Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lemon risotto

Risotto is so worth the effort.

Sure, all that stirring can be a pain in the you-know-what, but sometimes it's nice to just zone out while completing a kitchen task. (A glass of wine is also required.)

The recipe comes from Giada. Of course, she serves hers in dainty little lemon cups that she makes from scooping out the insides of actual lemons. I'm sure that presentation is FABULOUS for a dinner party or a fancy do, but when it's me and The Husband grubbing, a scoop on a plate is as good as it gets.

Also in typical Giada fashion, marscapone and lemon are key ingredients. It's probably wise to have more than one use for the marscapone that you purchase so that you don't have to throw out the almost-entire now-moldy remnants of a tub wasting away in your fridge after literally using 2 tablespoons of it for ONE dish. (Apologies to all the starving people in the world. Never a fan of throwing out unused food.)

This risotto is super duper delish. It tastes really quite special with the lemon and marscapone. And I'm sure the lemon cup situation is wonderful touch if you can swing it.

Also, a word to the uninformed on risotto: The recipe calls for 2 cups broth, but I heat up more like 3 cups because 2 never seems to be enough. The recipe also calls for diluting the broth with some water. That's a good plan. I feel like measurements in risotto are kind of inaccurate, especially since you can cook it to your preferred level of  creaminess.

Lemon Risotto
By Giada DeLaurentiis

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon
1 large shallot, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1/2 a lemon, zested and juiced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 lemons, for serving (optional)

In a medium saucepan bring the broth and 1/2 cup water to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep hot over low heat.

In a medium, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute until tender but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of the broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, mascarpone cheese, the lemon zest and juice, and the salt and pepper.

To serve in lemon cups: cut 1/4-inch off the bottom of each lemon so they stand on their own. Take 1-inch off the stem end. Using a grapefruit spoon scoop out the flesh of the lemon and discard. Fill each lemon with about 1/2 cup of risotto. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Serve immediately.

For other rockin' risotto recipes please check out:
Basic risotto
Butternut Squash Risotto