I was home alone with “the boy” the other night.
The picky boy.
The boy who only ate about three things until he went to school and had to eat in the cafeteria. Then he ate four things. He’s expanded his horizons a bit since then, but I’m always a little nervous trying out new dishes on him. He’d much prefer chicken strips, mashed potatoes and corn.
But tonight I scored bigtime!
He looked up from his plate and said “Hey mom, this rice stuff is good!”
And that my dears, is about the biggest compliment you’ll get from a sixteen year old boy.
The “rice stuff” he was “waxing eloquent” about, was risotto. Once you figure out the basic steps to rissoto, you can make it a variety of ways. Start with an oil, add aromatics, toss in the Arborio rice, some wine or broth and then add one cup of broth at a time until the risotto is thick and creamy from releasing its glorious starches. Just before it finishes, add in any variety of good things and add in some cheese and maybe a little cream at the end.
I was thinking about spring and the veggies that are coming. Asparagus, baby artichokes, and peas! By jove, that’s it! The boy actually likes peas now!
Don’t let not having fresh peas put you off. I actually used frozen as of course, they’re not available yet fresh and it was really good. But when those fresh peas come baby..watch out! This is going to be fan-tab-u-lous!
So you start by putting five cups of chicken broth on a the stove in a saucepan.
Get it nice and hot, but don’t let it boil. You’ll need this ready in another stage of the game.
Now, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Also, add in two tablespoons of olive oil.
Chop up a half of an onion and toss it in. Keep your heat on medium and saute the onion, stirring it around a bit until it’s transluscent but not browned. This will take around five minutes.
Once the onion is nice and soft, add in two chopped cloves of garlic. Stir this around for another minute. You won’t believe the smell. Love the smell of onions and garlic having a happy marriage together!
Now add in your Arborio rice. You can find this rice now in most stores and I highly suggest you don’t try this with regular rice. It just won’t be the same. Use a cup and a half of rice and stir the rice into the onions and garlic and oils, making sure it gets coated really well.
Then stir it for a minute more.
Now add in one cup of your broth. I just use a ladle and put it in one ladle at a time.
It’s important to be a frequent stirrer from this point on. Stir your rice around and let the broth soak into the rice.
When the liquid is practically gone, add some more broth.
And keep stirring.
Continue on repeating this process until you’re down to your last cup of broth. Now we’re going to change things.
Peas. Lovely peas.
If you’re using fresh peas, simply hull and rinse them off. If you’re using frozen peas, rinse them under warm water until thawed, let drain, and you’re good to go.
Add in your last cup of broth and your peas.
Stir until the broth absorbs again.
Then add in one cup of parmesan cheese and one-half teaspoon of black pepper.
I didn’t add the salt at this point, because the parmesan is salty. Then I tasted and decided to add one-half a teaspoon of salt. It’s really your preferance.
If you want some added creaminess, at this point, stir in one-fourth cup of heavy cream, half-and-half or whole milk.
Spoon into a serving bowl.
Just imagine the creaminess of the rice with the fresh pop of the peas. all surrounded by cheesy goodness.
Served alongside honey-teryaki glazed chicken, this was fabulous!
The boy was right.
This rice stuff is good!
Katie’s Printable Recipe – Spring Pea Risotto