Thursday, December 5, 2013

Creamy Parmesan Broccoli Risotto

Last night we decorated our Christmas tree. We had a lovely evening decorating and watching the movie Snow, and by the time we were finished it was about 7:30pm. I saw a rather sad and confused look on my husband's face and realized that I had entirely forgotten to cook dinner. Well, I rushed into the kitchen, and what did I find in my pantry, but some Arborio rice! I grabbed some stock, some garlic, and some broccoli and started right away. I made a fabulous meal within 25 minutes, and we both were grateful! 

At this time of year, not only are my toes and fingers freezing off all day long, but I also really feel like making simple, homey, comforting dishes that don't require a lot of complicated steps. Something about this draining, cold weather makes me just want to crawl under the covers instead of cooking!

Well, this amazing risotto recipe (mmm....just thinking about it is making me hungry) is the perfect combination of simple, elegant, and super comforting. And it's all done in one pot! You're welcome. And husbands will not fret, because this is really good served with plain and simple pan-seared chicken (you can even just cut it into small pieces and toss it into the risotto). Simple, beautiful, scrumptious, high in carbohydrates: risotto. Risotto, for those of you who are thinking That just looks like a glorified rice casserole, is made from a special king of rice called "Arborio rice." You should be able to find this at your local grocery store in the rice section, or in the section with the quinoa and barley and fancy grains.

Arborio rice is fatter and shorter than regular rice, and is cooked in an entirely different way than regular rice (which you will soon see). At the end of the cooking process, risotto is a creamy, rice-ish, vegetable-specked delicacy rather than plain, white, and fluffy. No, you CANNOT substitute regular rice for Arborio  rice in this dish.


4 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 a small onion, chopped
1 cup of Arborio rice
1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
3-3 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 cup of chopped broccoli (or another vegetable like asparagus)
1/4 cup of cream
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

Set a medium pot or high-sided pan to medium heat. Once you feel the heat radiating from the pan, add in the butter. Once it begins to sizzle, add in the onions and garlic. Cook until just golden and fragrant. Pour in the Arborio rice and combine with the onions. Cook for a few minutes to fully heat the rice. Next, pour in the wine, and simmer and stir frequently until almost fully absorbed (if you aren't using wine, just use stock here). Pour in 1 1/2 cups of the stock and stir frequently until almost absorbed--this should take about 6-8 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the stock. Add in the chopped broccoli and the cream. Simmer on medium low until creamy. Taste. If the rice is still too firm for your taste, add in an extra 1/2 cup of stock and cook until it is absorbed. Add in the parmesan and salt to taste (approximately 1/2 tsp).

Serve at a lovely creamy consistency. Like I said before, this is positively  grand served with seared chicken or fish with garlic bread.

This is what mine looked like (as you may recall my camera is presently malfunctioning). Yumm....                         

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