Diva’s Simple Risotto

Diva’s Simple Risotto

Serves 4

1½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
1 onion
1 quart chicken, beef or vegetable stock
¼ cup butter
2 ounces “freshly grated” Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoons “crumbled” saffron threads
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

Heat the stock, for it should be hot when gradually added to the dish. Peel and finely dice the onion. Then, melt two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and sauté the onions until they appear translucent. Make sure the heat is low before adding the rice; stir constantly to thoroughly mix the rice with the onions (do not brown the rice). When sautéing is complete, add the wine and one ladle of hot stock. Continue stirring. The key to cooking risotto at this point is to seek allowing the liquid to be absorbed by the rice. As the liquid keeps evaporating, it is important to continue stirring plus add more stock one ladle at a time. Eventually, the rice will start to appear creamy. Before the stock is all gone, stir in the saffron (allow it to dissolve in the stock) prior to adding the remaining stock to the saucepan (the saffron will cause the rice to turn a rich and beautiful yellow).Perfect risotto requires constant attention and stirring. Generally, the cooking time is between 20 to 30 minutes. Test the risotto with a small taste; the goal is to have rice that appears soft, but is still slightly firm in the center. Finally, stir in the Parmesan, remaining butter, and salt/pepper to taste.

Diva Tips:

• Generally, vegetable stock is salty, which means go light with any added salt should this be your stock of choice for this dish.
• This risotto usually is served as a complement to a meal. However, risotto may be an entire meal when other ingredients are added. For example, any combination of mushrooms, asparagus, dried porcini, cooked butternut squash, artichoke hearts, fresh peas, cucumber, shrimp or ham. When adding other ingredients, simply sauté them along with the onion and follow the rest of the above instructions.

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