Ever wish you could have wine and cheese for dinner? I’m more of a beer girl myself (Could it be any other way when you have a homebrewer extraordinaire for a boyfriend?), but that is not to say I have never come back from work wanting nothing more than a fragrant hunk of cheese to nibble on and a cup (okay, two) of wine to sip.
Either way, we all have our appearances to keep up. Sure, you can eat as the French do every once in a while, but more than once in a week or so and you’re likely to get some dubious looks, and probably a nasty pack-a-day habit. It’s really quite the slippery slope when it comes to French habits.
But there are ways around this. Namely, risotto. It’s quick to make, tastes sophisticated, and makes you look more like a gourmand than a wino. The recipe below is fairly basic and thus malleable. While you definitely shouldn’t skip on the onion and mushrooms, feel free to substitute the other vegetables with beans, squash, or other goodies!
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 large white onion, diced
1 1/3 cups Arborio rice
4 cups vegetable stock, heated
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 cup peas
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
salt, to taste
3 ounces (or more!) pecorino romano cheese
In a deep skillet over medium heat, heat up the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the onions and cook until translucent and slightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the rice, and toast with the onion for about 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally so the rice does not burn.
Add the wine, and cook, stirring occasionally until it evaporates.
Add the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, and sit frequently until each addition is incorporated. Add the peas, carrots, and mushrooms halfway through adding the stock. Continue cooking until the rice is cooked but still slightly hard.
Remove from the heat, add the butter and cheese, and mix until incorporated. Add salt to taste.
Enjoy with a some fresh vegetables and a French accent.