I'm going to wax poetical about one of my favorite dishes on earth.
If you're not familiar, risotto is a simple rice dish of Italian origin. At the heart of the recipe, all you really need is some medium grain rice, a bit of olive oil or butter, broth (water is ok too), Parmesan and a pan and spoon. What emerges after about 20 minutes of adding liquid, stirring, adding more liquid, etc. is a creamy, delicious, inexpensive (1 cup rice produces enough for 4) and filling dish. The stirring releases the starch from the rice, creating a saucy consistency.
There are endless variations and techniques. One of our favorites is made with sun-dried tomatoes. Another favorite is made with sausage.
The texture is probably the hardest thing to figure out, especially if you've never had it before. You want it somewhere between a liquid and a solid. I prefer mine on the more liquid side, with just a bit of the starchy, golden liquid to pool around the edges. Soft enough that you have to eat it with a spoon. Others like theirs more on the dry side... its just something you need to figure out for yourself with experience.
To me, risotto is the ultimate comfort food. Replacing things like mashed potatoes or grilled cheese sandwiches. I can't think of anything I'd rather eat.
Leftover risotto is a pleasure in itself if you make it into arancini, a popular street food in Italy. Leftover risotto is rolled into a ball (ranging in size from an orange to a walnut) and something special is tucked inside. Mozzarella cheese, a meat filling, sometimes just a bit of tomato sauce. Then the ball of rice is rolled in flour or breadcrumbs and fried. The outside is crispy and golden, the inside is hot and molten, containing just a little of that filling to add to the enjoyment. Truly delicious!
Anyway, I'm not sure why I had the urge to share this love of mine except that so few people make risotto and are missing out :) I also haven't blogged about food in awhile and after making risotto last night, I was inspired.