I decided to make risotto for my dinner party.
Then I had to figure out how to make it without spending too much time in the kitchen, stirring and minding it. Even without constant stirring (which. as you all know, is totally unnecessary) it still needs to be monitored.
A little bit of research and I had the answer. I must say, it worked perfectly and is so simple:
After adding roughly 2/3’s of the liquid I covered it and took if off the heat. I also covered the remaining chicken stock and left it on a very low heat.
When I was ready to finish, after we had eaten the first course, I put the risotto back on medium heat added most of the still hot chicken stock and stirred vigorously. I let it cook, stirring occasionally, while I put the finishing touches on the rest of the dinner. I did add the rest of the stock, after tasting. Just before serving I stirred in the parsley, then the Parmesan.
It was perfect.
I had it off heat for about 30 minutes. According to my research, one can prepare it up to that point even a day ahead of time but if it’s going to be paused for more than an hour or so it should be refrigerated. I have no idea how long it would take to finish if it was cold. Mine was still hot.
This recipe is for two, as usual.
Total time: 25 minutes
- 2/3 cup (4.2oz, 125gr) Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) dry, white wine
- 2 1/4 cups (18oz, 540ml) chicken stock
- 1/2 medium leek, trimmed and sliced, including light green
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.
- In medium sauce pan heat oil; add leek and sauté until transparent.
- Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 1 – 2 minutes until rice has white center.
- Add white wine and stir.
- When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/4 cup of stock, stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.)
- When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/4 cup and continue adding 1/4 cup at a time and stirring.
- Before adding the last 1/4 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth, but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it 1/8 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it’s shape on a plate.
- Add the Parmesan and the parsley, stir well.
- Spoon into a bowl or risotto platter and serve.
Along with the risotto I finished the carrots, which had been boiled for 10 minutes earlier in the day. I just put them in a large skillet with butter, olive oil, salt and pepper and fried them, tossing frequently. Added salt and pepper and was done.
I made the Veal Marsala just before our guests arrived. I put it on a platter with the mushrooms and sauce, covered it with foil and kept it warm in the oven at a low temperature.
For the peas – I fried the leeks and Prosciutto earlier and just left them in the skillet. I used frozen peas, which I allowed to thaw (mostly). I turned the heat up under the skillet and added the peas for a few minutes to finish.
And that was how I made my mostly do-ahead dinner party.
This is what mon mari has been working on this week: our well.
It has a pump, which is broken, but we may actually get it fixed. There is water in it.
The exterior was getting a bit crumbly so he started patching and repairing.
He decided it would look nicer with stones around it so has started building a frame.
Amazing how much little stuff gets done with a broken mower.
We don’t know when the mower will be fixed.
But he did find a place on line that will rent goats for a euro a day….