Thursday, June 6, 2013

Leek Risotto

I think Risotto is a great accompaniment to any meal.  Even with a folder full of various combinations of rice and vegetables, I'm always up for trying something new.  My winter leeks are done growing and I've been pulling them to make room for other plants.  A few days ago one of my favorite sites, Food52, featured a recipe for Leek Risotto...perfect timing for me.  And yes, it has been added to the folder.
Here is a new rice for you, Carnaroli.  Although I have never heard of it, according to Wikipedia, this medium grain rice which grows in Northern Italy is known as the 'king of rice' and is traditionally used for making risotto.  I always use Arborio, which I did this time and it was delicious, but will search for this firmer textured, longer grained Carnaroli.

Leek Risotto
From Food52~nicolecooks
Serves 4
   4-5 cups vegetable stock
   Extra-virgin olive oil
   3 small leeks, halved and thinly sliced
   1 shallot, minced
   1 cup Carnaroli rice-or Arborio
   1 cup white wine
   2 tablespoons unsalted butter
   1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
   1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
   Kosher salt, to taste
   Minced chives, for garnish

Place the stock on a low simmer in a stockpot and keep a ladle nearby.  Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a deep, heavy saut√© pan over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes, until translucent; do not let them brown.  Add the leeks and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the leeks have softened.  Stir in the rice and toast for 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the wine and let it simmer until the liquid is absorbed, and continue scraping the pan so that the rice doesn’t stick.  Season the rice with salt, then begin adding stock a ladle at a time, stirring often, and allowing most of the liquid to be absorbed before adding more.  The rice is cooked once the grains are al dente; this takes about 30 minutes.
Turn off the heat and vigorously beat in the butter and cheese with a wooden spoon to help it emulsify with the rice.  Add the whipped cream, then season with salt, only if needed.  Continue stirring until all the ingredients have been incorporated.  Serve immediately, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese and chives.
A tip from the author of this recipe is a trick she learned from the legendary chef Thomas Keller~~The addition of whipped cream takes this risotto to an even creamier level.  I agree.

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