Monday, December 29, 2008

Cabernet Risotto

Christmas was quite crazy this year, and also quite fulfilling. :) I came out with my second half to my Alton Brown book collection (the first half, actually, but v 2.0) and an igloo shaped cake pan and some cookie cutters that are shaped like animal crackers, which I'm quite excited to use.

I also made Christmas dinner, and I just recently got back to LA and am so so exhausted, but I decided to begin sharing anyway. The entire feast included delicious things, some already located on this blog, such as my marbled mashed potatoes and green beans with browned butter (though I added garlic and pine nuts) -- both of which my family loved.

I also made this risotto. I love risotto-- chances are you're going to see it on here time and time again. This one was a bit heavy, having no white wine and Cabernet being it's main source of flavour, but I personally liked it so much I ate pretty much just it the next day. I got the idea from, and proceeded to barely follow the recipe at all. After all, I know how to make risotto, and I didn't want to use both white wine and red wine since I knew red wine would be just fine since I'd use it to make lamb risotto before. So I thus made it my own.

My mother wasn't a fan, but she's not a fan of red wines -- everyone else seemed to enjoy it decently. The rest of the red wine went to the lamb and also to some mulled wine I made and forgot to take pictures off, as I was too busy (ahem) enjoying it. ;)

In any case, my brother made the joke that this looked like pinto beans and every time throughout the night someone said "pass the beans" -- meaning the green beans -- I would get very confused and say, it's not beans, it's risotto.

Luckily, mishap concluded. Recipe below!

Cabernet Risotto
Adapted from Michael Chiarello via

1 Quart chicken stock
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
½ clove of garlic, minced
½ cup minced onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup cabernet
1 ½ tablespoons butter
½ cup grated parmesan
¼ cup cabernet

Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and keep warm while preparing risotto.
Heat olive oil and a ½ tablespoon of butter in a saucepan. Add onion and a pinch of salt, and saute over medium-low heat until it is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute. Add rice and continue to saute, coating rice with the oil until the grains are lightly toasted, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the wine and stir until almost completely absorbed.
Begin adding the stock to the rice, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring the rice constantly and continuing to cook at a constant low simmer. Add more stock each time the last is nearly absorbed.
About 15 minutes after you begin, test the rice. Remove risotto after it has right texture (mostly soft and creamy, but just a slight slight amount of firmness) and stir in butter, parmesan, and remaining cabernet. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

This is excellent with roast lamb!

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