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Saturday, July 11, 2009


One of the recipes my mom taught me is how to make a basic risotto. Once you know the foundations of the dish, you can actually make several variations. The sky is pretty much the limit when it comes to deciding what ingredients can go into your risotto. I’ve made several variations and have liked every one of them. What’s even better is it is super easy to make and comes out so satisfying since it’s a hearty, one-dish meal.

Yesterday I made a mushroom and cheese risotto. It came out really well. I am going to have to learn to take better pictures because this shot does my cooking no justice! (Haha - yabang ba?)

Here’s the super simple recipe:
1.) Heat 2 tsps. olive oil and a tsp. of butter. Sauté 1 small onion (diced) and half a clove of garlic (minced).
2.) Stir in 1 and ½ cups Arborio rice. This is the only variety of rice that will work well. Make sure the rice is coated with oil and becomes clear.
3.) Here’s where you can add any ingredients you like. For this dish I added a cup of sliced crimini mushrooms and a cup of sliced white mushrooms. Sauté.
3.) Pour in half a cup dry white wine. Let the wine reduce.
4.) Ladle in 6-8 cups of warm (chicken, beef or vegetable) stock. I used chicken stock today. Add the stock a little at a time. Give the rice time to absorb the stock before adding more. Stir the pot constantly so the rice does not stick to the bottom.
5.) Add cheese and/or cream. For this dish I added a half-cup grated pecorino romano cheese and a half-cup parmigiano reggiano cheese.
6.) Salt and pepper to taste. For this dish I garnished with Italian parsley.

Other variations I’ve tried include:
Prosciutto or Canadian bacon and green peas
Smoked salmon and spinach
Shredded rotisserie chicken and diced tomatoes
Tuna flakes and pesto

So far they’ve all come out really well. I am thinking of experimenting with tomato-based risottos next. Something with crumbled Italian sausage or with seafood like mussels and shrimp. Sounds good to me but we’ll see how that works out. But for now the cheese and cream-based ones are a favorite in our home.

Please share with me your ideas for other risotto combos. Maybe something you’ve tried somewhere or just something that you think would work out well. I’d be interested to hear any new ideas!


joyeee said...

It does look good dets! :) You're such a great cook na...:) Keep it up!

mom said...

Love risottos too. It makes a good 1 dish meal, but also makes a good side with a nice roast or broiled food. I am glad you are using more and more of the recipes you have learned and improvising on different variations. Keep up with the good work.

leslie ty said...

Jo...why don't you start a catering business? =)

Joanne said...

Les, you are so funny! Talagang best friend kita kasi I'm such a novice cook and only you would ever think I could go into catering! Thanks for your faith in me! =)

leslie ty said...

hahaha =) honestly're really great! you can do catering talaga =) i bet the Filipinos in LA will LOVE your cooking =)

Anonymous said...

i like the cheese & mushroom combo too,..the recipe is simple. i will try it myself,..or u can cook that for us when i see u in a couple-muri

Joanne said...

Yay! Hi Muri. So happy to hear from you. Are you guys still coming to stay with us the end of July? I hope so!!! I'm excited to see you and Carl again. And yes, I'll cook for you when you get here. Basta you re-decorate my place ulit. (Remember how you did that when I still lived in my LA apartment?).