The recipe immediately caught my eye. Upon closer inspection, I happily noticed that I had all the ingredients on hand to make it for dinner tonight. I tweaked the recipe a bit here and there to suit our tastes, and I was thrilled with the results. This dish has the luscious creaminess that you love in risotto, along with the cheesy goodness that's the hallmark of a great mac 'n cheese! This risotto is rich and delicious. Yes, it's technically a side dish -- but it's clearly meant to be the star of the show. Keeping that in mind, I served this risotto with slices of seasoned oven-baked chicken breast and a salad.
Luscious Cheddar-Shallot Risotto
adapted from Nigella Express
Step 1: Add 2 tbs. butter to a large saucepan over med-high heat. When the butter is melted, add 1 finely diced shallot. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add 1 cup arborio rice. Stir to coat the rice with the butter and toast for another 2-3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup dry white wine. Continue to cook, stirring, until the wine is completely absorbed by the rice. This should take 3-4 minutes.
Step 2: Heat 3 cups of chicken or veggie stock in the microwave until warm. Add the broth to the rice in six 1/2-cup increments. Stir continuously, until the rice completely absorbs each addition of broth. The entire process should take about 20 minutes. By the time you're down to the last two additions of stock, the risotto will be mostly cooked...but it will eventually absorb the broth. Be patient and keep stirring...put some nice music on and chill out. Making risotto is a very zen experience!
Step 3: When all the stock has been added to the risotto, the rice will be al dente...and the released starch will make the risotto luscious and creamy. Turn off the heat and add 1/4 cup cream, 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and 1 sliced green onion.
Step 4: Stir well to combine the cheese, cream, and green onion into the risotto. The cheese will melt into the risotto quite easily since it's so hot. Serve the risotto immediately; spoon into serving bowls or a plate and sprinkle with additional sliced green onion.
This risotto is sinfully rich, but it's so delicious that you want to keep on eating it! It pairs really nicely with chicken breast, but it can also be eaten on its own as is for a main dish. It's even veg-friendly if you use veggie broth in place of chicken. I was curious how cheddar cheese would work in Italian risotto, but the results were even better than I was hoping for!