Risotto is to osso bucco as Robin is to Batman. The ultimate sidekick. This traditional Italian grain with its creamy texture, is such a delicious accompaniment to the meatiness of the braised veal shanks.
When we first attempted to make risotto, we must have over estimated the instructions to “keep stirring”. For thirty minutes he stood guard over the stove and used sheer muscle power to follow the cooking instructions, refusing to take a break for the entire duration. Considering the disparity between our muscle size, I was sure I’d never be able to make risotto without his help. Asking me to “keep stirring” for thirty minutes is just unreasonable and my puny biceps would surely fail the task.
The great thing about humans is the ability to learn from our mistakes, make corrections and evolve. Our technique has improved since then and I am now able to prepare risotto in the kitchen while he geeks around on our computer to clean up after my html bloopers on this blog. Ironic thing is, I’m perfectly capable of learning from my cooking mishaps but sadly, I will never evolve from my computer illiteracy. But then again, that’s why we have each other.
|1||cup Arborio rice|
|1/2||cup diced onion|
|1||Tbsp olive oil|
|4||cups chicken broth|
|1/2||cup dry white wine|
|1/4||cup shaved parmesan cheese|
|1||large portabello, sliced in 1-in. strips|
|a pinch of saffron threads|
|salt & pepper|
- In a medium pot, lightly saute onions with olive oil and butter until translucent. Do not brown the onions. Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the saffron threads to the broth. Keep the broth warm. After the onions are done add the arborio rice, thoroughly coat the grains and saute for 5-7 minutes. This toasting process will help the rice from getting too soggy when we add the liquid.
- Next, add the wine and stir. Once the liquid has almost evaporated completely, slowly add the warm chicken broth in 1/2-cup increments, stir a little and wait for the liquid to absorb. Once it is almost absorbed, add more chicken broth and repeat the process until you’re out of broth. You don’t need to stir the risotto constantly but do make sure that the rice does not stick to the pan.
- During the process of adding chicken broth, multitask and in a separate skillet, saute the portabello mushrooms. Set aside and keep warm. Once the broth is almost completely absorbed stir in the parmesan cheese and mushrooms. For a creamier texture, add a little more butter. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese. Makes 4 side portions of risotto.