Okay, so don’t start writing in and defending mac & cheese. It’s delicious and oooey & gooey and, quite frankly, sometimes that & a bottle of wine are THE best way to spend a Friday night (oh c’mon, we’ve all been there)!
When you want something a bit more, uhhh grown-up, then my dear friends, expand your horizons to risotto. It’s so easy that it has quickly become my go-to in comfort food (and that’s saying something!). The key is to keep stirring and add the liquid in slowly, allowing for the rice to cook into a creaminess most assume is just a lot of cheese.
I owe a HUGE thank you to Giada De Laurentiis, whose book Everyday Italian, showed me step by step how to make what is now considered my signature dish.
[on a side note: it’s a great book for Italian cooking. There are a lot of great recipes, but the Parmesan risotto and Bechamel sauce recipes are completely worth buying the book for!!!]
As a testament to my love of risotto, I actually purchased another cookbook simply because it had 36–THAT’S RIGHT, 36!!!–risotto recipes. Of course, the possibilities are endless: start with arborio rice and experiment to your heart’s delight! The other night I was in the mood for risotto and usually I just make a simple risotto and serve it with roasted veggies, but I had some button mushrooms and fresh corn on the cob that needed to be used, so I added them in and O-M-G! It was delicious goodiness. So much so that I’ve actually been eating the leftovers all week (and honestly, I’m not usually a big fan of leftover risotto). I think what I loved the most is that the mushrooms give it a savory richness and the corn a slight sweet finish that makes me sad when I get to the end of my bowl!
Mushroom & Corn Risotto
- 6 cups of veggie or chicken stock
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of white wine
- 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp salt
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 2 cups of diced mushrooms
- 3 ears of corn worth of kernels that you’ve carefully cut off
Warm the stock in a saucepan. In a large skillet (I use my wok!), saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add the rice and saute the rice for a couple of minutes until it starts to brown (the longer you let it brown, the nuttier your risotto will taste!). Add the wine and start stirring! Season with salt & pepper. Once the wine has been reduced, add a cup of warm stock (I use a soup ladle) and stir, allowing stock to absorb. Once the stock is absorbed, add another cup, stir, and allow stock to absorb. Continue on until you have about 2 cups of stock left. Add mushrooms and corn to remaining stock. Then continue adding stock mixture to rice, stirring, and allowing stock to reduce. Once all the stock mixture is added, sprinkle cheese on top and add butter, stirring thoroughly. Take a quick taste and adjust salt & pepper if needed.
buon appetito, ya’ll!