This recipe is very near and dear to me. I remember growing up going to my grandma's and getting a heaping glob of this yellow, creamy rice with mushrooms studded throughout. Not knowing what to do, I would follow what my dad did, take your fork and push the pile out until it evenly covered your plate and resembled a pie, and then dug in. As everyone got older, we stopped going to my grandma's and transitioned to my uncles for family gatherings and the risotto I loved so much got lost between the two houses.
We are big fans of Rachael Ray in our house so we had gotten one of her cook books way back when and when there was risotto recipe in there we decided to give it a try. Oh my, how it has become a staple and I insist we have it every time I come home, I could never, ever get sick of it. We spruce it up and add shrimp and scallops and serve it with Wegmans' Garlic Tuscan bread, I am in heaven. And still today I smooth out my glob until its a pie before digging in.
This dish is always made by my daddy and I, mom makes the broth before hand and cooks up the scallops that go in at the end. Over Thanksgiving break I had to make it without my father for the first time because he was couch-ridden. Thankfully mom stepped in to help and it was quite a success. Now that we've made it so many times, I've got it memorized and it may seem scary at first but once you get the hang of it, it's quite easy. But your arm does get tired stirring and stirring, but it's sooo worth it.
Best Basic Risotto
adapted from: Rachael Ray
4 cups Chicken Broth
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups abrorio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese
Pepper, to taste
8 scallops cut in half
10-12 uncooked shrimp, chopped into thirds
Pinch of saffron
1. Heat chicken brother over low heat
2 In a deep skillet melt butter into olive oil over medium heat.
3 Add the onions and saute 3 minutes.
4. Add the rice and saute 2 minutes more.
5. Add wine, cook 1-2 minutes (or until no longer fragrant)
6. Add broth a few ladles at a time over the next 18 minutes, stirring it into the rice each time the liquid has been absorbed.
7. When there is about 10 minutes left, heat a small pan with olive oil and over moderate heat cook the scallops through.
8. When the last ladle of broth is added, throw in the shrimp to cook through and the pinch of saffron.
9. Stir in cheese and season with pepper.