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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!