Rockin’ the Risotto . . . Almond Style
Well, here goes. My first true food update. Last Friday (July 2nd), we did our weekly grocery shopping. Low and behold, when I went to buy meat, the only steak they had was ribeye. Apparently, everyone had beat me to the strip steaks for their 4th of July BBQ’s. I’ve never actually grilled a ribeye steak before, but there’s always a first for everything. Anyway, when we went to make dinner tonight, I had a hankering for some risotto to go with those ribeyes. Since the lovely and talented other half likes that dish, she was all for it. I was in an experimenting mood, so I decided to make a change to the normal recipe, a sweet almond flavor. I did so by adding a 1/4 cup of Amaretto (Disaranno if you must know). The recipe as follows:
1 cup basmatti rice
2 turns of olive oil (about 2 tbs)
2 tbs of butter
1/2 cup dry white wine (Sauvigon Blanc)
1/4 cup Amaretto
1 small white onion
3 cloves garlic
32 oz of chicken broth
Hot tap water if needed
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth under low heat. It makes the absorption of the liquid much faster. In a medium saucepan, heat (medium) your two turns of olive oil and butter until butter is melted. Saute the onions until partially transparent (about 4 minutes) and then add the garlic and saute for another 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook for about 2 minutes. The oil and butter will soak into the rice giving it a shiny appearance. After 2 minutes, add the wine, amaretto and 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
Allow the mixture to come to a slow boil and turn down to medium low (3 on my stove). Stir often until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Add a cup of chicken broth and repeat. After the third addition of liquid is reduced and absorbed, taste the rice. If it’s nice and soft, it’s ready. Usually it takes me 4 additions to make it the way I like it. It you run out of broth, add the hot water instead. If you add too much broth, the taste of the broth will overpower everything else.
I paired the risotto with the ribeye and grilled asparagus. The amaretto gave a nice sweet flavor that blended well with the wine and rice. The bitterness of the asparagus balanced the sweetness of the risotto. We had a Marquis Phillips 2008 Shiraz I picked up at Costco for around $10. Very good wine for the price. Nice pepper spice on front and back of the tongue with a cranberry/vanilla/chocolate middle. I highly recommend it!