taught her to make gumbo, and recalled her saying that she needed to be dedicated to the cause without any distractions. This meant no children running around in the kitchen, because when it comes down to it, it’s the children or the roux. That’s how I felt while making this risotto- when they say constant stirring, they mean constant stirring- no walking away to answer the phone, wipe noses, refill juice cups, or save toddlers from falling down the stairs. It’s the children or the risotto.
This dish is delicious as a first course or a side dish, but could also be served as a main. Toss in some scallops, or serve with a pan-fried steak or fish- something that can be cooked along side would work best. Already carb heavy, but would also be good with a crusty loaf of bread and a simple salad. So get your comfy shoes and your favorite wooden spoon and stir, baby, stir!
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1½ cups uncooked Arborio rice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp pepper
- 4 oz Parmesan, grated
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Bring stock to a simmer in a large saucepan. Keep warm over low heat, but do not boil.
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to the pan; swirl to coat.
- Add onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add rice and salt, cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add ½ cup stock; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently.
- Stir in 1½ cups stock; cook 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
- Add remaining stock, ¾ cup at a time, stirring nearly constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (about 20-25 minutes); reserve ⅓ cup stock at last addition.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Stir in reserved remaining stock, butter, pepper, and cheese.
- Top with parsley.