champagne risotto

I love risotto at this time of year, creamy, comforting, and this particular recipe is so very elegant. It was inspired by a favorite dish from Vicki McCaffrey’s fare at the now defunct Yarrow Bay Grill …  I plan to serve it tonight with the sizzling salt & pepper shrimp!

Champagne risotto

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock 
2 tablespoons butter
1?4 cup finely chopped onion or shallot
1?2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Arborio rice *
1?2 cup Champagne
freshly grated zest of one grapefruit
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1?4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

In small saucepan, heat chicken stock just to simmer; cover and keep hot. 

In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion and salt, sauté just until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. While stirring, add rice, pouring it in “like rain,” so that each grain is separate. Continue sautéing and stirring about 4 minutes more. Rice will become slightly more opaque.  

Add champagne and grapefruit zest, stirring. As you stir, drag the spoon across the bottom of the pan; when you can see the dry pan at the bottom as you drag the spoon across, add about 1?4 cup of the hot stock. It is important not to let the rice dry out at this point. Continue cooking and stirring. Each time you see the dry pan add about 1?4 cup of stock until all of the stock has been added. Continue with grapefruit juice. This process will take about 20 minutes. Taste for doneness. The risotto should be slightly chewy in the center, or “al dente” as the Italians call it. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Correct the seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately if at all possible. If you must prepare this dish a few minutes in advance, keep warm, and stir in about 3 tablespoons of stock to restore the consistency before serving.

Makes 4 side dish servings.  


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