Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just Your Basic Risotto

Before you get all wild and crazy with a dish, sometimes it's best to just keep it simple. Uncomplicated. So fresh and so clean, clean.

You know, like your Basic Risotto.

Risotto sparks fear and loathing in many peeps. But, please for the love of God, get over it.

Yes, it’s time consuming – about 20 to 30 minutes when all is said and done. So if your day is hectic and whatnot, perhaps you should put off your one-on-one risotto time when your schedule allows.

I usually make risotto if and when my main course is easy peezy i.e., in the oven, so that I can just focus on our stirring portion of the program.

Sure, it’s easier to boil a pot of water and make some Uncle Ben’s, but Basic Risotto is so dreamily, heavenly, delightfully fab, it’s worth the wait.

Patience is usually rewarded in all things kitcheny. And stirring things does not make me stabby. Ironing shirts, cleaning the bathroom – two big thumbs down. On the opposite end of the Susan World Spectrum, cooking risotto has a kind of peaceful anticipation about it. The process takes something so ordinary and gives it a major WOW factor.

Kind of like what happens to the subjects on “What Not to Wear.”

I wish I hosted that show. And wrote the scripts for “General Hospital.”

Most importantly, while stirring risotto, you can enjoy a glass of wine and talk to The Husband and watch reruns of “The Office” all at the same time.

Suzie’s Basic Risotto
Makes 3 to 4 side dish servings.

3 to 3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup Arborio rice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
½ small onion, or 1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and black pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, bring low-sodium chicken broth to a simmer. Keep covered and simmering.

In a wide pan with deep sides, melt 1 Tbsp. butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Saute for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add rice and toss in the onion mixture for a minute or two. Add white wine. Bring to a boil. Stir the rice.

Once the wine is reduced, begin adding a ladle full of broth to the rice. The mixture should always simmer. Stir the rice mixture until the broth is absorbed. Once absorbed, add another ladle of broth. Continue this process for about 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Once the risotto is the consistency that you prefer, Add 1 Tbsp. butter and parmesan cheese. Stir. Serve right away.

Please note: You may not use all of the broth.


  1. Suzie - Anderson household needs some new recipes. They cannot take longer than 30 minutes prep time. Please help we are soooo bored of our usual concoctions....!

    We make risoto weekly :) Other dinners include enchiladas, random pasta dishes, breaded get the picture!