March was pretty chilly in the midwest. In our home, we have yet to transition out of our favorite cold weather recipes. Just a week ago, on a day off, Guy left in the afternoon to watch one of his students play in his first division one baseball game. I decided to stay home and proceeded to throw on some music, pulled out our dutch oven, and got to work.
It was a sweetly quiet afternoon. Slow as they come. The delicate (and often too time consuming) process of cooking Risotto was the perfect recipe for our evening.
I chopped, poured, stirred, sautéed, and stirred a little more. A glug of white wine. A few cups of broth. And a continuous watchful eye to stir when needed. I finished it off with mushrooms and peas sautéed lightly in butter and another glug of white wine.
My husband arrived home just as I was plating the dish. His words I quote, "there was an entire inning and a half that I only thought about how good Risotto was going to taste." And according to my husband, this recipe lived up to his expectations. And it was the perfect amount of comfort on a these chilly spring days.
For your upcoming slow and chilly spring days:
RISOTTO WITH MUSHROOMS & PEAS
Adapted from Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist (she is the Risotto queen!)
- 6 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1 Onion
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- White Wine
- 2 Cups Arborio Rice
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
Pour chicken broth into a small pot and warm on medium-low heat. Chop the onions into thin strips and throw into a dutch oven or stock pot with a thin layer of olive oil. Let the onions soften on medium to medium-low heat. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the garlic. Add the garlic to the onions and saute until the onions are translucent, about 3-5 minutes more. Once translucent add the arborio rice. When the rice is well coated in the oil and onions, add around a cup of white wine and stir. Continue to stir as the wine is absorbed. Then add a cup of chicken broth and stir.
Risotto is a slow dish that gets richer over time. Settle into your kitchen, pop on some music, and take a few breaths. As the risotto begins to absorb the chicken broth continue to add more broth. You don't want the Risotto to become overly dry or drowning in broth. Slow and steady is how this process works. Add about 1-cup of chicken broth at a time, stir when adding, leave on medium to medium-low heat, and stir more. The process takes anywhere from 25-35 minutes total.
While the Risotto is cooking, in another pan add a tablespoon of butter, toss in your mushrooms, and let the heat work it's magic. When soft, add a cup of frozen peas and another glug of wine. Let simmer on low heat.
The Risotto is complete when it is soft to the taste and just a bit crunchy on the inside. At this point toss the mushrooms and peas into the Risotto, liquid and all. Add a handful of parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.