Sandi is blogging from the WhistleStop Cafe kitchen. It's all about good home cooking; food, family and fun. Thousands of posts . . .

~In the south and around the world.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Risotto secrets

I learned to make risotto when I was on Gail's Great Escape in Tuscany. We had cooking lessons with Alessandra, and she shared her secrets for risotto. I have always loved risotto~ but never knew it could be so easy and versatile. Since then I have branched out. Now nothing is safe! I will try to make a risotto out of just about anything.

I had put up a bunch of yellow squash during the summer, and decided to give that a try. Squash and the last of my fall basil.

Squash and Basil Risotto
2 cups arborio rice
3 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion, diced
2 cups cooked yellow squash
2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken broth
3 Tbs butter
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the yellow squash down until it is a mushy consistency. Saute the minced garlic and onions in olive oil. When tender add rice and allow to brown lightly. Add wine to deglaze the pan.
In another pan have the hot chicken broth and cooked squash handy. To slowly incorporate the liquid into the rice. Add one cup full at a time, stir once to mix then cover and allow the rice to absorb the liquid. Repeat this process until all the liquid is incorporated~ resist the temptation to stir the risotto making it mushy. Once the risotto is done stir in butter and cheese.
So... a summary of risotto secrets.
*Use Arborio rice and a large pan.
*Brown the onions/garlic then add the rice, stir till opaque.
*Deglaze the pan.
*Make sure the broth is hot and add one ladle at a time.
*Let the liquid cook down before adding more, only stir enough to incorporate the rice.
*After 18-20 minutes, salt and pepper to taste. Add cold butter and cheese and then stir to combine. In Italian this is 'mantecatura' to make that creamy, sauce in a really good risotto.
I hope I didn't miss anything!
Buon Appetito Y'all,


Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hey, Sandy! I would love to learn how to make a good risotto, looks yummy. I love to get it out in restaurants.

I do have a cute centerpiece on my table for Christmas, so I'll send it to you & maybe you can use it!

And yes, one more thing...ROLL TIDE! No ouch from me, LOL.

Char said...

I am going to try and do this - you're right, mine must fail because I try to rush them them.


Sandi McBride said...

Okay Sandi, sorry but I want my squash with a hunk of cornbread...but I'm game for anything...I can see me trying it. By the way, my sourdough pancakes were great! Thanks for the recipe.

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

OOOOOOOHHHH! Sandi! This looks wonderful! Teach me how!

Oh_ I havent forgotten. I'll see you tomorrow late morning.

Justabeachkat said...

I've never had Arborio rice (I don't think). The recipe sounds really good.


lululu said...

squash and risotto is such a perfect combination!!!!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Rhoda~ Send in your centerpiece, or I'll just drop in and pick up my own picture... Yea-yea, Roll Tide. Until next year!!
Char~ No fussing.
Sandi~ glad the pancakes were good. Did you get a picture?
Leigh~ thanks for using the cookbooks as gifts!
Kat~ It is the traditional rice for risotto... thicker than regular rice
LuLuLu~ It was yummy!

Anonymous said...

Hey, what honor, been mentioned in Sandi's blog, and also I say you made a perfect use of all my secrets, no exception.
But I shouldn't be surprised, a great woman and chef would pick it up immediately.
See ya next year, lady?

Alessandra from Cortona, Italy

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