Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Parmesan Risotto (with Homemade Parmesan Stock)

Ever since making this Broccolo Fiolaro Rissotto, I've wanted to make a plain cheese risotto. Through Facebook, I saw a NY Times recipe calling for Parmesan Risotto using a broth made of leftover Parmesan rinds.  (By the way, when I talk about Parmesan, I always mean either Grana Padano cheese OR Parmigiano-Reggiano, which is what I always have in the fridge and use as "Parmesan cheese".  Both are wonderful.  Right now, I have both on hand!)

When you use up a triangle of any kind of Parmesan (or other hard cheese, liked aged Asiago), you can stick the rind in the freezer to use in a soup or broth later.  I had a freezer bag that was so full of them; I was happy to use some of them up in this recipe.  The recipe calls for 12 oz. of rinds, but I upped it to a full 16 oz. just to use more.  (If you don't want to do the Parmesan stock, you could probably just use chicken broth for this recipe.)

Also, I wasn't able to take pics of this when I served it.  Risotto is best eaten immediately.  The leftovers taste great, but don't look as smooth and creamy as when it is served fresh.  (With leftovers, one can also make Arancini- fried risotto balls.)  That's why the risotto in these pics is covered with a huge pile of Parmigiano-Reggiano.  :)  Note: The original recipe calls for Saffron, and I left it out to let the Parmesan flavor shine through.
Parmesan Risotto (with Homemade Parmesan Stock)
adapted from the NY Times

Parmesan Stock:
12 ounces Parmesan rinds
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme (or dried)
3 sprigs parsley
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt, to taste

6 to 7 cups Parmesan broth, as needed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
Salt, to taste
1 ½ cups Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
½ cup dry white wine (I used Pino Grigio)
Black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan

1.  Make stock: Place Parmesan rinds, bay leaf and thyme in a soup pot or large heavy saucepan and add 3 quarts water. Bring to a simmer. Skim off foam, cover partly and simmer 1 hour over very low heat. Add parsley and garlic cloves and continue to simmer 30 minutes, partly covered. Uncover, add salt to taste, and simmer another 30 minutes.

2.  Line a strainer with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Strain stock into bowl. Refrigerate it, preferably overnight. Before reheating, remove fat from top and discard. You should have about 2 quarts broth.

3. Make the Risotto: Pour broth into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Make sure that it is well seasoned but not very salty, as it will reduce and become saltier.  Lower heat and leave on while making the risotto.

4.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in a wide heavy saucepan or soup pot (I like to use my non-stick soup pot for making risotto).   Add onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook until onion is just tender, about 3 minutes. Do not brown. Add rice and stir just until grains begin to crackle, 1 to 2 minutes. Add white wine and cook, stirring, until it has been totally absorbed.

5.  Begin adding hot broth, a couple of ladles at a time.  Broth should just cover the rice and should be bubbling. Stir often. When broth has just about evaporated, add another ladle or 2 to just cover rice. Continue to cook in this way until rice is al dente, about 20 to 25 minutes. (I cook a few minutes more so it's not too al dente, but not mushy either.)  Add a little pepper, taste and adjust seasoning.

6.  Add another ladleful of broth to the rice. Stir in butter and Parmesan and remove from heat. Mixture should be creamy. Serve right away.
**This post and photos are property of **

No comments: