So I’m somewhat settled in now, even though the past two days have not been the smoothest of transitions. First, there’s the fact that I don’t have anywhere to actually unpack anything so I will be living out of a box until I move into my real place in a month. And I also may have had a mini-meltdown when my parents suggested that I leave my cookbooks piled on a table in the basement rather than actually give me a shelf (that’s all I ask for!) to neatly place them on. I don’t think they realize how important those things are to me (although I managed to get half a shelf in the end). But other than that, we’re all getting used to each other again. I’m so used to living by myself and on my own terms that it’s hard for me to remember to be accomodating. I’m also a very schedule-oriented person and my mom is a very play-it-by-year person, so we both need to compromise a bit. I think being able to go for a run yesterday calmed me down, as did my trip to Trader Joe’s. Grocery shopping always puts me in a good mood.

I’ve known that I wanted to try my hand at a risotto for a long time but I had two things stopping me – the white wine and the parmesan cheese. See, risottos are so simple and require so few ingredients that you really need to use some good quality stuff. Unfortunately, I don’t really drink wine very often so I rarely have any on hand and good quality parmesan cheese can get pretty pricy. Luckily, however, my parents are avid wine drinkers and they also have no qualms about spending $13 a lb on high end parmesan cheese from the local Italian supermarket. So there IS a silver lining to this whole moving back to NY thing – I can steal parmesan cheese and alcohol from them whenever I so desire!

When I told my parents I was making risotto, they were all for it so I decided to make enough for the whole family. I originally intended to make a butternut squash risotto but my dad made a face at it, so I switched to a pea risotto. They also insisted there be some kind of meat in it, so I added some diced chicken. Notice how accomodating I was?

The end result: This was really good. The parmesan and white wine really came through and the sweetness of the peas nicely complemented the saltiness of the other ingredients. My mom couldn’t eat it with the rest of us but when I asked her how she liked it later in the night, her eyes lit up and she said she had been gushing about it to one of her friends on the phone just a few minutes after eating it. The true sign of success, however, is that the pan was licked clean. Joanne: 1, Picky Eaters: 0.

I am submitting this to Meeta’s Monthly Mingle. The theme this month is Ravishing Rice and it will be hosted by Nags of Edible Garden.

Pea and Chicken Risotto
Serves 5, adapted from Got No Milk
2 cups arborio rice
1 lb chicken
1 lb frozen peas, thawed
3/4 cup white wine
1 quart chicken broth
3 oz parmesan cheese
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
1. Cut the chicken into dice-sized pieces. Salt and pepper it. Heat some cooking spray in a small pan and saute the chicken until cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Cut the onion into small pieces and mince the garlic. In a pot, heat the chicken broth.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Saute the onion and garlic for 10 minutes on medium-low heat (or until soft). Add the rice and cook, continually stirring, for 1 minute.
4. Add the white wine and cook until absorbed. Add one ladle of the chicken broth. Stir until all of the chicken broth is evaporated. Then add another ladle-ful. Keep doing this until all of the broth is used up. By the end, the rice should have formed a thick, glutinous mixture. Add the peas and chicken, a tad bit of salt and pepper to taste. Heat through.
5. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese and butter. Taste again for seasoning.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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22 Responses to My First Risotto

  1. Megan says:

    How nice that everything worked out in the end – including dinner. Easy compromise, right? 🙂

  2. Ty'sMommy says:

    Congrats on your first risotto! I just love risottos. Not that you had any leftovers to work with, but something I have found that is FABULOUS about risottos, if you have leftovers, is to take it out of the fridge in the morning and form it into patties, adding mor parmesan to thicken it if you need to, then roll it in cheese or breadcrumbs and fry them up in a skillet. VoILA! Breaffast risotto patties! I do this with a creamy leek risotto, and add breakfast sausage to the leftovers, roll in parmesan and fry. Absolutely YUMMY!

  3. Justin says:

    cookbooks can’t live in the basement! good luck on future risottos, by the way.

  4. Natashya says:

    I love risotto, looks great!
    I guess compromising is better than paying rent!

  5. Kim says:

    That’s one good looking risotto!! Sorry about the cookbooks : ( Maybe you can pile them all up by your bed?? My husband always teases me about all the cookbooks piled around the bed and the couch.

  6. You did a fantastic job. It looks very creamy and decadent. As difficult as it may be, just keep telling yourself it’s only temporary.

  7. Donna-FFW says:

    Cookbooks are so very imprtant. One of the deciding facotrs in our purchase of a home was the kitchen, and where to showcase the cookbooks! True, sad, but true.

    Your risotto looks beautiful for the first time. Im envious!

  8. burpandslurp says:

    ok, cookbooks deserve their own special rooms of their own….they’re my precioussss!
    man…gorgeous, creamy risotto! can you believe I’ve never tried risotto before? YUM!

  9. Reeni? says:

    Your risotto turned out great! Just like a pro. Living at home has its perks and its quirks-I’m going through the same thing.

  10. Nags says:

    Thanks for the entry Joann 🙂

  11. Debinhawaii says:

    Yippee–your first risotto, a very exciting accomplishment! And the fact it was so good and everyone loved it makes it all the better. Hang in there and focus on the positives–wine and good cheese are important! 😉

  12. Pam says:

    Good job on your first risotto!

    Parent that provide good cheese and good wine are good parents!

  13. Denise says:

    Greta job on your risotto. I am obsessed with my cookbooks.

  14. Jeff says:

    I have the same problem with wine because I feel that if I open up a bottle I have to consume it and most of the time I only need a cup. Great solution I have found is at the grocery store they started carrying four packs of wine and each bottle is about a cup big. Good name vineyards too and about the same as a full bottle would be.

    Way to be accommodating and looks great! I remember the year I moved back home and eek I feel for you…hug.

  15. foodcreate says:

    I love Risotto! Your Risotto looks delicious!

    Nothing like a great parent, food, And Risotto!

    Thanks for sharing:)
    And you can visit me if I can visit You:)


  16. Elra says:

    Your first risotto Joanne? Wow, I must say it look quite good. Congratulation, now I am looking forward to see more of your delicous Risotto recipe.

  17. Great job with the risotto!

    It is hard moving back with the rents once you’ve been out on your own. When my sister and I came back from college, we lived at home for 6 months and couldn’t wait to get our own place!

    I’m glad you got a spot for your cookbooks!

  18. It look like you did a really good job on your first risotto.

  19. Kevin says:

    Great looking risotto! The sweet peas work really well in the creamy and cheesy risotto. Sweet pumpkin/squash also works really well in risottos!

  20. I’ve never made risotto either, but one of these days… looks delicious!

  21. Marcia says:

    I just recently discovered risotto too. Yum!

    Congrats on your graduation and good luck in your next endeavor. My spouse went to Cornell. 🙂

  22. Elizabeth says:

    Yum- I love risotto!

    I feel you on the “getting used to each other” thing. I remember when I was in college, my parents would always be so excited when I was coming home but then once I got there they just seemed to be annoyed by my habits and always seemed so relieved when I left to go back again.

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