Tuesday, October 5, 2010

12 New Things - September

Click here if you don't know what the 12 new things challenge is.  I'm starting one month late and I still need to decide what I will challenge myself with for the remaining 10 months.

Septembers Challenge: Make real risotto, not just the cheater box kind. (by the way this is a naturally gluten free recipe)

I have been wanting to make real risotto for a very long time.  I figure since I'm 1/8 Italian and gluten free I better learn.  I've had a bag of the risotto rice sitting in my cupboards for about a month now and finally got the nerve to make it last week. After watching several cooking shows demonstrate how to make it  I was ready to take the plunge.  I also was particularly inspired by a Rachael Ray recipe I saw on TV that morning, it wasn't risotto, just flavored rice and I figured I could make it work.  Needless to say it turned out very well, and I think I will be making it again.  It was a lot cheaper than a boxed risotto and tasted sooooo good.  Here's a picture and my recipe, there's also an adaptation if you want to do flavored rice instead.

Fall Apple Walnut Chicken Risotto
  • 1 Bag or serving of risotto style rice
  • Olive Oil or Butter
  • 1 Medium onion chopped or diced
  • 1 grated or finely chopped clove of garlic
  • A 2/1 ration of chicken stock/apple cider
(Most recipes call for 3 cups of stock per serving, just replace one cup of stock with the cider. Be sure to check your rice for the amount of liquid required, it varies)
  • Toasted Walnuts
  • 2 Medium sized Apples dices and sprinkled with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • Pre-Cooked Chicken for Shredding 

Place the olive oil or butter in the pan and add the garlic and onion.  Saute until they become translucent.
Bring the stock/cider to a boil on another burner, you will be adding in hot stock.
At this point consult your package directions they will probably be similar to mine.  Add the risotto to the pan (Not Stock) and saute the risotto with the oil, stirring frequently. (I discovered risotto is not hard to make it just requires being parked over the stove for twenty minutes.) After a few minutes begin adding the stock a ladle (or 2 if you are doing a double batch) at a time continuing to stir frequently.  Allow all of the stock/cider to become absorbed and then add more, a ladle at a time, keep stirring.  Repeat this process for 18-20 minutes until the risotto is done.  You will want it slightly al-dente but certainly not crunchy.  If you've done this right you should have a very creamy rice dish.  Add the apples, walnuts, and chicken during the last few minutes of cooking.  Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley.  Voila you've become pretentious and can serve your family a meal easily found in high end restaurants. 

If you cannot babysit risotto style rice for the twenty minutes required just use regular white or brown rice but cook it in the stock/cider after sauteing onion and garlic in the pan.  You won't get the creamy smooth texture that makes risotto so good but it is still a very tasty way to cook rice and is essentially a one pot meal.

Will you learn along with me? Let's encourage one another.
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1 comment:

  1. This sounds delicious! I recently tried making "from scratch" rice pilaf and was very pleased with how it turned out! (Well, on the second try, that is...)


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