Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Quick Cook Makes Risotto

This is part of my continuing series on the Quick Cook Tips that I write about once a month in The Pinewood News, a small town paper in Munds Park, Arizona. The series, on some of those tips, let’s you see how it might play out in your kitchen. 

I’m The Quick Cook in the Munds Park, Arizona newspaper, The Pinewood News. I give cooking tips each month. I got my handle because I could put a meal on the table quickly and with little fuss or mess. Part of that is because of …

Quick Cook Tip #5: Use your kitchen gadgets and appliances.

Okay, no brainer, right? How can one cook without using gadgets and appliances? Fair enough. But do you use them in unexpected ways?

Today’s recipe is one example.

I love risotto, but I’d better not have much else going on if I’m making it because it is so labor intensive. So, much as I love risotto, in all its variations, The Quick Cook has only made it for some special occasion rather than weeknight dinners.

But, thank goodness that all changed when I saw a recipe for 30-Minute Risotto. I never would have thought to parboil Arborio rice, but it works. At the bottom is the link to the original recipe, if you’re interested. What follows is my version of this delicious, fast, and easy dish.

This risotto recipe saves me time in two ways:
The risotto is ready faster with less attention needed AND I don’t have to prepare a salad. I serve this risotto with grilled salmon and we are good to go on veggies!

You can make the recipe vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth. You can serve four as a side dish or two as a main course. All the protein in it makes the risotto an acceptable “meatless” dish for the entrée.

Oh, and use a large covered dish. First time I made this, my casserole dish overflowed with boiling broth all over the microwave tray. A mess plus I lost liquid I needed.

TQC Risotto (serves 4-6 as a side; 2-3 as an entrée)

2 cups broth, divided
½ cup Arborio rice
3 tablespoons butter
½ onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
½ cup frozen lima beans, thawed
½ cup chopped mushrooms
1 large handful of fresh spinach
1 cup Asiago cheese, grated

Place 1½ cups broth in a large, covered bowl. Add rice and 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook for about 15 minutes (until most, but not all, liquid is absorbed).

About five minutes before the broth and rice are done in the microwave, sauté onion in 1 tablespoon of butter. When translucent, add garlic. Cook about 30 seconds more and remove from heat.

Add parboiled rice to the skillet along with ½ cup of broth. Heat on medium heat. When simmering, add peas, lima beans, and mushrooms. Stir thoroughly.

Remove from heat and add spinach. Mix in to wilt. Add cheese and serve immediately.

Original recipe for 30-Minute Risotto:

If you liked this recipe, I’ll bet you’d enjoy the recipes in my culinary mystery, MissionImpastable, too. Click on the title to go to Amazon for purchase.

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