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Sunday, August 14, 2011

How To Prepare A Flawless Risotto

This risotto combines pears, goat cheese and crushed black peppercorns with a veggie stock:

To make it you'll need:

4 cups vegetable stock -buy a quality store bought brand or make your own ( recipe follows)
8 tbsp unsalted butter ( 1 stick) at room temperature
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots n
2 cups of Carnaroli or Arborio rice
2 cups white wine
2 cups ( 8oz ) finely crumbled goat cheese that's not aged
2 cups of peeled and diced pears ( 2 pears) preferably Bosc pears
Salt and freshly cracked peppercorns

In a medium saucepan , bring the vegetable stock to a simmer.  In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt 3 tbsp of butter. When it begins to sizzle, add the shallots and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add the wine to the pan to deglaze, and cook stirring occasionally, until the wine has evaporated, ab   out 5 to 7 minutes. Then add enough simmering stock to reach about 1/4 inch above the rice and cook, stirring, until the liquid begins to simmer. When the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid,  add another ladle full of stock. Continue to cook in this fashion until all the liquid has been added ( about 14 to 16 minutes total ) Reduce heat to low. Add the goat cheese, pears and remaining 5 tbsp of butter and give the mixture a couple of stirs. The cheese and butter should melt, and the risotto should take on a smooth consistency in about a minute or so. serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

To make the vegetable stock, you'll need:

2 onions, peeled and halved
2 carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
2 stalks celery
2 leeks, halved lengthwise ( white and green parts)
5 qts ( 20 cups) of water
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves

In a large stock pot, simmer veggies, water, and salt for 15 minutes, skimming surface of foam and particles.
Add herbs and simmer for another 20 minutes. Strain the stock, discarding solids. Makes about 15 cups.

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