Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Red Wine-Porto Risotto....& Balls


3 cups of good chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced chives or shallots or onion
2 cloves of garlic chopped
3/4 cup of sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup of red wine
About 3 tbsp of Port (Tawny or Ruby) **Optional, will be great with just red wine.
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup of grated white cheddar (I use Port flavored aged cheddar) delish!
2-3 tbsp of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. (This is essential in adding creaminess)
About 10 fresh basil leaves
1 sprig of fresh thyme or a generous pinch of dried.

1-In a stock pot, heat broth and herbs, simmer gently without boiling.

2-In a large pan, non-stick if you have one; heat olive oil & add chives, garlic and mushrooms. Stir 1-2 minutes (don't burn the garlic).

3-Add rice, stir to coat rice really well, DO NOT BROWN. (The purpose in coating the rice with olive oil is to help control the absorption of the cooking stock) If onions seemed to have soaked up most of the oil, add more oil.

4-Add red wine, port and vinegar. Allow to absorb.

5-Ladle in some stock, enough to just cover the rice and cook on low heat. Keep stirring and adding stock. Try to leave the herbs out of the rice when transferring stock. (they are just to flavor the chicken broth)

6-When the rice is almost tender, allow the present liquid level to drop until 90% absorbed. Stir in the butter and cheese vigorously, then turn off the heat.

The butter and cheese will provide and elegant "creaminess" that good risotto is noted for.
Garnish with parsley and grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
What to do with leftover risotto the next day?? BALLS !!!! AKA Arancini

The next day, all I did was to shape the rice into palm size balls. I then inserted a square piece of cheese of your choice. I used a sharp cheddar and mozzarella. You then roll the balls in flour, then in a beaten egg mix, seasoned with salt and pepper. I then rolled then in a mix panko crumbs and Italian crumbs. If panko is not available, simply use Italian or plain bread crumbs available at your grocery store. Then fry them in a deep fryer or heavy bottom pot (this is what I used) with at least 2 inches of vegetable oil (canola will do).
I always drain whatever I deep fry on a brown paper bag as opposed to paper towel, the food stays crisp that way.
I also made several balls, without frying them and froze them for future use. They taste just as great! Perfect for those "unexpected" 4pm guests!

1 comment:

Andreas said...

Nice risotto variation. Up to now, I haven't had to deal with any leftovers, but now I'm prepared should this problem occur. :)