Posts Tagged ‘Risotto’

From Dish Nicole:

Ah October, the month of zombies and ghosts, sexy(____insert occupation___) costumes, candy corn and my new favorite, black rice risotto. Risotto is relatively easy to make but you must have patience, patience and more patience. If you have ever worked with black rice, you will know that it takes a particularly long time to cook but the result is well worth the wait. Black rice is not only festive for Halloween-inspired meals, it has several health benefits. It is full of antioxidant-rich bran known as anthocyanins which are the purple and reddish pigments that are also found in blueberries, grapes, and acai. Anthocyanins have been linked to a decrease in the risk of heart disease, cancer and improvements in memory. Another little nugget of information I stumbled across is that according to ancient Chinese legend, black rice was so rare, tasty, and nutritious that only the emperors were allowed to eat it. The reason I like it is a little simpler: it has a delicious nutty flavor, a beautiful color and an amazing texture. Cooking it risotto-style makes the texture a little more tender and creamy than if you cook it according to the package directions.

Here is what you will need for my spooky black rice risotto:

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups black rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

To start, place your broth in a saucepan on medium on the back of your stove. It is very important to use low- sodium chicken broth because as your risotto cooks down and becomes more concentrated it can become too salty. Next you will want to take a large saucepan and heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it softens.

Add the rice to the oil and onion mixture and cook for about 1 minute. Cooking the rice in hot butter or oil before adding liquid helps the rice to absorb the liquids slowly. This is called “Toasting the Rice.”

Once toasted, reduce the heat to medium low and add the wine and cook until it is absorbed. All of the beautiful purple and red colors will probably be all over your kitchen at this point.

The next step will require all the patience you can muster: add ¾ cups of broth stirring constantly until all of the liquid is absorbed, which takes approximately 10 minutes. Continue this process with the remaining broth until the rice is tender and creamy. This should take you about 60 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now that your arms are tired and you are very hungry from all the stirring, you can dive into your well deserved meal. Garnish each portion with basil and parmesan. Happy Halloween y’all!

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From Dish Rachelle:

I’m not going to lie, this has been a very exciting – and anxiety-provoking – time (two sides of the same coin, at least for me). My first book comes out THIS TUESDAY and it’s the culmination of many years of hard work. Writing is a solitary process and over these past few weeks, the onslaught of reviews and write-ups has forced me to confront the thrilling and sometimes terrifying reality that the book has passed through my hands and is now public property. It’s a dream-outcome as well as a big adjustment. And what does this have to do with food? Well, in many ways this feels like a transitional moment in my life, when uncertainty rules, and homey touchstones are keeping me sane. So, cooking some Asian-style comfort food and goofing off in the kitchen with my husband is basically perfection.

For the shrimp (serves 2):
16 40 count uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (adjust portion size if shrimp is bigger/smaller)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. miso paste
1 tbsp. soy sauce
a splash of mirin

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl with clean, fresh shrimp (I used to my hands). When ingredients are evenly distributed, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, until ready to grill.

Meanwhile, start the risotto:

3/4 cup arborio rice
Olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1- 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
2 qts. chicken or vegetable stock (you won’t use all of it but good to have it handy)
1/4 dry white wine
Greens of two scallions, chopped
1-2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen

Dish Danielle has given us some great instructions for preparing risotto. Basically, it needs to be coddled. Heat some olive oil in a large, flat bottomed saucepan and saute onions, garlic and ginger with a pinch of salt to prevent browning. In a separate saucepan, heat a quart of stock and keep a ladle handy. Add risotto rice to the onion mixture and stir to combine, 1-2 minutes. Start ladling warm stock over the rice, a few ladles at a time, and stir frequently, watching the rice expand. Add the white wine and get a little tipsy off the fumes. When the risotto begins to dry, add more stock – if you finish the first quart, you know where to find more. Continue 30-45 minutes until rice is cooked to al dente. Stir in scallions, lemon zest and peas and keep over heat until everything’s warmed through. Season to taste.

Spray a grill pan with cooking spray (if you don’t have a grill pan, but are lucky enough to have access to a real grill, feel free to use it. You can also cook the shrimp in a frying pan, you just won’t get the nice little grill marks.) Arrange shrimp in a single layer and cook, about a minute and half per side, until they’re pink all the way through.

If you’d like to serve this dish with asparagus – or any other green vegetable – steam it while you’re cooking the shrimp. For extra points, use a particularly fat asparagus stalk as a microphone.

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