Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stirring Springtime Risotto

You can make a lot of decisions while stirring the springtime risotto.

For instance: "Claudia Haas, Director" - no more! After a wonderfully electrifying week with rehearsals, tech/dress, preview and opening of the Lakeshore Players Ten-Minute Play Festival, I am done directing. I am also letting the Festival go. I created the Festival 6 years ago. It grew legs and moved out on its own. It's now part of the season at Lakeshore Players. A sell-out. Time to let it live its life. Next year, I will buy a ticket, sit anonymously in the back and enjoy.
`
As I stirred the risotto this weekend I thought. Pondered. I don't want to direct other people's plays anymore. I will only direct my own. And will spend the bulk of my time creating them. No more "jack of all trades." "Mistress Playwright" only from now on.

The sweet, spring peas appeared at the Farmer's Market. It's a sure sign I will make risotto. It is a promise that for this luxurious dish - I will not skimp. Only the best ingredients. After all, sweet peas do not make an appearance every day in Minnesota.
`
Springtime Risotto Ingredients - serves 6 to 8 as a side dish
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (although virgin is just fine for this)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 5-6 cups best quality chicken broth (is using canned, Swanson's organic is much more flavorful than their regular)
  • 2 cups peas - fresh or frozen; if frozen use small organic ones - they are sweeter
  • 1 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano (go for the imported)
I was feeling indulgent so I stirred in 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano butter at the end. I also don't season with salt and pepper. You decide.
`
Warm your chicken broth (just till simmering). Grate your cheese. Briefly cook your peas in a bit of water. Don't let them get mushy. You want the creamy risotto with just a slight chew of the rice kernel. The sweetness of the peas with each bite. Shred your Parmigiano-Reggiano for the earthy, nutty taste. The dish is a festival of flavors.

Heat your olive oil. Briefly saute your minced shallot (20-30 seconds). Add your rice and stir to cover each kernel with olive oil. Then ladle in your first 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Stir. Till absorbed.



Ladle in some more and stir. Now you do not have to stir constantly for 30-40 minutes straight. Stir in the broth and stay close. As soon as the broth is absorbed, you will need to add more. But while stirring the risotto, I made some Chicken Dijon and panna cotta with rhubarb compote. I checked e-mails. I decided to stop directing.


All while adding new broth and stirring it in.

When the rice has given up its starch and made the transformation into being surrounded by creamy goodness, you will remove it from the heat and add the peas. It will take anywhere from 30-40 minutes. Do not rush it. Luxuriate in the process. Watch it unfold. It's theatre. It's an emerging butterfly.

The amazement: luxurious risotto from hard kernels.


Add your Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir well.


If using, add your two tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano butter or plain butter. Serve immediately.


Intoxicating comfort on a plate. Make a life decision.

Savor what's good.

43 comments:

Bridgett said...

Your springtime risotto looks perfect and creamy. Good luck in directing your own plays...how exciting!

Monet said...

I love risotto, especially in the spring. Congratulations on your next step...I'm sure you will continue to do great things!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Claudia I have never seen a creamier risotto! It looks so delicious. Where have I been my whole life not knowing there is such a thing as Parmigiano-Reggiano butter? I usually add a few drops of white truffle oil into my risotto but I'm sure your butter made it even creamier.

It is good soemtimes not to wear too many hats. Writing and directing only your own plays sounds like a good change to me, and I wish you continued success!

PS: Montauk Point is about a two and a half hour ride for us from Brooklyn (120 miles) While not close it is worth the trip as it's a different world once we get out there!

Foodessa said...

Yes Claudia...you go girl...take a stand. You sowed the seeds...you've done great...and it's time to move on.
I totally get that. This year, I too have taken a big break from being the go to organizer!
Now, about that, creamy risotto...how really tasty it looks.
I was also wondering if you ever considered or have tried 'Carnaroli' rice in place of Arborio.
Personally, once I tried it I never went back to that very known and dependable Arborio.
Thanks for sharing all those lovely flavours.
Ciao for now, Claudia

5 Star Foodie said...

What a lovely risotto - it looks perfectly creamy and sounds so good with peas!

janet said...

Claudia you have made such enormous contributions, I am glad you will now do what you love most-writing and directing your own plays.
Your risotto looks so creamy and the spring peas, wow! Stirring and cooking it does leave one with time to think, good time to contemplate life decisions.

Choices said...

Your risotto looks so delicious. I must try this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.

Adventures in Domestic Cooking said...

Wow, this looks so good.
I've been dying to make Rissotto forever!!

Mister Meatball said...

Bellisima!

My peas are but weeks from ready, and I have the same butter in the fridge!

Last year I made fresh pea and ricotta ravioli. This year a risotto is due, I think.

Pam said...

Your risotto looks delicious, so creamy and good! I've never made it and it scares me just a bit. It's so delicious though and I will have to try this. Great job with the festival! Way to go!

Sook said...

I love risotto! Yours looks creamy and delicious.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow, a whole new beginning for you and a wonderful future ahead. But that risotto looks so luscious maybe you should rethink and open a risotteria.

Juliana said...

Claudia, your risotto looks so delicious, creamy...and full of flavor...it is a must try :-)

Jen_from_NJ said...

Go Claudia! - you should definitely follow your heart and do the work that you love. Your risotto looks perfect - I love the peas in there.

pegasuslegend said...

Amazing looking, I know you won't believe this but I have never had or made Risotto. You have diffinitely inspired me to make this now looks awesome as I know it must be....your so talented in so many ways!

Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog said...

So wonderful Risotto so creamy and cheesy!

Claudia I've great news for you!! Check out my last post and I've sent you an email.

All the best,

Gera

Cinnamon-Girl said...

Your risotto is stunning! So rich and comforting. Good luck with your new decision/change in your life Claudia! I'm behind you all the way!

Jeannie said...

Wow! your risotto turned out so perfect! I must say they do look very inviting!

Wanda said...

Change is good, especially changes decided upon while stirring Risotto!

Wishing you all the best Claudia.
♥...Wanda

Donna-FFW said...

Wishing you all the best with the changes, Claudia. Your risotto.. you described it beutifully.. intoxicatingly comforting, love that line.

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

I love how simple and comforting this looks. I've NEVER seen the parm-butter before! I'll have to go looking or that. Great Post!

Fresh Local and Best said...

The texture of plump fresh peas makes a difference doesn't it? This looks like such a wonderful, creamy and delicious risotto. Bravo Claudia!

Viviane @ Taste-Buds said...

Great looking risotto. I have tried risotto with peas and some other veggies before it is a great combo. The fresh peas are the best I agree with you, they don't get that stale taste when cooked.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a lovely risotto with the pretty green peas. I know you'll be a success with your play.

fromBAtoParis said...

If there is one thing I LOVE on this Earth is risotto, and yours looks great....Good luck on your new project!!
You seem to be a person with a lot of potential !!!

Faith said...

I know what you mean about spring peas -- I look forward to them the rest of the year when they're not in season! :) I bet they're perfect in this risotto.

Nadji said...

Un risotto printanier et certainement délicieux.
A bientôt.

myfrenchkitchen said...

What a lovely spring risotto! Nothing beats those sweet young peas to bring spring home to us. And your risotto looks so deliciously creamy...you're right: "make life a decision"..I love this expression!
ronelle

myfrenchkitchen said...

PS: good luck on creating your own plays..way to go!
Ronelle

Chow and Chatter said...

yum love risotto like this

Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog said...

Claudia I've sent you 2 emails from my email address sweetsfoods (at) sweetsfoods.com to your email mattkirs@msn.com because they need the shipping information to send the Balsamic vinegar giveaway. Please answer to me.

Thanks. Gera

Claudia said...

Thanks Gera - I replied each time. The fifth time seems to have done it.

Barbara GF said...

I am counting the days for my shell peas to ripen for this most outstanding of dishes, Claudia. Stirring risotto certainly does leave one time to ponder; sounds like you have listened to your heart. Fabulous!

Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog said...

Thankfully all is done about the giveaway!

Ruth said...

The perfect risotto, the perfect cheese and here's to 6 years of directing your own plays!! A very wise decision indeed!!

Sophie said...

Good for you, dear Claudia, that you are moving on!!

You are such a good creator, You have done more then your best!!

This springtime risotto surely makes my day!!

MMMMMMM,..I only love good home made risotto's made with the best ingredients!

eleni said...

Risotto con i piselli... I love this dish!!

Angie's Recipes said...

You even used the fresh peas! I usually just get the frozen one. This looks so satisfying!

3 hungry tummies said...

I would love to be at the event! I have been cooking risotto for the past week, would love your opinions when I get them posted. Oh arancini too :)
Peas risotto always says 'spring' !

OysterCulture said...

Congratulations on making those big steps, I cannot wait to hear more about your plays, and if I am ever in MN when you have one showing, I'd love to attend.

Your risotto looks amazing! I love the butter addition, so decadent and so tasty.

Rach said...

This risotto looks so cheesy and yummy :) I loved it. I love Italian food and this blog has lovely collection of recipes.

casalba said...

Side dish? That risotto should take centre stage!

My Little Space said...

Claudia, I think it's time for you to take a good rest and enjoy life for a while. Have fun and enjoy your day!
Cheers, Kristy