Author Notes: I saw somebody cook polenta this way once. I got to thinking one of the reasons I don’t like cooking risotto is I like to serve it as a starter. Twenty minutes of stirring pretty much commits you to that dish and I would rather be having a glass of wine with my guests while attending the entree. In steps the nonstick skillet. Although I don’t like them they do have their place. I also have a baking stone that never leaves the oven and I set the pan on the stone. So you may need to add a minute or two to the cooking time if you don’t have a stone. I actually think I like this method best of all I have tried, the risotto is creamy and juicy and ready to soak up the cream and cheese. Ideal risotto to me has a thickened sauce that just creeps from the edge of the rice and rice that will just start flatten out on the plate not just stay in a mound. I blanched a couple of stalks of asparagus for the garnish and pulled aside some whole cooked morels for the same purpose. —thirschfeld
tablespoons unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon
cups carnirola rice
cup dry white wine
cups chicken stock, hot
cups morels, rinsed of grit and dried, rough chop
pound thin asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
cup heavy cream
cup manchego cheese, grated
Kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper
- First check the date on your rice, mine is always out of date. If its over a year throw it out and go get in your car and get new rice. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- You need a tight fitting lid for your saute pan. Place a 12 inch nonstick saute pan over high heat.
- Add the butter and when it stops bubbling and just takes on a little brown add the rice. Stir to coat each grain with the butter.
- Add the chopped mushrooms and garlic. Stir and once the garlic becomes fragrant add the white wine. Let it reduce and burn off the alcohol. Then add the stock
- Bring the stock to a boil, cover the pan and place it into the oven. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
- When there is about 4 minutes cooking time left place a small saute pan over high heat. Add the remaining table of butter and saute the asparagus until tender.
- Remember the saute pan is hot so you will want a dry towel or oven mit in hand. Remove the saute pan from the oven and place over medium heat. Stir in the cheese, asparagus and cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper. Serve immediately.