The Weekend Gourmet: Luscious Cheddar-Shallot Risotto... F

Friday, February 25, 2011

Luscious Cheddar-Shallot Risotto...

Two of my favorite indulgent side dishes are creamy risotto and homemade macaroni and cheese. What if I told you there's a way to combine these dishes into a fusion hybrid that captures the flavors of both in one delicious recipe? Leave it to the oh-so-fabulous Nigella Lawson to create a risotto made with cheddar cheese instead of the typical parmesan. I was flipping through Nigella Express last night looking for some kitchen inspiration when I found her recipe for Cheddar Cheese Risotto.

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!

17 comments:

  1. Heaven! Risotto and mac & cheese in one - what could be better? I will definitely try this! Thanks to you and Nigella!

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  2. You and I think a lot alike here! What a great creamy treat!

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  3. Who wouldn't love this! It looks divine!

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  4. oh! i wsh i wan't stuck in my house with none pf the ingredients except cheese. looks like a perfect snow day dish!

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  5. Never had risotto with cheddar, although I don't see why not! (I guess the Italian purist influence of my husband). This is as delicious as it looks, I'm sure, and I love the addition of the shallots.

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  6. This risotto looks creamy and delicious :).

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  7. Rosotto + Mac n cheese... wow!! Yes please!! I discovered risotto about 10 years ago and absolutely adore it. Mac n cheese is also a favorite and just might make this one a treat for the whole family!

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  8. I love risotto, because it's so versatile, and delicious, no matter what you add to it, including cheddar cheese. You could even add veggies, gasp! Great pics

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  9. I've never made risotto at home but this recipe I would love to try!! YUM! I'm bookmarking this! :) - Katrina

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  10. If you've never made risotto at home, don't be intimidated. It's not hard...it just requires patience and a bit of stirring. Like I said in the post? Put on some nice jazz -- I love Miles Davis when making risotto and stir, stir, stir. Since you have to open the bottle anyway, a nice glass of white wine is great company for risotto making as well ;)...

    This risotto is so good that you want to keep eating it, even after it's gone! I can vouch that it even reheats well since I ate the leftovers for lunch yesterday. I made this with a shredded four-cheese blend from Kraft "with a touch of Philly cream cheese", so that helped with the creaminess, I'm sure. I can't wait to make this again!

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  11. Love risotto, but never thought to add cheese to it. Great idea!

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  12. I just made risotto this week and LOVE it! This sounds like a great recipe. Thanks for linking to Saturday Swap!!!

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  13. Always up for a new risotto recipe. This looks delicious!

    Jo

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  14. I could easily eat this alone for lunch or dinner! But I guess some veggies and protein would be good too :-) Your bowl looks so flavorful and creamy. The best comfort foods rolled into one! Thanks for sharing tonight!I hope you have a restful Sunday full of love and laughter!

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  15. I have never tried Risotto before...thanks for the recipe! Blessings from East Texas, K

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  16. I use shallots WAY more than onions! I love their gentle flavor. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

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