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ceejamon
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Ceejamon's Red Wine & Parmesan Risotto

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2000 of something." - Mitch Hedberg

It's purple. It's cheesy. It may look a little strange, but it's proof positive that not all rices are created equal. I was inspired by an episode of Easy Entertaining with Micheal Chiarello where I saw him make a risotto with Zinfandel. When he served it, he actually poured the wine right on top as a "garnish." Now, I wouldn't go quite that far with it, but it did get me thinking and I decided to try an old Parmesan Risotto recipe with red wine instead of white. The result was a odd looking purple risotto, but the flavor is absolutely divine and I haven't made it with white wine since.

You'll notice the pictures show our old kitchen. I took the pics a long time ago and forgot to post the recipe. I really miss that kitchen.

Ingredients:
1 cup risotto rice (Arborio)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 a large yellow onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine (Syrah)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 tablespoons butter, divided
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1 1/2 - 2 cups grated Parmesan

Arborio rice is a cultivated variety of the Oryza sativa species of rice. What makes it stand out from its sometimes bland brothers is that it has a very high starch content. It's so full of starch in fact that it literally oozes out of the grains when cooked properly. This starch-ooze makes for an insanely creamy sauce. And as our favorite inside trader would say, that's a good thing.

To get started, mince up your onion and garlic and set it aside.



Pour the chicken broth into a large saucepan and warm it over medium heat. We're not boiling it or anything, just get it hot for later use. Then, put a 10" saute pan over medium heat as well. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter.



When the butter is melted all the way add your minced onion and top with a heavy pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and the 3 dried herbs. About 4 minutes later add the garlic to the sweat. Cook another 4 minutes or so until the onions are translucent.




Next add in your rice.



Stir well until it is completely incorporated with the onion and the juices. Cook until the grains start to look pearly, which is usually about 2 minutes from the time you added them.



Pour in the wine. I prefer Syrah for this recipe, but use whatever you like. Unless you like Merlot. Only communists and unwashed villagers drink Merlot.



When the wine has been absorbed, start adding the chicken broth.



Add 1 ladle of the broth, stir until it's been absorbed, and repeat. It will take 15 - 20 minutes, but be patient and don't rush it. When the rice tastes done (which may or may not take all the broth - it depends on the rice), remove from the heat. Check for seasoning, adding salt & pepper to taste. Then, stir in 3 tablespoons of butter and two big handfuls of grated Parmesan.



Give it a minute to "set" before serving.



I usually serve this as a side dish with a hearty "comfort food" meal, but I've been known to add sauteed veggies at the end and make a vegetarian meal of it when certain friends stop in.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:21 AM ceejamon is offline  
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diearzte2
 
Doesn't your new kitchen have a gas range though? I would sacrifice a lot of quality in a kitchen for gas compared to electric.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:51 AM diearzte2 is offline  
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i know nothing about wine, but i bought a really low end bottle of merlot the other day.

what is your thought process with merlot thar?
Old 03-28-2009, 12:14 PM Jamesgott is offline  
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ceejamon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diearzte2 View Post
Doesn't your new kitchen have a gas range though? I would sacrifice a lot of quality in a kitchen for gas compared to electric.

I do have a gas range, but it's a really bad one. Set the heat on medium, and it may stay medium for 5 minutes and then turn itself up. I also have 0 counter/cabinet space in my new kitchen. My stand mixer, toaster, blender, and several baking/roasting pans are in my hall closet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesgott View Post
i know nothing about wine, but i bought a really low end bottle of merlot the other day.

what is your thought process with merlot thar?

It was a pseudo-reference to the movie Sideways. I also am just not a fan of Merlot unless it's part of a blend. It's a bit too "blah" for me unless it's a higher-end wine, and I would rather buy a an Argentina Malbec for 1/4 of the price.
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:39 PM ceejamon is offline  
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I would assume chicken broth is a stock? If it is then I can easily substitute for vegetable stock and make a vegetarian version.
Old 03-28-2009, 02:46 PM Cannondale is offline  
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Originally Posted by Cannondale View Post
I would assume chicken broth is a stock? If it is then I can easily substitute for vegetable stock and make a vegetarian version.

The difference between broth and stock is only a concern when you're talking about meat. The difference is that a stock is (typically) made from meat, roasted bones, and veggies. Broth is the same thing (typically) minus the bones, meaning it's less hearty and has a more subtle flavor.

For veggie broth/stock, I'm not sure there's really any difference at all except maybe a broth would be thinner. When I make this vegetarian, I use veggie stock (Kitchen Basis brand is my go-to veggie stock). It's quite good vegetarian, and this is coming from a carnivore.
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Old 03-28-2009, 02:52 PM ceejamon is offline  
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Cannondale
 
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It's quite good vegetarian, and this is coming from a carnivore.

Haha! That made me chuckle. 'Tis most rare that a carnivore admits to liking veggie food.

Much obliged, will try it this week.
Old 03-28-2009, 03:01 PM Cannondale is offline  
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SKYY
 
Heh...funny that you think that way about merlots. I've always thought that merlot tastes more like a bowl of water someone used to wash their grapes with, rather than a good wine.

Syrah is a favorite varietal of mine, right up there with petite sirah (yes, it's different), though I'm known to enjoy a bottle of cab every once in a while. Depends on what's for dinner, you know. Merlots and zinfindels don't typically find their way in my kitchen.

Ahh, reds. Great for cooking, even better for drinking.
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:17 AM SKYY is offline  
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Plazmattack
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That purple color is off putting.

Also, if you've made a beautiful risotto why cover it with so much cheese? I understand people like cheese, but if thats the case than let it cook into the risotto instead of covering it.

Just my opinion.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:21 PM Plazmattack is offline  
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ceejamon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plazmattack View Post
That purple color is off putting.

Also, if you've made a beautiful risotto why cover it with so much cheese? I understand people like cheese, but if thats the case than let it cook into the risotto instead of covering it.

Just my opinion.

I get a lot of funny looks when I serve up a purple risotto, but after they taste it I get no complaints. Agreed, though, that I went overboard on the parm in the final picture. I've never been one for making my cooking "pretty" and I struggle with the idea of garnish.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:31 PM ceejamon is offline  
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Plazmattack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceejamon View Post
I get a lot of funny looks when I serve up a purple risotto, but after they taste it I get no complaints. Agreed, though, that I went overboard on the parm in the final picture. I've never been one for making my cooking "pretty" and I struggle with the idea of garnish.

Think of garnish as your accessories after you've gotten ready for a proper night out on the town, fancy restaurant, theatre or the likes.

You want to dress to impress, so when you accessorize you don't want the extras to take away from the rest of the outfit. A nice watch, maybe some cuff links and a handkerchief.

You don't want to wear giant bling the way some people do. Minimalist.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:31 PM Plazmattack is offline  
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