Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some Would Say "You're Watching Too Much Hell's Kitchen Heidi" {Risotto Recipe}

In retrospect I could've called this blog, Hello my name is Heidi & I eat Risotto and drink Mojitos.... because I am and I do.  More than the average bear I'm guessin' and so, how could I not blog my dinner on a night that I'm making Risotto?  It's my signature dish.... it's the perfect food [unless you are dieting] and one I think everyone should add to their repetoir of "go-to" dishes.... I can always make risotto as long as I have Arborio in the house (and I always do) because it's a vehicle for anything. 

NOTE:  The recipe serves 4, but I double it for my family of 6 and have plenty for after-school snack left overs.... 

Tonight I had fresh asparagus and a pork loin in my fridge. So I decided Asparagus & Beer Braised Pork Risotto.... 

 I'm a no fuss girl when it comes to braising my meat. This is all you need:
and a piece of meat of course.... 

Beer Braised Pork Recipe
1-2 lb. pork loin
2 tbsp Kosher Salt
1 small onion quartered
2 tbsp olive oil
2 bottles of beer
Preheat oven to 350.  Kosher salt the exterior of the roast generously while heating your oil in the Dutch oven. I used my Temecula basil infused olive oil [which I heart very much]. Once the oil is hot but not smoking sear the roast on all sides. Approximately 2 minutes per side. While the roast is searing peel and quarter an onion. Then throw it in the pot with two Landsharks (or your beer of preference... I'm a Landshark girl, all about that island feel.... Key West take me away). Bring to a simmer, put lid on Dutch oven and put in oven 90 minutes. 
I often do the protein midday and just leave in the pot covered at room temp until I am actually making the risotto... or you can start the risotto about 20 minutes prior to the meat being done whatever your schedule allows. At some point you will need to pull the meat and have it ready, I do it in between adding broth while cooking the Risotto.

Note: anytime you are using a braised meat, Risotto is more of a project for a day when you have time. I've made with quicker weeknight ingredients, like shrimp and green beans or chicken and pea, stick with me and I'll revisit and reinvent Risotto a time or two.... it's inevitable, but this post will get your feet wet.

As usual, I digress, cut your asparagus in 3 inch segments [approximately 1 cup], discarding the tough end and blanch it for 3 minutes.

ok meat braising or braised.... asparagus blanched and set aside. 
Here is my method for Risotto.... developed from Think Like A Chef by Tom Colicchio, one of my heroes.  Not to digress AGAIN, but that is one book I highly recommend if you love to cook.  Really gave a great perspective on cooking and recipes and I credit it for my ability to think outside the box in the kitchen.  

Back to business, here's what you need for Risotto:

Risotto Recipe
5 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion [diced]
1 cup Arborio Rice [Risotto]
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan/Romano Cheese [if desired]
salt & pepper to taste
In a saucepan, heat the chicken broth to a boil then turn down to simmer. In meanwhile heat large saute pan [5 quart] with olive oil on medium heat, add onion, saute about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add Arborio Rice and saute until translucent [about 4 minutes].  Sprinkle with kosher salt, add 2 cups stock and stir at a low simmer.  Continue adding the stock 2 cups at a time about every 5-7 minutes... stirring nearly constantly. After about 20-25 minutes the risotto should be tender. Add butter, Parmesan and whatever protein/veggie you are using..... for me tonight, the pork and asparagus, stir well and allow to marry for 10 minutes on extremely low heat, stirring frequently.  Salt & pepper to taste.


it's romantic, it's fancy, it's Wednesday and yes, the kids LOVE it!

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