Mar 252013

The leeks in this risotto really makes the recipe a standout. This risotto would go very nicely with seafood!

5 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
8 ounces of trimmed leeks
2-3 cups mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
6 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 3/4 cups risotto rice
zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
4 tablespoons parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Garnishes: lemon wedges and parsley

Pour the vegetable or chicken broth into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring it to a simmer.

Meanwhile, wash the leeks. Slice them in half lengthwise, and chop them roughly. Chop the mushrooms. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add leeks, mushrooms, salt and pepper; cook for about 10 minutes, or until softened and browned. Transfer the vegetables to a plate or bowl.

Return the saucepan to medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of butter. As soon as it melts, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until soft and golden. Stir in the rice, and cook for about 1 minute, until the grains begin to look translucent and are covered in butter. Add a ladleful of stock to the pan, and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to add stock, a ladleful at a time, until all the stock has been absorbed. This should take about 25-30 minutes. The risotto will turn thick and creamy, and the rice should be tender but not sticky.

Just before serving, stir in the leeks, mushrooms, remaining butter, lemon zest and juice. Add half the grated Parmesan and herbs. Adjust the seasoning and serve, sprinkled with the remaining Parmesan and herbs. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.

Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

Feb 032013

The great thing about risotto is it’s versatility. Once you have mastered the cooking technique for this italian-style comfort food, the versions you can make are endless. This recipe is a simple basic risotto with parmesan and peas. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a couple of tries to get the rice perfect!

Risotto with Peas

2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
Coarse salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat broth and water together in a small saucepan over low heat; keep warm. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium heat and add onion; cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add rice and cook while stirring, until translucent around edges, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Cook rice adding 1 cup hot broth at a time (stir until almost all liquid is absorbed before adding more), until rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes total. You can add more water if needed. Add peas and cook until peas are heated, 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining tablespoon butter and Parmesan. Add more salt if needed. Serve, topped with more cheese.