Everyday Inspirations

 
 
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Last night my sweetheart, Dan, and I celebrated his birthday by making risotto for the first time. For those of you who aren't familiar with risotto, it is an Italian rice dish that is traditionally cooked with broth and flavored with cheeses, spices, and meats. It is creamy and unique, and I look forward to experimenting with it in the future.

I won't pretend I knew how to make risotto before last night. I had rediscovered a recipe for champagne risotto earlier this week in one of my cookbooks and decided it would be a perfect dish for the birthday festivities. (The book is Everyday Pasta, by Giada de Laurentiis, whom I adore and would love to grow up to be.)

I was prepared for a more complicated dish, but risotto is surprisingly easy. The key to the dish is patience, because it does take time to wait for each addition of broth to be absorbed by the Arborio rice. However, our reward was a rich, incredible dish flavored by champagne, fresh Parmesan cheese, and prosciutto. And let's not leave out the gorgeous green asparagus, which brightened up what I hope is one of the last cold, white days in Utah.

After our main course, we read though the different kinds of risotto that can be made by substituting ingredients to the recipe we used. One of these dishes was a sweet risotto flavored with cinnamon, peaches, and brandy. We immediately went to the store, picked up the ingredients, and made dessert. We substituted heavy cream for the stock and (obviously) the brandy for the champagne, and still used butter to slightly toast the rice. I recommend sweetening your cream with sugar as you add it to the rice and to keep tasting the mixture to make sure it doesn't become too sweet.
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4/1/2010 01:10:30 am

Love it! LOVE it! Next time make it for me! :)

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ash
4/2/2010 06:35:13 am

You got it! ;)

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