Friday, September 4, 2009

Smoked Gouda and Parmesan Risotto

Risotto has a reputation for being fussy and difficult to prepare. I've found that as long you have a little patience it can be a snap. The best tip I can offer is pretty basic; stir often. If you don't keep stirring the rice can get too sticky.

Arborio rice should be easy to find with other rices and grains at any supermarket. Smoked Gouda will be found with international or artisan cheeses, usually near the deli case. It will probably be round with a red or yellow wax casing, though I have seen it sold in wedges and even "chunks". As far as the white wine goes, I usually use a cheap Chardonnay but any dry white wine will do. If you don't want to use wine you can substitute it by mixing (an additional) 1/3 a cup of chicken stock, and enough white vinegar to equal 1/2 cup of total liquid. It will alter the taste somewhat but it will get you by.

Smoked Gouda and Parmesan Risotto

1/2 cup water
4 cups (2 16oz cans)chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded/grated
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Combine water and broth in a small saucepan over medium low heat.
In a separate large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and add chopped onion. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until transparent.
Add rice, cook 3 minutes uncovered, stirring constantly.
Pour in wine and cook 2-4 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly. Add salt and broth mixture. Stir until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup (or 1 ladle full)at a time, stirring constantly. Make sure broth is absorbed before adding the next (this should take about 20 minutes total).
Add 1 tablespoon butter and stir in Gouda, cook just until melted. Add 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper. Stir in Parmesan.

Garnish with additional Parmesan, cracked pepper and snipped chives


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