This title seems like a mouthful, no?
Sorry for the lack of posts this week so far. I haven’t been feeling well for the past couple of days and I didn’t think you guys needed to see me posting my dinners of Saltine crackers and ginger ale. I even missed Smoothie Sunday! Boo! 🙁 I think there is some bug going around (when isn’t there?) and I’m just glad mine only lasted a little over a day.
You know that feeling you have after you have a stomach bug? You know, that one when you feel like you haven’t eaten in days? Yeah, that one. I had it for the past two days so I made my favorite dish of all time to get me back into the swing of things! Risotto!!
First, I started with some saffron.
I had to dip into my savings account for this stuff. I’m pretty sure it was around $18. That is just ridiculous. Also, it is packaged up like some secret FBI shipment. The saffron threads are wrapped in something similar to wax paper. That little package is inside a paper envelope. That paper envelope is in the spice bottle. It’s pretty serious stuff!
Serious = delicious.
Risotto is one of those dishes that I can’t stop eating. I don’t mean stop eating as in I always make it…I mean stop eating as in I could stand over the stove and devour the entire pot of it and not even think twice about it. No matter how full I may be, there is always room for risotto. And the cheese off of pizza.
(One of my best friends only eats the dough and crust of the pizza so when we are together it’s pretty fantastic. Her = bottom of pizza, Me = cheese and toppings)
I remember when I first made risotto. It seemed so scary! All that stirring and adding broth just until it is perfect!? I am pretty sure it took me two hours. I just didn’t really know what I was doing and I was terrified to turn the heat up too high because the recipe said to reduce it and keep it at a simmer. It was taking FOREVER for the broth to be absorbed! I also wasn’t sure how much broth to add and I used every last drop that the recipe called for, which was way too much! It was pretty much just a watery thick rice when it was all said and done. It smelled and tasted like risotto, but the texture and sight of it left much to be desired.
I have since learned to relax. Risotto isn’t scary. It’s actually easy. Pour in some broth, keep at a low boil, wait until the broth absorbs while stirring occassionally and keep that process going until the risotto is al dente. Easy! I really don’t measure my broth anymore. That just stresses me out.
Fact: Risotto is the only dish that I will put onions in. The only one. I use frozen chopped onions, too, because I can’t bring myself to chop an onion. The thought of having any kind of onion smell on me makes me panic.
This chunk of onion?
It was much too large and got tossed into the garbage. Sorry monster little onion. I just couldn’t keep you.
I threw in some tomato, basil, and Parmesan cheese to kick things up.
Tomato-Basil Saffron Risotto
4-6 cups chicken broth, warmed (I used chicken bouillon with water)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine (if desired)
1 teaspoon saffron
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup (or to taste) fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper, to taste
In large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat and add onion. Cook onion in oil for 2-3 minutes or until onion is clear. Add rice and stir to coat. Add wine and saffron. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Reduce heat.
Keeping risotto at a low boil, add broth one cup at a time. After each addition, stir rice until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth and stirring until all broth is used or until risotto is a chewy al dente consistency.
Add tomato, basil, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted.
The only truly hard thing about making risotto?
Not eating the entire pot yourself!!! 🙂
Blogger Begging: Does anyone out there have any good recipes or good tips for frosting for cupcakes? I have been having frosting disasters (buttercream separating, melting, not ‘fluffing’, etc) and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong! Help! 🙁