I love risotto and it's one of those things that can be customized pretty easily so that it can be enjoyed by people with dietary restrictions, or just picky eaters.
I use a shortcut method so that I'm not standing over the stove for almost an hour.
- 1 1/2 cups white or arborio rice*
- 5 cups simmering chicken or vegetable stock, divided
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced - optional**
- 1 cup cheddar-gruyere cheese, shredded***
- 1/2 cup dry white wine - optional****
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- In a heavy dutch oven or pot with a lid melt the butter over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
- Add rice to the onions and butter and cook until the rice starts to smell warm and nutty, don't let the rice become brown.
- Add wine to rice and stir until wine evaporates.
- Start adding hot broth one cup at a time. You'll use about 3 cups of broth for this step. Continue adding one cup of broth at a time, stirring until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the rice will start to become creamy.
- Once about half of the liquid is gone pour the remainder of the liquid into the pot with the rice mixture. Bring to a low boil. Cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
- Remove the lid. If your rice still has a lot of liquid you can continue cooking on low until the mixture becomes thick. *****
- Add cream and cheese, stir until the cheese is melted and everything is incorporated.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve as is or with toppings listed below.
We had bacon and J had sautéd mushrooms with the risotto but you can top it with whatever you like or just eat it as is. It's wonderful even without toppings.
- Crumbled bacon
- Crumbled sausage
- Sautéd smoked sausage, I love the turkey kind
- Shredded rotisserie chicken
- Sautéd spinach
- Sautéd mushrooms
- Sautéd asparagus
- Or you can stir in some frozen peas right before serving
* Arborio rice is great if you can get it but plain white rice is cheaper and more readily available.
** The garlic isn't necessary and most risotto recipes don't call for it. It can be omitted but we love garlic.
*** Cheddar-gruyere can be difficult to find so feel free to substitute for another hard, flavorful cheese like parmesan, which is much more common for risotto.
**** Adding the white wine is great, but again, it's not entirely necessary for the recipe to work.
***** Risotto should be relatively thick, soft and creamy but not gluey or stiff.