Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I made Risotto! In a Crockpot!

I love risotto. It's not that hard to make to make, just way to labor intensive for me. All the constant stir and such. Too much work.  So I thought why not use a crock pot? Crock pots are one of those glorious inventions that's right up there with duct tape in my opinion.  So I got on the interwebs and started looking for recipes.  Then I scrapped the idea because my kids were fighting and I had other stuff to do, so I took a basic recipe, doctored it and plugged in the crock pot.

First things first, preheat the crock pot, and grease with butter.

Ingredients:
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup minced shallots (If you can't mince just chop them up the best you can)
1 cup white wine
6 cups hot chicken stock ( I make tons and freeze it, it makes your life so much easier)
1/2 cup hard stinky cheese (Romano if you like a strong cheese, Parmesan if you like salty, Parmagiano reggiano if you want traditional) grated  or shaved plus a little more for topping if desired
1/2 cup butter (I used unsalted)



Heat a pan on the stove on medium heat, add butter, when it's melted add shallots.  Cook until they turn a translucent golden color, stirring constantly so you don't burn it.  Then add rice. Stirring constantly to make sure it is all coated with butter.



Add rice mixture to the crock pot, then slowly pour in hot chicken stock, using less (start with 4 cups) for a firmer rice if desired. Stir for a minute. The rice to liquid ratio should be 1:3.  One part rice, three parts liquid. So if you want to use one cup of rice, you should be using 3 cups of liquid (mostly stock and wine to your taste.)
Add in white wine. I used some cheap Chardonnay that I got from Fresh & Easy for $1.99.  You can use just about any dry white wine. Feel free to drink the rest, I know I will. Cover the crock pot and let cook.  On high it will take about an hour, on low about 2 hours.  Even though they tell you not to do it, I'm going to tell you that it is OK to lift the lid to check to make sure the rice texture is to your liking, or to make sure the rice isn't burning. You may also stir it to help release the starch in the rice, this is what makes it creamy.. If it's too firm add more hot stock.  If it's too mushy, I'm sorry but I can't help you there, you can't fix overcooked risotto.

 Hold you breath and grate stinky cheese. I used half Romano, very strong and stinky and Parmesan, less stinky but salty.  Add to risotto just before serving, reserving about half for topping.  Or if you like a lot of cheese add it all, then put more on top.  Salt and pepper to taste. 
Serve immediately and enjoy. Makes 10 servings.  You might want to cut the recipe in half unless you are cooking for an army.

Note: If you cook this in a crock pot and do not intend to eat it all in one day, or intend to eat it immediately, it will continue to cook if you leave it in the crock pot, especially if it is still covered.