I personally love making risotto. It’s easy to make and it sure makes for a good excuse to procrastinate – the preparation time is short, but the actual cooking time is long. And it’s not one of those things you can really just set the timer and walk away from. You have to keep an eye on it to see if the rice has absorbed enough of the broth or not.
I’ve become really good at making a basic Parmesan risotto. My grandmother gave me the recipe the last time I was in Florida because I told her loved it so much whenever she made it. I’ve made it probably every few weeks or so since she’s given it to me. I make it so frequently, that I always make sure I have arborio rice in the house so that the only thing I need to get is an onion. It’s also really nice that my younger sister eats it too, as she’s an extremely picky eater.
Usually, the back of the risotto packages will give me recipes to make risotto. Usually they’re basic, straight forward risotto with no extra ingredients. Then, sometimes, you get the risotto packages that give you the extra ingredients. I’ve come across some before that have given me a mushroom risotto recipe, which I chose to glance over and keep it lightly in mind, just in case I wanted to try and add mushrooms to my risotto.
There was also this prepackaged Tuscan risotto I’ve seen in some advertisements on risotto packaging. I don’t know the ingredients, but I can tell you one thing – there were definitely tomatoes in that Tuscan risotto. So much so that I decided that, hey, one day, I’m going to put tomatoes in my risotto.
And that day has come! I decided to put both tomatoes and mushrooms into my risotto. I knew I would be the only one eating it, as I’m the only one in this house who likes tomatoes. And mushrooms. So I only got to share the deliciousness with myself. It was much better than I anticipated and I really wanted seconds, but I couldn’t because I was going to be eating the rest of the corn & roasted red pepper soup I made.
9 grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 small onion, diced; doesn’t really matter which onion – I personally used a yellow onion
1 teaspoon of minced garlic; more if desired (personally, I just eyeball everything because I’m too lazy to measure)
6 or 7 sliced mushrooms, diced
1 cup of arborio rice
2 tablespoons of butter
[at least] 4 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth/stock (I personally used vegetable, as I’m vegetarian, though, I’m pretty sure it’d taste better with the chicken one)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
Nutritional Yeast (optional)
Minced Onion flakes
1 teaspoon of fresh basil
1.) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2.) Peel your onion and dice it up. Place aside the pieces somewhere; at the side of your cutting board, on a plate, in a bowl, just hanging out on your hopefully clean counter. Really anywhere that will hold it.
3.) Dice up your sliced mushrooms. Put it with your onions. Plop in some minced garlic as well. I personally don’t care how much minced garlic you put in – I personally don’t measure mine. I just have a bunch of minced garlic in a plastic squeeze bottle and squeeze it 4 or 5 times.
4.) In a medium saucepan, put in the butter and at least 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Or, otherwise, do what I do, which is pour in just enough olive oil to cover the entire bottom of the pan with 2 to 4 tablespoons of butter. Turn the stove on “high” and swirl around the butter until it’s melted or almost melted.
5.) Pour in the onions, mushrooms, and garlic into the saucepan. Turn down the heat to medium. Stir frequently for about 5 or 6 minutes. The onions might shrink and that’s a-okay!
6.) Pour in the rice. Stir it for about 1 minute. After the minute is up, pat the rice down to have a flat surface. Or at least as flat as you can get it to be.
7.) Pour in the broth to JUST cover the top of the rice. Stir occasionally to see how much of the broth the rice has absorbed. This is going to take a while.
8.) While you’re waiting for the rice to soak up the broth, cut 9 grape tomatoes in half and place them on a greased cookie sheet on top of foil. Drizzle olive oil on top of them (and by “drizzle”, I mean pour a ton on because I’m too lazy to measure) and season with salt and pepper. Place them into the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. I had to bake mine for 8.
9.) When some of the broth is absorbed enough where it’s not really covering the rice that much anymore, pour in the rest if you haven’t already. Stir occasionally and wait until it’s soaked up where there’s not really any broth left. Get your cheese ready in the meantime. Measure it to be 1/2 to 2/3rd cups.
10.) When all the broth is soaked up, pour in your Parmesan cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, minced onion flakes, nutritional yeast (optional), salt, pepper, tomatoes, and basil. Mix everything together and then you’re done! Unless it’s not seasoned enough for you. Then pour in more seasoning. But I’m hoping at this point it’s seasoned enough for you.
And this is how I made my risotto today. I actually intended to make much less than I usually do (which probably has enough servings for 6 to 8 people), but I still made too much (pretty sure it could serve 2 to 4 people). I threw it out because I knew I wasn’t going to like to heat it up for tomorrow. Next time, I’ll try even less rice.
I hope you people try this one day! If you like mushrooms and tomatoes, of course. If you do make it, I’d love to see the pictures of your finished product! You can tweet me them @TrainerKelly or at my Facebook Fanpage!