Monday, December 5, 2011
Dec 1 Butternut Squash Pear Soup and a big salad
Dec 2 Dinner with The Neighbours
Dec 3 Beet Risotto
Dec 4 Shack made pasta with meat sauce
When your 12 year old requests beet risotto, you make him beet risotto. You don't ask questions, you just say yes, of course I will make you beet risotto.That is all I have to say about that.
So, about the actual risotto, all the recipes I saw called for peeling, chopping and roasting the beets before hand and then mixing them into the almost finished risotto but I didn't want to go to all that trouble AND I wanted the risotto to have a really pretty, strong colour. I decided instead to grate the beets and cook them right in the rice and I also threw some beet as well as the stems into the stock for good measure to make the stock red and beety. I think I made the right choice because the colour on this risotto was insane - Little Shack said it's the perfect Christmas dish what with the beautiful deep red from the beets and the dark green from the beet greens making it all festive. I put aside a tiny bowl, thankfully, because between the two of them, they hoovered the entire thing. I was lucky to get a small bowl for myself alongside the tiny portion I hid so I could get a picture the next day. I am actually pretty exited that now, on the home stretch in our year long challenge, I am actually still making stuff that I know will become life long family favourites.
WIN WIN WIN
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups of chicken stock
3 small beets with greens attached
1 tbls butter
1 tbls olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper
3 tbls cold butter
3/4 cup grated grano padano
a drizzle of truffle oil
Put the stock in a large pot. Chop the stems and greens off of the beets and add the stems to the pot of stock. Wash and chop the leaves and set aside.
Peel the beets and grate on a large box grater and set aside. Throw the nubs leftover into the stock pot.
Finely chop the shallots and throw the skins and any scraps into the stock pot.
Heat up the stock pot on a back burner until it comes to barely a simmer. On the front burner, heat the oil and butter in a deep sauté pan and cook the shallot and garlic for about 4 minutes. Add the arborio rice and stir constantly for about 2 minutes, until the rice is opaque.
This is when you add the wine and stir until the wine is almost completely absorbed. Start adding stock, one ladle full at a time. After the first ladle, add the grated beets. Keep stirring, pretty much constantly for another ten minutes, adding a ladle full of stock when the rice absorbs the last addition.
At the halfway mark, about ten minutes in, add the reserved, chopped beet green leaves. Keep adding a ladle of stock until it is absorbed and stirring non stop, making nice figure eights, for a bother ten minutes for a total of about 20 minutes of cooking time. Salt and pepper to taste.
When the risotto is finished (it should be a tiny bit soupy and the rice should still have a bit of bite to it - just keep tasting as you go but it will almost always take between 18 and about 23 minutes) take it off the heat and add in the cold butter and the grano paddano and stir vigorously until all the cheese is incorporated and the butter is melted.
Don't worry if you don't have truffle oil because this stuff is so delicious that you don't really need it but I have some so I use it.
Serve in shallow bowls.