Lemon Parmesan Risotto

14 07 2010

Risotto is one of my favorites, but I was nervous making it this time.  I’ve always used wine which give it a delicious, deep flavor; but alcohol is a no-no right now (doesn’t even matter how little – the sugar alcohols wreck your metabolism) so I decided to try adding the citrus for a little punch. It worked! yay!!! and had I not been lazy and just googled “lemon parmesan risotto” before starting cooking, I would have found plenty of recipes (although all those recipes included white wine.)

(Mine definitely didn’t look this good, I’m too lazy to bother with garnishes when I’m cooking in large quantities for myself).

The package of arborio rice says to use a 1:2 ratio of rice and liquid, but I was taught (and always have) used closer to 1:3 ratio.  (My next experiment is to cook it as described on the package.)  First, I diced up a large shallot scallion (I constantly mix those words up, even though I know the difference!) and sautéed  it in a stock pot with some olive oil. Then pour in the rice and let it brown a bit before starting the liquid part.  I recently learned to keep the liquid (water or chicken stock, but who would want to use boring ole water?!) the same temperature as the rice to ensure even absorbtion, so it was simmering in a mini stock pot next to the big one and I ladled it in, 2-5 ladles at a time.  This part could probably be more scientific, but I watch the amount of liquid that sits on top of the rice, and then add one more ladle.  The trick (or burden) is that you’ve absolutely got to keep stirring.  Not quite like making candy or something, where you can’t ever stop the movement in the pot, but you can’t put it on the stove and walk away for 20 minutes.  (It’ll burn and not absorb evenly)  It takes several repetitions of this step to get all the liquid absorbed, but eventually the rice will start to leach out a milky substance (it’s trademark).  Season with salt and pepper (to taste),  then I mixed in the parmesan and lemon, (tasted again and added more s & p) and let it sit for a couple minutes (while I finished cooking my chicken.) Split into several individual servings (luckily, risotto is delicious reheated. A lightly different texture, but another good one) and done!

Ingredients:

2 c Arborio rice

2 T olive oil

6 c chicken stock

1 large shallot

zest and juice of one lemon

4 oz parmesan cheese

Nutrition breakdown:

(split into 10 servings, approx. 3/4 cup cooked) 202 cals, 7 g fat, 35 g carbs, 9 g protein

(split into 12 servings, little over 1/2 cup cooked) 169 cals, 6 g fat, 29 g carbs, 7.5 g protein

In retrospect, I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I DIDN’T ADD GARLIC.  What was I thinking? (Especially with this awesomeness burning a hole in my freezer)  I also might like to try using 2 lemons, but I really like lemon flavor, probably more than the average jane. (get it? not joe?) Also, I used reduced sodium chicken stock, but I’m pretty sure I just added back all the sodium with the amount of salt I added at the end.  Oh well. In the end, pretty much all risotto is better than no risotto, so I’m happy! and so is my mouth!

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