Swimming in Risotto

When I lived in New York, one of my favorite local places to visit was Brick Cafe.  It was a little french restaurant that helped me to appreciate the pleasure of olive tampanade and risotto.  Seriously, the risotto at Brick Cafe was the best risotto I’ve ever had.  You could never go wrong ordering the dish at that place!

Because of Brick, I now get a hankering for risotto from time to time.  I’ve hesitant to get it from somewhere or make it myself because I know I can never meet the quality and richness of flavor that I would be served at Brick. 

Wednesday night was my weekday date night with Capt. and we decided that we would try a risotto recipe from foodfit.com, one of our favorite cooking websites.  I actually decided to test myself and see if I could make something even comparable to that found at Brick.

The recipe is only for one serving, so we quadrupled it so I could have leftovers for upcoming lunch and dinners. 

The risotto ended up being pretty good.  I love using peas when I cook and blanching is one of my simple pleasures, both of which are involved in this recipe.  It was simple, yet a bit time consumming, but ended up being fulfilling. 

After this dish, we’ve decided that we’ll try our hand at cooking risotto again, but maybe with richer flavors like mushroom.  All in all, it wasn’t spectacular, but it was a great intro to cooking risotto recipe!

And since Capt. likes a little meat with his meals, we cooked up some apple chicken sausage to compliment the meal.  Definitely a good choice.  The sweetness of the apples really went with the sweetness and freshness that went with the peas.

Oh and the peas are green, so it fits into my St. Patrick’s Day posting bonanza!

Risotto with Fresh Peas

about 3/4 cup Basic Chicken Stock (see recipe), or low-sodium canned
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons diced onion
1/4 cup Arborio rice
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly shelled peas

1. Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep hot over low heat.

2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a separate medium-sized pot. Add the onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion turns translucent.

3. Add the rice to the onion mixture and stir.

4. Turn the heat to low, add about 1/4 cup of the hot stock to the rice mixture, and stir slowly until the stock is absorbed.

5. Continue to add the stock 1/4 cup at a time, stirring slowly, letting the rice absorb the stock before adding more.

6. While the risotto is cooking, blanch the peas in boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Drain.

7. The risotto is cooked when it is creamy on the outside and slightly firm (al dente) in the center. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and half of the peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the risotto is too thick, add a little more stock until it becomes creamy.

8. Divide the risotto into serving dishes and sprinkle with the remaining peas.


Serving Size: about 1/2 cup



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