I know I keep whining about it but this polar vortex/arctic blast nonsense is really cramping my style. I’m at the point where I’m completely running out of words to express my discontentment with it. On Saturday night I went to bed before 10 PM because I couldn’t muster the energy [or at least not the motivation] to put on real clothes and exit my house.
I’d love to tell you that I stayed in on Saturday night and made this risotto, but the truth of the matter is that I just ordered Chinese food for dinner [totally one of those nights]. I defintiely recommend the take-out route for a cold winter night, but if you are looking for something a little more homey, this risotto is perfect snow day food. The ingredient list is quite short, many of which you probably already have on hand. Risotto takes a little while to prep with all of that stirring, but I’m definitely not opposed to standing over my stove for a half an hour, breathing in the savory aromas, on a January night. That’s the thing about risotto, you can’t neglect it [although I hear there is a microwave variety that I have yet to try]. The creaminess comes from the gentle addition of broth, which slowly breaks down the starches in the rice, creating a rich sauce coating every grain and veggie in the dish. This is actually a pretty classic risotto combination of onion, peas, and peppers. The options are truly endless though, so give you favorite vegetables a try. Risotto works fabulously as a main course, but is also delicious served up alongside a piece of roasted salmon or your favorite chicken.
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2/3 c frozen peas
- 3 springs thyme
- heaping 1/2 cup arborio rice [short grain rice]
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Start by warming 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth in a saucepan on the stove top.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. Add the pepper, onion, and garlic, and cook for three minutes, or until the ingredients begin to soften. Add the peas and thyme, cooking and stirring gently for two more minutes. Add the rice, and toss with a wooden spoon to coat evenly with the oil. Cook for two more minutes, then begin adding the warm chicken broth. Add the broth 1/4 cup at a time, stirring continually until the broth has been mostly absorbed. Add more broth and continue the stirring until absorbed process until the risotto is very creamy and the rice is tender to the bite. The process should take about 30 minutes and you’ll use 3 1/2 – 4 cups of broth. Finally add the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese, and stir until melted and incorporated. Serve immediately.
My other favorite risotto recipe: Shrimp and Red Pepper Risotto.