Risotto: My favorite starch. This hearty dish is the perfect vessel for making whatever happens to be lingering in my fridge into a rich, creamy bowl of comfort food in under thirty minutes. In our house, risotto is served for dinner at least once a week.
To be frank. the magic of risotto happens more in the technique than anything else. Although there are endless combinations of "add-ins" to make your risotto shine, the basic method here remains the same. I encourage you to try your hand at any number of variations ( I find that lemon and asparagus is delightful for a spring dinner ). My usual "house" risotto is a spinach, pea, and mushroom version, but since we've been on a bit of a chile kick recently, I thought I'd shake things up and test the limits of this Italian classic with the sweet flavor of Ancho chiles and the smoky paprika infused warmth of a cured Spanish chorizo.
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 8 oz cured chorizo, chopped
- ½ cup onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- ¼ cup green onions. sliced
- ½ cup pecorino romano cheese
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup dried ancho chiles, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
In a medium sauce pan, combing the chiles and the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and keep at a simmer throughout the cooking process.
In a different sauce pan set over medium high heat, brown the chorizo. Remove the chorizo, once browned, and wipe out the pan to remove excess grease. It doesn't have to be spotless, but you don't want puddles of fat leftover.
In what was formerly the chorizo pan, set the heat to medium, and sauté the diced onions ( not the green onions) and garlic in the olive oil until the onions look clear.
In that same pan, add the arborio rice, and stir to coat. Toast the rice in the onion, garlic, oil mixture, stirring frequently, until the rice turns from a matte white to a glossy, semi-see through white. This will take around 3 minutes. Make sure NOT to brown the rice during this time.
Once your rice has toasted, add the white wine and stir to combine. Cook until the wine has reduced by at least 50%, stirring frequently.
Now, add 1 cup of the simmering chile vegetable broth to the rice, and stir. Continue stirring, slowly, until the broth reduces and is almost completely absorbed into the rice mix. Eventually, the rice will make a hissing sound as your are stirring and it hits the bottom of the pan. This is how you will know to add more broth. Repeat with the remaining broth, one cup at a time, until all of the broth has been added. Make sure to add any lingering bits of chile in the broth, too.
Once you add the last cup of broth, immediately add the chorizo, green onions, and pecorino romano cheese. Continue stirring until most of the broth is absorbed, and the rice has a creamy, starching gravy around it.
Serve with sliced green onions.