Friday, May 3, 2013

Risotto--Is it for the Everyday Cook?

Missy Tippens, here. Being The Belle around the Cafe, you know how much I love grits. I think I've even shared a recipe. But I also love rice. And one of my favorite dishes is risotto.

That's a pain to make, you say! You have to stand around and stir for forever!

Well, when I've made it, I only did the bare necessities, and it turned out fine. Then lo and behold, I happened to find this video from Martha Stewart's channel, Everyday Food with Sarah Carey (she has fantastic videos!). (click here)

Sarah shares a way to make risotto without having to chain yourself to the stove.

Here are her listed ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced small
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigiot
  • 4 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (1/4 ounce)

Note: I sometimes like to add chopped asparagus and maybe some mushrooms. This day, I used chopped fresh spinach, about a cup of leaves finely chopped--to hide it from the kids! I think they assumed it was parsley. :)

In a large skillet, melt half the butter and cook shallots until translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until all the grains are well coated and getting clear around the edges. Add spinach and wilt. 

Stir in the wine and cook until it's mostly cooked away.

Add 4 cups of broth (reserving the extra 1/4 cup) and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer until liquid is almost absorbed, about 25 minutes, according to Sarah. (I set my timer and stirred every 10 minutes so I could check to make sure it wasn't dried out.)

Midway through

At 20 minutes, before stirring for 5 minutes

Uncover and cook, stirring constantly (about 5 minutes), until rice is creamy and tender. If it's too thick, stir in some of the remaining broth to loosen it.

Nice and creamy and ready to eat!
Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan and the rest of the butter. (note: 2 tablespoons of parmesan???? I added at least a quarter of a cup!) :)

Season with pepper. Serve and enjoy! You, too, can make this delicious dish.



  1. Oooohhhhhh -- I can do this with veggie broth I bet...but I don't do alcohol at all -- strictly a teetotaler -- could I omit the wine? Or would it mess with the flavouring?

  2. Yes, veggie broth!

    You know, supposedly the alcohol cooks off, but I don't know if that's scientifically true or not--there could be a tad left. So I'd suggest just making it without it. I wonder, though, if maybe a dash of red wine vinegar might add a bit of that flavor. Anyone know of substitutions? Hey! I wonder how it might be with alcohol-free beer? I think beer flavor would go good with rice.

    Of course, adding something rich like mushrooms would be plenty of flavor.

  3. yikes and I thought chicken Rice a Roni too a long time to make and a lot of stirring! this looks like major work - looks good though and I've gotten to where I like spinac- I like it raw though it's probably dangerous that way with all the food scares :-(
    getting ready for bed - night shift over - dealing wth my 12 yr old lab - hip stuff and big weight loss - went back to her original prednisone prescription twice a day and I've heard from some on line that it causes kidney problems at that dose if done more than a week - but she can't be comfy with less than that so dunno what to do. just can't bring myself to have her put to sleep when she's up walking and wanting snacks and loving - but dont' want to watch her die a painful death either. I knew this time would come but just didn't expect it now or having to take responsibility and make decisions. going ot bed to sleep on it I guess.

    1. Susanna, I'm sorry. We had to have our 12 year old lab put to sleep a few months ago when she became paralyzed in her back legs and couldn't move. It's such a difficult decision to make.

      Don't let online stuff scare you or stress you. I'd suggest talking to your vet. It may be that worrying about quality of life (and having her on the higher dose of prednisone) is what's best for her now. I know I would opt for having her be up and walking and wanting snacks. You're a good doggy mom!

    2. Making that decision to put a dog to sleep has to be one of the hardest things of all. I think making that decision is even harder than actually doing it.

      I agree with Missy - maybe right now you need to worry more about your dog's comfort than long term effects of the medication. Yes, ask your vet.

    3. Susanna, praying for you! I'm so sorry you have to go through this. :( Hugs to you and your baby.

    4. thanks - talked to the vet's wife today and he was in and out - she said she was an old lady dog and that if the prednisone had her wanting to eat and walk then that was ok quality of like- being down and struggling to breathe and needing to be carried around the house was not so she said she didn't think it was time for that decision yet so long as the medicine was working and giving her quality of life. so back to one day at a time. you're right the internet smetimes has too much info.
      sorry about your doggy Missy - so far she's not paralyzed though she's had some trouble holding her foot weird and stuff. I thought labs were living to 15 now but she said they rarely see one over 12 and that my german shepherd the same age is almost unheard of (wow just lots of feel goodies today huh?!) so I'm trying to enjoy every moment i have with them. she did givem e a brochure for a pet chiropracter/massager - sheesh I dont' even pay for massages for myself LOL!


  4. I've never made risotto...I wonder if my family would do their usual "what's this stuff?" if I try it?

    Yup, probably. But I'm sure it's worth it!

    Thanks for the recipe, Missy!

    1. LOL, Jan! My kids loved it, though. Just call it rice with cheese and surely they'll give it a try. :) Like I said, my kids didn't even notice the spinach. Now, if I had snuck mushrooms in it... probably would be a different story.

    2. You're right about the mushrooms. They'd find onions, too.

      It's funny, though. The two that have lived on their own and had to cook for themselves? They're happy with anything I put on the table :)

  5. Yummy!! I've never made risotto. Honestly, I was completely intimidated by it. I can't even make rice! But this was a good step-by-step tutorial an I think, with the pictures, I can do it!!

    And LOVE the books on top. You're the greatest, Missy!!

    1. Oh, you can definitely do this, Virginia!

      Yes, I love having the books up there, too! Now readers know what we do during the day besides cook and eat. :)

  6. Wait.... Did Virginia just say she's married to that hunka hunka burnin' love guy with a great Hispanic name and SHE CAN'T MAKE RICE?????

    I'm aghast.



    BUT!!!! I LOVE THE BOOKS, MISSY!!!!! OH, LOVING IT SO MUCH! Thank you for doing that, it rocks the big kahuna!!!!

    I love making rice dishes. Missy, this looks delicious!


    My take on rice is: buy good rice. I love Basmati rice. Use a cast aluminum (or similar heavy, dense, even-heating pan)

  7. Love the books widget and the print friendly.

    And the recipe sounds wonderful.