Wednesday, December 6
Easy, dairy-free risotto
Risotto was one of those intimidating, gourmet-seeming dishes I thought I'd never be able to cook. It was always so good in restaurants—the perfect mix of delicate and rich—but always turned out mushy or undercooked at home ("a failure in every way that rice can fail," is how I once described an attempt). But, after a few years of fiddling with rice-to-liquid ratios, heat (and patience) levels, and consistency of stirring, I finally broke the code and found a method that works every time. Then I made it dairy-free. Surprisingly, it's still really delicious.
There are a couple of tricks.
1. Before you start cooking the rice, you absolutely have to heat up the broth to the point of boiling.
2. The rice cooks best in a deep sauce pot (not the paella skillet I tried for years)
3. You have to stir the whole time.
4. If you're adding vegetables and/or meats, don't add them until you've cooked the rice for about 10 minutes. They will still cook through. Really.
Easy Risotto in 24 minutes
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 an onion, chopped
1/12 cups diced vegetables or meats (I use portobello and button mushrooms, but many, many combinations can work: asparagus and shrimp, basil and tomato, etc)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Galaxy Foods Rice Parmesan Alternative
Salt, cracked black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
Chopped Italian parsley (optional)
Bring the broth just to the point of boiling and leave on low heat. In a separate, heavy-bottomed sauce pan cook the onions, oil, and margarine. Cook on medium heat until onions are translucent. Using a wooden spoon, stir in rice until evenly coated (30 seconds-1 minute). Add in white wine. Stir until evaporated. Start pouring in broth, one ladle-ful at a time (the first round of broth should cover the rice by about 1/4 an inch). Keep stirring. Add one ladle-ful of broth until evaporated. Then add the next. At the 10 minute mark, toss in vegetable and/or meats. Keep stirring. continue on like this until you've used all of the broth, the vegetables are cooked, and the rice is tender, but not too soft--about 10 minutes. Let sit for 4 minutes. Stir in salt, both peppers, and rice parmesan. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.