Food You Can Eat: Risotto

I found this $19 rice in my cabinet, so I figured I’d better do something with it.

Paella seemed like a lot of work, so I decided on a simple risotto. I had never made risotto before, so I actually waited until the second time I made it to take pics and write a post. That way, if it was shitty, no one need know.

Readers, it was far from shitty. It was delicious. Mr. McGee said it was one of the best things I’ve ever made.

Here we go…


  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth (or another dry white wine) [I used vermouth]
  • 1 onion, chopped [I used a big ol’ onion]
  • 1-infinity cloves of garlic, depending on what you like
  • 3 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 (at least) cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

[Recipe modified from here.]

Step 1: Put your 4 cups of stock in a pan and warm it up (just below boiling)

Warm up your broth so that when you add it to the rice it takes less time to come back to temp and absorb

Step 2: Chop the onion and garlic and then saute in some olive oil

Step 3: Once soft and fragrant, set them aside in a bowl

Step 4: In the same fairly large saucepan heat up a generous slosh of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter

Step 5: Add the rice and cook over medium-ish heat until all the grains are coated in oil and it starts to smell ‘nutty’ (in a good way)

Step 6: Add your onions/garlic back in to the pan

Toasty rice and onions

Steps 6-15: This is the pain in the ass part, but it really doesn’t take that long. It should take you about 17-19 minutes all told. Add your warmed broth about a 1/2-3/4 cup at a time (I used a ladle) to the rice and cook over medium-ish heat, STIRRING CONSTANTLY. Add more broth after the previous addition is fully absorbed.

Still stirring….

Once all the broth is absorbed, take a bite and see if your rice is al dente (mostly soft with a little ‘bite’ in the center). If it is, great! If not, continue stirring and add some water until your rice is cooked. (In my case I had to add about 3/4 a cup of water.)

Remove from heat, add your parmesan cheese and stir until melted.

Almost there! Boy are my arms tired!

Last, and best, step: add another tablespoon or so of butter, pepper and salt to taste.

Try not eat it all in one sitting.

Buon Appetito!



  1. …risotto is crazy…I once had one with (of all things) strawberries in it

    …but the person who made it is a bona fide Italian so I had to take their word for it being a legitimate option…& it was indeed very tasty?

    …at least this one looks like I could make it…pretty sure I’m not about to try for the strawberry thing…it’s important to know one’s limits?

  2. When I was a kid in Chicago’s Little Italy, my grandma used to make risotto for us a lot.  I loved it.  She would fry hot pepper flakes in oil and put it in a little jar so my dad and me could drizzle it on top.  Risotto, polenta…all delicious meals for people who don’t know that they’re kind of poor.  Now I can afford expensive food, but when I go to our favorite little Italian  restaurant back in Chicago, I know that the lady who runs the kitchen will make me a plate of peasant food and I am completely  happy.

  3. I’ve done risotto using the pain-in-the-ass method, but honestly I’ve found it’s completely passable to just cook the rice in the stock normally, then add the onion/garlic/butter/shitload of Romano.  If you look in the dictionary under “Lazy”, you’ll see a picture of me there.

    • I make a lot of “Italian” food (in quotes, because I am not of Italian descent and the ingredients I use are not actually from Italy). I always figure if a teenager could make the stuff 300 years ago so can I! Risotto is kind of a pain in the neck because of all the constant stirring but well worth it. I usually make enough that it’s a full meal and add chicken and mushrooms. I’ve also made seafood risotto (which is veering into paella territory) but that’s incredibly rich. 

Leave a Reply