Monday, November 28, 2011

Risi E Bisi with Homemade Butter - Ultimate Cook What You've Got

Risotto is on my Rock Star list.  If you know how to make it, you can have an inexpensive but impressive meal in 30 minutes using whatever produce you have and it will always be comforting.

There are some key techniques to risotto, the most well-known is all the stirring that is involved to coax the creamy starch out of the rice.  Another is the fact that it should have a consistency that allows you to spoon it into a pile on the plate then shake the plate until it's a puddle.  If it stays in a pile, it's too thick and totally unacceptable.  The final point is that a good amount of butter is briskly stirred in at the end to further enhance the creaminess and create that acceptable consistency.

Last night, for our Sunday night dinner, I was looking for something comforting to make since we were all less than enthusiastic about our Thanksgiving break being over and busy school/work pace starting up the next day.  A quick peek in the pantry and freezer turned up some frozen peas and arborio rice. I remembered the Venetian Classic Risi e Bisi and went about prepping.  Comprised of simple ingredients--onions, garlic, rice, wine, broth, peas, butter and cheese--it's Italian comfort food at its finest.


After I had prepped everything and was stirring in the wine, I realized with all the Thanksgiving baking, we had used the entire 4 pounds (YIKES!) I had bought at Costco.

Putting on my CWYG thinking cap, I realized I had cream which we all know is the basis for butter.  Going back to school days, I poured about 1/3 cup in a small canning jar and put my family to work making butter.

Though it looked a little weird,
after I drained the whey off, it worked beautifully and we had the creamy risotto I had hoped for.

CWYG Stats

The List Items - olive oil, onions, garlic, rice, wine, broth, peas, butter, parmesan cheese

Risi e Bisi 
1 branch fresh thyme

6 cups chicken broth or more as needed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup wine
2 cups frozen peas
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup parmesan plus more for sprinkling

Strip leaves from thyme and combine with broth in a large saucepan.  Bring this to a simmer and keep nearby for risotto.

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in  a large deep-sided skillet.  Stir in the rice and toast slightly in the oil.  Add the wine and cook until it is completely absorbed.  Add 2 cups of stock and stir constantly until it's almost absorbed.  Add the stock 1 cup at a time until the rice is creamy and when you try a piece it only has a slight bite in the center.  If you need to add more stock to the pan, do so since you will need a little reserved to stir in right when you serve.  Add the peas, butter and parmesan and stir until the peas are just cooked through and the butter and cheese are well incorporated. 

Just before serving, stir in another ladle of broth then serve immediately topped with extra cheese and good sprinkle of pepper.
Print Page Copyright 2011 Christi Flaherty, Cook What You've Got

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