Thursday, April 3, 2014

Parmesan Pine Nut Risotto (with COOKING NOTES)

In large part, beauty is behavior, attitude and flair. Attraction and allure come from the inside out, and create a perception. Beauty, then, is no more than the perception of beauty. The same is true of food.

If you told someone you made rice, they’d yawn. If you told them you made Parmesan risotto with pine nuts, they’d be so très impressed with your cooking prowess. But risotto is just rice that dressed for dinner. Don’t be intimidated by dishes like risotto, because they’re dead easy to make and delicious to boot!  

You’ll Need
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ onion, minced
1 cup rice
¼ cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock, heated
¼ cup pine nuts
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan
Heat the butter over a medium flame and sauté the onion until it softens (about 4 minutes). Increase the heat to medium high and add the rice. Be sure to turn over the rice so that all the grains are coated in the butter. Add the wine and let it cook into the rice for another 2 minutes or so.

Now for the liquid
You will add the heated chicken stock a little at a time. Pour in enough to just cover the rice (about ½ cup), and only stir until you are certain that the liquid has come in contact with all the rice. Wait until the stock as cooked down into the rice before adding another batch of the stock. Continue in this manner until the stock has been fully incorporated into the rice. This should take about 25 minutes, and the rice should be just barely done.

To finish
Toss with the pine nuts, Parmesan, and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.


The key will be in the adding of the stock to the rice. You want each liquid addition to just cover the grains and then cook down almost completely before you add the next one. Don’t wait so long that it burns on the bottom, but do give it a minute to absorb most of the stock.
I stir a lot because I’m like that, but you really only have to after each stock addition, to make sure the grains get turned over and coated completely.

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