Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Four Cheese Risotto
I can’t remember the first time I had risotto, but it had me at first bite. It’s so creamy and so unexpectedly delicious, it’s hard to believe it comes from a bag of arborio rice. After learning how to make risotto, I was extremely intimidated. It’s not a dish you can walk away from. It calls for your undivided attention. But trust me, the outcome is more than worth it.
I have an entire cookbook devoted to risotto. I’ve only made it twice so far, but the variety of flavor combinations is endless. My lastest one to try was Four Cheese Risotto. I had to use a few different cheeses than the recipe called for, but it was still one of the best meals I’ve made.
So, how’s it taste?
Unbelievable! Put this one on your “I must make this tonight” list. I think it was the combination of the wine (I used a chardonnay) and the gorgonzola that made this dish such a success. The flavor was pure heaven. And it’s just rice and cheese! I love cheese and anything that has four varieties in it is just meant for me to eat. I did have to make some substitutions due to my local grocery store not having some of the cheeses. I used mozzarella (fresh) instead of the fontina, and cream cheese instead of the mascarpone. The mozzarella was a bit too stringy for risotto and I feel the fontina would have made it richer. Same goes for the mascarpone. The cream cheese brought a delicate flavor, but I’d love to make this again with the other cheeses just to see how much better it can get!
The recipe featured is for the four cheese risotto. You’ll need to start with a batch of the basic risotto first. You will find a link to the printer-friendly version of the basic risotto within the recipe below. Enjoy!
Four Cheese Risotto
1 quantity basic risotto made with half vegetable bouillon and half dry white wine
1/2 cup Gorgonzola or Dolcelatte
1/2 cup Fontina or Mozzarella
1/2 cup Mascarpone
8 cups bouillon or water
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 1/4 cups arborio rice
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
1. Prepare the basic risotto recipe* using half vegetable bouillon and half dry white wine.
2. Dice or grate the cheeses and keep some aside for garnish. Mix the rest into the risotto toward the end of the cooking time, along with the Parmesan in the basic risotto recipe. Stir well until melted.
1. Bring the bouillon or water to a boil, then reduce the heat and keep simmering gently on a low heat while you are cooking the risotto. Heat the oil with 2 tablespoons of butter in a deep pan over a medium heat until the butter has melted. Stir in the onion and cook gently until soft and starting to turn golden. Do not brown.
2. Add the rice and mix to coat in oil and butter. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes, or until the grains are translucent. Gradually add the bouillon, a ladle at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs it. Increase the heat to moderate so that the liquid bubbles. Cook for 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Season to taste, but don't add too much salt as the Parmesan cheese is salty. The finished risotto should be a creamy consistency with a bit of bite in the rice.
3. Remove from heat and add the remaining butter. Mix well, then stir in the Parmesan until it melts.