Adventures in Home Cooking: Risotto Night

A couple of months ago, I made a resolution to start cooking more. I was the queen of the freezer and microwave, it was a little embarrassing that I was in my 20s and couldn’t put together a meal that consisted of more than “lift plastic cover, heat for 5 minutes.” So, a few times a week, I try my hand at putting together a meal from scratch. Tonight, I took on the daunting task of putting together a mushroom risotto. I’m about to admit a terrible secret…I love “Hell’s Kitchen.” It’s a bad show, the contestants are incompetent, and the drama manufactured, but damn, do I love watching it. The dish that seems to cause Gordon Ramsey to scream, “NOT GOOD ENOUGH, DONKEY!” the most is the risotto. I can’t do Julia Child’s Pate de Canard en Croute yet, but I have to start some way, right?

I picked up this recipe from, but left out the chives : 

One thing I have to say us, Man!, is there is a lot of stirring. When I say “a lot,” I mean, get ready to lose your arm. I was upset that I didn’t go to the gym like I planned to today, but I got a work-out just from stirring.  Plus, with arborio rice, because it’s so dense,  you have to use a lot of chicken broth. Just when I had my Scotty from Star Trek  “Cap’n, she can’t take much more!” moment, the rice absorbed more liquid and I had to use another 1/2 cup.  Plus, I took the amount of butter down to 3 tbsp and added a little water to the mushrooms to create a nice broth.

So, how’d it go? Oh……..god! It was a lot of work; dicing the shallots, stirring, timing everything (walk away for more than 20 seconds and you get sticky or burnt rice), but it tasted amazing. Probably the best thing I have ever cooked. Plus, since you’re cooking with wine, you get the rest of the bottle to finish *note: RDU Gonna Eat That? does not condone cooking while intoxicated….unless it’s discreet* The best part with this recipe is that it’s great as a meal for two or a side dish for six. This is something I’m going to make again….and again…and again…


One response to “Adventures in Home Cooking: Risotto Night

  1. a tip on risotto making:

    it helps if the broth is roughly the same temperature as the rice. what I would do, if you have the inclination next time, is to have a small saucepan next to you on the stove with the broth at a low simmer. have a ladle ready.

    when it comes time for you to add the broth to the rice, add a ladleful at a time. pour your first ladleful onto the rice and give it a good stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. after you have made risotto a few times, you can pretty much tell when this “moment” is. it’s hard to say in terms of minutes though. sorry if that’s not helpful.

    once the liquid is nearly absorbed, add your second ladleful. keep stirring. repeat this process after you’ve seen that most of the liquid you’ve added previously is absorbed before adding the next ladleful.

    for 1 cup arborio rice, you will need 6 to 7 cups chicken stock. it’s better to have more stock than less. the last thing you want is to run out of stock at a crucial moment. chances are you won’t have to add all of the stock; that amount should be sufficient just in case.

    by the time you finish adding your stock, the risotto should be cooked and ready for last-minute additions like cheese, butter, cream, herbs or whatever your recipe specifies.

    good luck. 🙂

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