Learn to make a classic risotto with a twist

Risotto made at The International Culinary Center

(CBS News) My kitchen used to be a hot mess. My food was always good, but sauce would literally be dripping off the ceiling when I was done. I never left space for myself on the counter, or on my cutting board, and dirty utensils would pile high...but it never bothered me.

Now, it's a whole different story. A messy kitchen drives me insane. How could it not, after surviving lecture upon lecture of how to set up my station and keep it compulsively clean?

These new habits were particularly apparent to me after I helped my mom cater a party for 20 of her friends. I found myself chasing her mess around, trying to clean as we went. I barely recognized myself. I mean, to me she's the best cook in the world...who cares how her kitchen looks?

Video: Lemon risotto: An easy make-ahead

But, other parts of my education were really fun to put into practice. Like tips to keep my mom's cutting board from sliding around, how long food can be kept out of the fridge and what dishes can be made in advance. Because, of course, the more we were able to make in advance, the easier it was for us later. Especially with recipes that needed a little more TLC to make: risotto, for instance.

Risotto is great for a party. You can make it in the morning when you have time (and kitchen space), and then just reheat before you serve it. Plus, it's a great canvas for seasonal ingredients.

To learn how to make a classic risotto with a twist, and how to reheat it, watch the video above.

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Lemon Risotto
Adapted from The International Culinary Center

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 lemons, zested and supremed
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley, chopped

1. Melt the butter in a shallow straight-edged pan over medium heat, then add shallots and sweat until softened.

2. Add the rice to the shallots and toast slightly. Next add the white wine and reduce the liquid until almost dry.

3. Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring frequently. Stop adding the stock when the rice is slightly al dente (has a little bite to it). NOTE: If you are cooking this in advance, stop cooking just before al dente. When you are ready to serve, heat some stock. Put the risotto in a pan, and add some hot stock. Stir vigorously.

4. Remove risotto from heat and add most of the lemon zest (reserve some of the zest for garnishing), supremes, cheese and butter. Stir vigorously to melt butter and cheese, creating a smooth, creamy consistency. Serve the risotto with a sprinkling of the reserved lemon zest and chopped parsley.

  • Alison Stravitz

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