Today’s recipe is a favorite of mine, for a number of reasons. First, it’s adapted from one of my favorite chefs, Jacque Pepin. He was a huge influence on my love for cooking, through his shows on PBS when I was a teen and young adult. One series, “Cooking with Claudine”, was him teaching his daughter, who was about my age, how to cook his recipes. I was hooked! Then I found out he and Julia Child were close friends, and I loved him even more. Now, I own all of his cookbooks.
Second, my husband and I both love good risotto. If you’ve ever watched any cooking competition, especially Top Chef, you know it’s easy to make a bad risotto. FYI-Tom Colicchio knows what he’s talking about. We had the risotto at his restaurant, Craftsteak, and it was incredible. The key is to let the rice absorb the broth slowly, a bit at a time. I love this recipe because it takes only about 30 minutes, and you can add whatever vegetables you’d like. So, for risotto, it’s as easy as it comes.
I’ve adapted the recipe from Jacque Pepin’s Table. By all means, check out the original!
- Heat the oil in a heavy pan, over medium heat. When translucent, add the rice to coat and toast a bit.
- Add 2 cups of chicken stock and cover the pan. Watch and stir frequently to ensure it doesn’t stick. If its absorbing quickly, add more stock, about 1/2 at a time. This should take between 10-15 minutes, at an even medium temperature.
- When the broth has been absorbed, add remaining broth, peas and tomatoes. Let simmer, uncovered until all liquid is absorbed. Risotto should be slightly loose and spread a bit when placed on a plate or in a bowl.
Note: You can add anything you’d like to this, including meat, at the third step. I will use mushrooms, asparagus, chicken sometimes. Just depends on what you have a taste for, and what you have in the house. Also, it can be finished with a little butter and grated parmesan cheese to amp up the richness.