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Friday, 27 March 2015

Delicious Risotto!!!

Risotto is one of those easy to whip up dishes where you get an all-inclusive sort of meal. The kids all love it, and I vary what vegetables and meats get thrown in based on what I have around, although what I've listed here is the most typical sorts of things I add in.  I've also listed at the bottom an easy way to make fresh chicken broth that you can use for things like this risotto.  Enjoy!
Gluten Free Risotto with ham and spinach
Fresh risotto with onion, spinach, ham and parmesan cheese. Yum!

Delicious Risotto!
Serves 4

Heat in a large frying pan over medium heat:
1-2 Tbsp olive oil

Add and cook 2-3 minutes:
1 onion or two large shallots, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced (optional)
1 carrot, peeled and grated (optional)

Push vegetables to the side, then add and let saute 1-2 minutes:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup arborio risotto

Add 3 cups chicken broth *see note below, 1 cup at a time over about 15-20 minutes.  Stir regularly and let most of each cup of liquid absorb before adding the next.

You can make the risotto creamier or more dry depending on how much liquid you let absorb/cook off during this time.
Just after adding the last cup of broth - I added the spinach a bit earlier here, to let it really soften.
Risotto made with homemade chicken broth, which included some cooked carrots and extra onions - this required a bit more cooking to let the liquid absorb. In this case, I didn't add grated carrot because I already had cooked carrot from the broth - it also gives the risotto more of a orange color. 

When you're almost done cooking, add:
1/2 - 1 cup cooked chicken, diced OR 1/2 cup diced sliced ham or turkey
1 cup finely chopped spinach (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

Remove from heat and stir in:
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, diced (optional, makes for a thicker, cheesier risotto)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (optional, but adds a great flavor and I almost always add a bit of parmesan to my risotto)
Gluten Free Cheesy Risotto with ham and spinach
Thicker, cheesy risotto when you add both mozzarella and parmesan.  Leave out the mozzarella if you're using this as a side dish, or you'll end up with too heavy a dish.
Gluten Free Cheesy Risotto with ham, spinach and parmesan
After folding in some parmesan, ready to eat!

*Note about chicken broth: You can make your own broth if you cover a chicken carcass with water and add some sliced carrots, onions, salt, pepper, parsley, pinch of tumeric and paprika. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let things simmer for a couple hours. This is great because after letting things simmer for a couple hours, you will have a rich, tasty chicken broth.  Often, the onions and carrots are well-cooked, and can easily be added right into the risotto as well - perfectly soft and great if there are little kids around.  You can also use GF boullion or my favorite, use mushroom seasoning to make your broth. 

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