If you’re like me, there’s company food and then there’s YOU food. The stuff that you may or may not need a recipe for, but most definitely won’t look great. In fact it might look downright unappetizing. However, it is nummy and excellent, and you might eat it standing up in your kitchen because if you dirty another dish you’ll just have to wash it and you just don’t wanna. These kinds of recipes are the kind you need your eatin’ pants for, the ones with a stretchy waist and some room in the seat. (Don’t even play like you don’t have eatin’ pants. All Messy Girls have eatin’ pants.) Lemon risotto is one of those dishes for me.
Oh, risotto. Risotto is way easier than you think it is. It’s the pull out of your ass dish that you make for people to make them go, “Ooo,” and think that you love them extra special. Because you’d have to love them to make such a time-consuming dish that requires lots of love, care and attention, right?
Risotto is easy. Just don’t tell anyone, they’ll expect it all the time.
My first foray into risotto was with Smitten Kitchen. Actually, pretty much my first foray into any culinary effort is with Smitten Kitchen. She’s amazing, her pictures are stunning and her recipes are perfection. She’s writing a cookbook that I’d put down money right now to pre-order if she’d let me. She also has a little boy who is so stunning that I don’t know how she spends time blogging when she has chubby beautiful cheeks like these to munch on.
Anyway, before I start sounding like a baby snatcher (but LOOK AT HIM), let’s get to the risotto. It’s lemon risotto adapted from Bon Appétit, and it’s amazing. If you’ve never made risotto before and want to make it for guests, I suggest you go to Smitten Kitchen and try her recipe. It’s the perfect template for any kind of risotto actually. Feel free to mix it up. Use seafood stock instead of chicken and throw some cooked shrimp in at the end. Use vegetable broth, omit the lemon and put some mushrooms in. Add peas! Froot Loops! GO HOG WILD!
If I make it for company I’ll follow SK’s recipe to a tee. But for me? It goes something like this.
- Get some chicken broth, about 4 to 6 cups.
- Realize that you don’t have enough canned. Add water and some powdered bouillon to what you have. (WHAT? This is eatin’ pants food, not Iron Chef. Get your nose out the air….)
- Chop a shallot. Or a small onion. But preferably a shallot. Because that’s what makes it fancy.
- Heat the broth in the microwave, while you heat butter on the stove. Or margarine. Possibly Country Crock.
- Cook shallot/onion in butter until sort of clear and bendy.
- Measure out some aborio rice. Use about a 3 to 1 measurement, i.e. for every cup of broth, use 1/3 cup of rice.
- Saute the rice with the buttery shallot for a minute. Just enough to be glossy.
- Don’t burn it.
- Add a cup of white wine. Pour a glass for yourself, don’t let that bottle go to waste. Stir and let that evaporate.
- Using about a cup at a time, ladle in the broth. Stir a lot, when you remember. (Don’t watch an involved show while doing this. Especially not Grey’s Anatomy. Learn from my mistakes.)
- When the broth is mostly evaporated, add more.
- When rice is creamy and tastes about done, add in lemon zest and juice. I like lots. You might not, so add to taste at first. Don’t get mad at me if you add too much. Add parmesan and spices if you like. I don’t. Add a little pat of butter if you’re feeling especially fat-kiddish.
- Nom to your heart’s content. Feel free to eat it all and not share.
How do y’all feel about risotto? What are your eatin’ pants recipes? I need more in my life…
Image of risotto agli agrumi from Monja