There are some foods that transcend space, time and all things earthly. Once upon a time, I would have put Twinkies and Ho Ho’s in that category. Yeah yeah, I know. Who the heck puts snack cakes in with transcendental foods? I also put Cheetos, a rare ribeye steak, roasted brussel sprouts and salted caramel gelato in there so am I forgiven? Anyway, Twinkies and Ho Hos lost their spot cause they bite donkey toes now that they have changed over. I was close to being institutionalized when I found this out, but I’ve since moved on. Brachs Gummi Candis and Whole Foods Salted Caramel Brownies have filled the Twinkies void. Sorry, pretend Hostess people.
But one food that always seem to fit the whole beyond earthly, etc etc, is a good risotto. I made sure to put the word good in there because I’ve had and made some pretty bad ones. At their worst, they can be gummy, mushy, hard, flavorless and a waste of good Arborio rice.
At it’s best however, it’s creamy (with no added cream) full of flavor, a dish that can make the meal shine. This version? it’s the kind that will make you take up meditation just so that you can think about this rice. It will make you see heaven. Honest. It will. Would I lie to you?!
Go. Cook. Be free. Make risotto. Thank me later. Cause you really WILL thank me. You can cut this recipe in half, but it reheats well and makes a great lunch with maybe a chicken breast and a salad.
Best. Risotto. Ever.
Lemony Cheese Risotto
1 lb arborio rice
2 medium onions, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
42 ounces chicken broth, heated to almost boiling and kept hot
1/2 cup white wine (don’t use something you wouldn’t drink)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Mozzarella
zest of one lemon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, in chunks
freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large sauce pot, combine your olive oil, chopped onions and minced garlic.
Cook over low heat until the onions are soft and tender, about ten minutes.
Pour in the rice. Stir well and cook for about 2 minutes, until all the rice is well coated.
Put the heat on medium and pour in the wine. Cook, stirring constantly, until all the wine is absorbed.
Pour the lemon juice into the broth.Add in 1/2 cup of hot broth to the rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until all the broth is absorbed. Add new broth, continuing to stir, 1/2 cup at a time, each time the previous amount is absorbed.
When all the broth has been used, add in the Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, bleu cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Stir in the butter and stir until it is melted. Use pepper as desired. You can also salt it but I have never seen the need as the Parmesan adds a sufficient salty flavor.
Serve garnished with more cheese and lemon zest.
Thank me. Preferably with big bills. 😛
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No, I am NOT in a rut darn it :-P. So what if I have done two citrus pies and now two risottos as my last four posts? I LIKE them, I cook them, I inhale them (well not really inhale… my lungs might not appreciate that) then I tell you about them. We all go through food phases and lately anything citrus and different risottos have been my weaknesses.
I splurged for this dish. We are so NOT that family that can afford to get seafood anytime we want, as much as I may wish we could. Things like going out to seafood restaurants or buying shrimp or even fish are rare treats here. Add in that my husband doesn’t even LIKE seafood and I get it rarely. But Russ is out of town helping take care of his dad after surgery (I miss my darlin man!!!! *sobs*) and my oldest son and his family are here visiting so this seemed like a perfect chance to splurge and use seafood. So I bought some crab and shrimp and got cooking. I have to say, I am in love with this risotto. It’s rich and creamy (and we all know that those are my downfalls) with a wonderful seafood flavor (use less crab if you want the shrimp to shine) along with a burst of lemon and cheese flavors. This is a perfect family treat as well as a dish that would be great for a special occasion. So as I always say… get to cooking! This makes a lot so feel free to cut the amounts in half is serving just a few people.
Three Cheese, Seafood & Asparagus Risotto
1 lb uncooked large shrimp
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb asparagus, tough ends chopped off & the rest cut into about 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 12 ounce bag arborio rice
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 to 5 cups chicken broth, brought to a simmer and kept hot
1/2 cup heavy cream, heated then mixed with the chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine (don’t use something you wouldn’t drink)
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan (plus more for on top)
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
zest and juice of one lemon (no more than 1/4 cup juice however)
8 ounces fresh crabmeat
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
First things first- get the shrimp ready. In a medium saucepan, combine the 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Melt over medium high heat. Add in the shrimp and saute for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. You don’t want these completely cooked because they will finish cooking when they get mixed into the risotto. When they are done, put into a bowl and set aside (and clean your pan and put it away because I’m anal that way).
Now the asparagus- Take the pieces, put into a microwave safe bowl with 3 tablespoons water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave at full power for 4 minutes. Drain then set aside.
In a large saucepot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add in the chopped onion, garlic and rice. Saute, stirring frequently, until the rice has become translucent and the onions and garlic are softened and limp, about 5 minutes.
Add in the wine and continue cooking, stirring constantly until the wine is absorbed.
Stir in about 1 cup of the chicken broth. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until all the broth is absorbed.
Continue to add broth as needed, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until the rice is al dente and looks creamy (and utterly delicious)
Stir in the 3 cheeses. Continue stirring until they are melted and thoroughly incorporated into the rice.
Stir in the dill weed, lemon zest and juice. Stir in the 4 tablespoons butter and stir until melted and combined.Then fold in the shrimp, crabmeat and asparagus, being careful not to break up the asparagus.
Put into a serving dish, sprinkle with more Parmesan and serve. Get ready for some big time kudos here 🙂