01 August 2008

Tonight I tried my hand at making a risotto. A risotto is a rice dish that is creamier than plain rice. It is made that way by adding the liquid slowly and stirring constantly so that the starch comes out of the rice and thickens the dish. Sometimes milk or cream is added as well.

Here's how I made mine.

Mushroom Risotto

1 ½ tsp olive oil
¼ cup onions, finely diced
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cup white mushrooms, diced
⅔ cup milk
½ cup rice (I used long grain)
2 ½ cups beef stock

Heat oil in large skillet or saucepan. Add onions and cook gently until they become soft but not browned. Meanwhile, put beef stock in separate pan on low heat.

Add salt, pepper, and mushrooms to onions. Cook mushrooms until soft. Add milk and rice and bring to a simmer. Add 1 cup of warmed beef stock and stir regularly until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add another cup and repeat. Add the final half cup and repeat.

If you keep the heat set to medium, the rice should be cooked by the time the final half cup is absorbed. If not, add more stock and cook a little longer until rice is cooked through.

Makes 2 servings.

Now, I think risotto is traditionally made with short grain rice instead of long. But I couldn't find short grain at the store I went to, so I decided long would have to do. And it did just fine. I would like to try it with short grain sometime, though.

And a note on the beef stock. I used homemade broth from a roast I made a while back then froze. I thought the finished dish had a kind of sweetness to it, and I don't know if it is from the broth or not. That roast was cooked with lots of carrots, so it could be. It's rare that I have my own beef broth; in the future I will probably use a reduced-sodium store bought type.

I served this with some baked salmon and green peas. Jim absolutely loved the risotto. He said it was the best rice dish he's ever had anywhere, anytime. Wow! But I have to keep in mind that he was on some pretty strong pain meds for his kidney stone and was a tad bit loopy. :)

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