In 48 hours, we’ll be welcoming a new year, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to celebrate.
With New Year’s Eve EVE falling on a Friday this year, you can get the party started early.
I think the first time I ever made risotto was actually on New Year’s Eve way back in the ‘90s or, as my kids say, “last century.” They love saying that. I don’t find it as amusing.
Back to the story. My good friend and upstairs neighbor, Susan, and I decided we were going to make a meal that would make all other meals from all year pale in comparison.
We were going to roast a prime rib, dress a microgreen salad with a champagne vinaigrette and make a champagne risotto. Clearly our theme was “champagne.”
The problem was that neither of us has ever made any of those dishes, aside from maybe a vinaigrette. That was no deterrent. Out came the cookbooks. We shopped at the butcher down the street for the meat. We purchased a meat thermometer. We bought bottles of good champagne to drink as well as to use in our cooking. We were ready.
I have to admit that the prime rib didn’t turn out so well. We should have paid a little more attention to the thermometer as the meat got way too overcooked while we were stirring the risotto.
The risotto, however, turned out perfectly, and I’ve made it frequently for holidays or meals when I needed a serious WOW factor ever since.
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 cups champagne, divided
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (shred the cheese yourself, from a block)
kosher salt, to taste
parmesan curls and fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
In a large, heavy stockpot, swirl the olive oil and butter; melt together over medium-low heat. When the oil is fragrant and the butter begins to bubble, add the onions and sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium-low heat until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the rice, stirring and cooking for about 4 minutes.
Add in 1 cup champagne to deglaze the pan. Turn heat to medium, and stir the rice constantly as it absorbs the liquid. Cook until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add the second cup of champagne and follow the same procedure. Repeat with the third cup.
Add the chicken broth in the same way, a cup at a time, stirring and cooking until the vast majority of the liquid is absorbed.
If your rice is too firm, add two cups of water, one at a time; stir until the rice is cooked al dente and all the liquid is creamy.
Right before serving, turn heat to low; stir in the cheese and salt. Serve immediately with curls of parmesan cheese and fresh thyme leaves.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 713, Calories from Fat: 238, Fat: 26 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 56 mg, Sodium: 1148 mg, Potassium: 267 mg, Carbohydrates: 62 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 27 g.
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