Eatin’ Pants Recipe: Lemon Risotto

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

16 comments on “Eatin’ Pants Recipe: Lemon Risotto

  1. d-day
    February 4, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    I have had half a bag of arborio rice sitting in my cupboard since the last time I tried making risotto – it turned out just ok. I don’t remember what was different but it seemed more complicated than this. I will try! and report back! 🙂

    • kindofamess
      February 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

      Dude, try Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. SO easy and SO good.

      Be warned, you WILL fall in love with her website and develop a crush on her like me.

      • Trisha
        February 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

        I love reading Smitten Kitchen. Everything looks so fancy though, I get overwhelmed and then just go and make burritos.

        • kindofamess
          February 5, 2011 at 10:40 am #

          NO FEAR! You so need to try something from her. Even though it seems involved, her peach hand pies were probably my biggest win of my baking career. Like, major office party worthy. Plus, her crust recipe makes the most amazing pie crust…*sigh* I want her to adopt me and make me treats ‘n eats for the rest of my life.

  2. Jo
    February 4, 2011 at 7:51 am #


    C and I cook so differently. To him it’s all about the “presentation” and to me it’s taste. As in, I may have dumped this on the oven door when I was pulling it out and had to scrape it into a pile on your plate, but it tastes ahhhhmazing.

    I have a major Deb crush.

    • kindofamess
      February 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

      I don’t wanna LOOK at my food, I just wanna EAT it!

      We should start a Deb fanclub.

  3. Mary
    February 4, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Yummm, risotto. I can never say the word and not think of Rizzo from the Muppets. But mmm, risotto is good. I may have to try this!

    • kindofamess
      February 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

      You said that, and then I started thinking about Rizzo and then I started thinking about Rizzo for Grease and now I have “Summer Nights” stuck in my head….

      “Tell me more, tell me more…”

  4. Sarah
    February 4, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    I just may have to try it this weekend. It gives me an excuse (wait, I need an excuse?!) to open a bottle of wine. Which is always fun … especially when Jon flips out because acidic wine smokes while cooking. ::evil grin::

    My current eatin’ pants food? Chili. A big freaking pot of chili. With cheese. And whatever else I can think of. And yes, I eat the whole pot. It’s winter, I need hearty food. =)

    A few friends and I used to have what we called “Fat Girl Dinners” once a month or so … we’d get together and make the best tasting – most fattening meal we could think of (dessert ALWAYS incuded) … drink far too much wine … and watch Rent. Or the Princess Diaries (don’t judge!). Or whatever else our little girlish hearts wanted. It was bliss. I may have to reinstate that…

    • kindofamess
      February 4, 2011 at 2:19 pm #


      I need this in my life. Must start planning…

  5. Meg Mooney
    February 4, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    This sounds delish! Mine? Sweet potato curry. Coconut miilk, chickpeas, and whatever crap is about to go bad. Remember, don’t do yoga before eating.

    • kindofamess
      February 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

      Yoga before or after eating? There is no shame in a yoga fart. That just means your chakra is clear, right?

  6. Kristy
    February 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Mmmm, risotto. I love it. There’s a Giada recipe I usually use (Champagne Risotto with Asparagus & Pancetta – bacon is definitely an acceptable substitute), but I am a big Deb fan, too. (And Jacob! I could eat him up! That mop of hair & those big eyes, and his cheeks! Anyway…)

    • kindofamess
      February 5, 2011 at 10:44 am #

      Okay, now I need to try that recipe. Like right now. At 10am on a Saturday, because it sounds that amazing.

      And Jacob has ruined me for other children. If mine don’t come out that cute, I might have to sell them.

      • Kristy
        February 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

        Here’s the recipe:

        It goes really well with the pork tenderloin from this recipe: (I haven’t tried the risotto recipe also listed there, but I’m sure it’s also delicious.)

  7. Emily Elizabeth
    February 25, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    I moseyed over here to check out that bewb cake (amazing!!) and was intrigued by the eating pants risotto… delicious! It sounds like how we make risotto, except I always add lots of spinach and mushrooms because those are my favorite.

    If you are feeling like fancy pasta sometime… this is kind of like risotto pasta. and is therefore my favorite way to make pasta these days! It also works in the whatever-is-your-favorite-throw-it-in kind of way.

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