Risotto is one of those amazing dishes that is creamy, and decadent…and surprisingly not that difficult to make. I know that’s a shock, but it is very true. Risotto is about putting together delicious ingredients slowly, to produce an even more delicious outcome. Risotto was one of the first dishes that I perfected that I was really proud of. I remember I used to make it for my husband all the time, but it never seemed to come out right…but then, it was as if the stars aligned and everything came together deliciously. So now I make risotto often, and every time I do everyone is excited, babies included.
I often get asked what pairs with risotto. I recommend either adding meat and vegetables directly to the risotto, or making a dry hash or some sort of sautéed meat that can be served on top. This recipe is for a basic foundational risotto. Step One: Make this delicious risotto. Step Two: Think about what you want to top it with (or add…I’ll help!). Step Three: Impress People.
Champagne Parmesan Risotto
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. garlic, finely chopped
- 1 c Arborio rice
- 1 c champagne
- 1/4 c half and half
- 1 c heavy whipping cream
- 4 c low sodium chicken broth
- 1 c finely shredded parmesan cheese
- Melt the butter in wide mouthed saucepan, or risotto pan set to medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and stir to become fully mixed with the butter. Cook the vegetables for approximately 5 minutes, until the vegetables soften but not brown. The final risotto should be white and creamy, if the vegetables brown the risotto will not appear white.
- In a separate pan heat the chicken broth on low. The broth should be warm but not hot. Keep the pan on the warm heat.
- Add remaining 2 tbsp. butter to the pan with the vegetables. Once the butter melts, add the rice, and stir to mix completely. The rice should be covered in the juicy butter goodness. Add the champagne to the pan, allow the champagne to reduce by almost half. It should slightly simmer, if the liquid starts to boil significantly, reduce the heat.
- Once the champagne has reduced, add the chicken broth in 1/2 c increments. Allow the liquid to be absorbed by the rice before adding more liquid. The rice should not become dry, but the liquid should appear almost absorbed before more chicken broth is added. Continue to add chicken broth until the rice is the rice is the texture that you like. I like my risotto soft and barely barely crunchy. I like my risotto smooth but not mushy. Now in order to find out what you like, after approximately 2.5 c of the chicken broth has been added taste a small amount of the rice to determine if you prefer the texture. Continue to taste the risotto after each 1/2 c is absorbed, once the risotto is about an eight or nine in terms of texture (with a ten being your perfect risotto) do not add any more broth.
- Next add the half and half, stir until fully absorbed then add the heavy whipping cream. Continue to stir and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the parmesan and continue to stir. Season with salt and pepper. I think its better to wait until the end to season because the chicken broth and parmesan are both salty, and salty risotto is no good.
- Remove from heat. Enjoy!