Shortcut Risotto

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
  1. In a heavy dutch oven or pot with a lid melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Add wine to rice and stir until wine evaporates.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Remove the lid. If your rice still has a lot of liquid you can continue cooking on low until the mixture becomes thick. *****
  8. Add cream and cheese, stir until the cheese is melted and everything is incorporated.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. 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.

Topping suggestions:
  • 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
Cooking Notes:
*        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.


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