Friday, October 15, 2010

Rice Night!

Truth be told there is no such thing as "Rice night".

But maybe there should be.

But then again Risotto doesn't count as rice, because well, it is a creamy, yummy, flavorful, cheesy (because all proper risotto's are cheesy), creamy, delicious thing. And creamy. Yum. Not that your standard long grain rice isn't delicious, I just know a few people (*ahem* Boomer), who wouldn't think white rice isn't that special. Now I think that there is a preconceived notion about risotto being laborious, and difficult to do at home, but it isn't. And it isn't so much a specific recipe, as it is a method. But if you are an avid food blog reader, or cookbook reader, or risotto eater you know that. If you are none of those things, well, that is where I come in. I hope this helps! So let's do this!

This is what I did:

  • Mushrooms
  • Arborio Rice
  • Olive Oil
  • Chicken or Veg Stock
  • Heavy Cream
  • Parmesan Cream
  • Lemon Juice (or White Wine)
  • Green Onion
  • Shrimp (Pretend the shrimp is in the picture above)
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper
Now I'm gonna be honest here, I forgot about you. (forgive me, I am a loud-mouth windbag and have a lot to say to you)Well not you, but you know what I mean. It was late, I was hungry, and I decided I wanted risotto. I had just seen my first episode of Hell's Kitchen. Sweet Pea Risotto, yum. My mouth was watering. Long story short, it was a last minute dinner. I forgot to grab my camera, and didn't remember until I was 17 minutes in.

So this is where my pictures start. There are a slew of steps before this, but don't judge me.
Basically what I did is use my basic method for risotto and add a bunch of stuff. This is generally my favorite way to eat risotto as a main dish. It is a complete meal in a bowl.

First I sliced, and sauteed some mushrooms (8oz?-small pint container thingy seen above)in olive oil (2 min.), I added some garlic (2 cloves-minced, or grated on microplane). Then I added in 1 cup of Arborio rice, and toasted them a little, making sure to completely coat in olive oil. Then I squeeze a little lemon juice in, you could use white wine, in fact I suggest it. But I was out, and instead of whining about being out of wine, I used lemon juice.

Now they was I learned in culinary school is to simmer the stock (or whatever liquid) in a separate pot, so it is hot when you add it to the rice, but I was lazy, and didn't want to dirty another pot, so I added it straight from the box.
You add about a cup of liquid and stir, stir, stir, until it is almost totally absorbed, and then add some more. How much liquid you add depends on the brand of rice you use, and whether Venus is in the 4th house. But for 1 Cup of rice I'd say 3-5 cups. I used around 4.5 cups.

Now this is where I cheated. Or was inspired if you will, I roughly used DetzelPretzel's (or Pastor Ryan as PW calls him) recipe for Shrimp Risotto that was featured on The Pioneer Woman's blog some time ago, for the shrimp. I melted a stick of butter in a pan with 2 cloves of minced (or microplaned) garlic, a little cayenne, and Worcestershire sauce, let it cool a little and then added the shrimp to the pot, not exactly how he does it-but again-I hate to dirty a dish if I don't have to.

See how the butter cools, and sticks to the shrimp a little. Yum. Fast forward a few minutes: When the rice is almost cooked, season liberally with coarse ground black pepper, and grill until opaque. Or do what I did, Crank the heat on the same pot and saute away.

When the rice is done stir in some heavy cream. About 1/4 cup. The rice is already pretty creamy, but a little more heavy cream never killed anyone right?... Don't answer that.

Now add some parmesan. and stir. Add in the cooked shrimp (chop it up first if the shrimp are particularly big, but used, 51-60 size, so I left 'em whole), and all the glorious butter it was cooked in.

And I loved Ryan's green onion thing. It adds a little crunch, and fresh oniony flavor. I also suggest a little fresh licorice basil.

Now spoon into a royal blue plastic bowl and enjoy!!
Fun Fact: did you know the color blue suppresses appetite? You're gonna need to eat this from a blue bowl so that you don't eat the entire pot of risotto.

My Risotto:
1 Cup Arborio Rice
8oz White button Mushrooms (sliced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 cup white wine (or juice of 1/2 lemon)
3-6 cups Chicken, or Veg stock or broth
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1/4-1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese
1 lb Shrimp
1/2 Cup or 1 Stick Butter
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne or red pepper flakes

Melt butter, add half the garlic, worcestershire sauce, and cayenne. Let cool slightly, and add shrimp. Let sit for 5 minutes, and then season liberally with coarse black pepper. At this point you can either grill the shrimp, or just saute until opaque, and firm.

In a large saute pan warm olive oil over medium heat, and add mushrooms, saute for about 2 minutes until just soft, add in remainder of garlic, saute until fragrant.

Add in rice and stir until every grain is coated in fat. Add in wine, or lemon juice and let cook for a couple of minutes, until the liquid has reduced slightly. Reduce heat to medium low.

Stir in 1 cup of stock at a time, stirring constantly. Once the rice has been almost completely absorbed add next cup of stock, keep stirring. Continue adding liquid and stirring until rice is desired texture. It should be a step further than al dente, when you bite into a grain. From when you start adding liquid to when the rice is completely cooked it is usually about 30 minutes.

Stir in cream, and cheese. Taste and season.

Chop up shrimp, and green onions and stir in over low heat, allow the shrimp to warm through.

Serve immediately, and then die happy.


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