Risotto holds a special place in my heart: it was one of the first dishes I cooked for my family on Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago, that everyone was impressed with(myself included!); it was my first night in Ristorante da Fiore in Venice(if you don’t know, was named the fifth best restaurant IN THE WORLD!) and I was expected to cook risotto for a customer in 17 minutes-no pressure-I completed in, just over 17 minutes.
I decided to make this traditional Italian dish, but with a twist-I used Irish cheddar instead of the usual Parmesan (the guys at da Fiore are probably laughing at me!). It came out really really really nice, but really heavy-so a small bowl will do! I also made way too much of it but lunch and dinner over the next couple of days was sorted!
In some way, risotto is a labor of love, but I also find it quite therapeutic. You can totally forget about whatever stresses and worries you have over the stove.
Here’s the recipe for cheddar and thyme risotto: (Serves about 4)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion diced
1 clove of garlic
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups of hot stock (I used vegetable, but you can use chicken, beef, etc)
3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese (I used Carbery sharp cheddar)
1 bunch of thyme (remove leaves from stems)
In a medium saucepan, melt a tablespoon of butter and oil. Add onion and garlic, sweat until soft. Add the rice, give a stir so the rice is well coated (about a minute or two). Add the wine, and cook for another two minutes. Then add the stock, ONE CUP AT A TIME, allowing the stock to be fully absorbed. You’ll want the rice to be just tender and creamy (about 20 minutes). Add the thyme and grated cheese, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, give another mix, and serve hot!