28 January 2009

Fighting off the cold ... part I -- risotto

It has been one helluva winter here in Boston, the coldest I remember since the dry, brainfreeze of a freezing winter in January 2004, and more snow than I've seen consecutively than January 2005 when the city shut down.

To beat the cold, I've been trying to hit the gym more to counter some comfort food recipes that help fight the cold and assist in me destressing.

I gave this creamy parmesan risotto a whirl last weekend, being a huge risotto fan but oddly enough, never making it myself. I had some leeks in my fridge from the public market, so I subbed out I medium onion for 1.5 leeks that I cut in half then sliced super thin. It made for a beautiful, heaping pot of risotto (could have fed easily 6 people from this). I served it with some dressed spinach with a quick grapefruit dressing. Oh, and of course a glass of the sauvignon blanc I cooked with :)

Creamy Parmesan Risotto

3 to 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1.5 leeks, or 1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer and keep warm over low heat. In a separate medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until it is well coated with the butter and starts to turn translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer gently until all the liquid is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes. Ladle 1/2 cup of the warm broth into the rice mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broth is absorbed.

Repeat, adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time, until the rice is cooked through but still firm, 20 to 25 minutes total. Add the remaining butter and the salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Stir to incorporate. Adjust seasoning with more salt to taste. Serve immediately, topping with additional Parmesan.

Voila! Enjoy :)

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