Lemon Mascarpone and Ham Risotto
As anyone who knows me will tell you...cooking is just not my bag baby. I'm just not interested in food. But, apparently, when I am not able to get my creativity out in other ways I seem to successfully apply my creativity in the kitchen. Hmmm, hopefully my husband won't read this post or I'm sure my Bernina will end up missing as a result... This Lemon Mascarpone & Ham Risotto is the perfect example. I was starving, didn't want something boring, and so I basically used whatever I had on hand in the kitchen. I swear it is the best risotto I've ever made and second best risotto I've ever eaten. [The first being the butternut squash risotto I ate at Mr. Browns located at The Sagamore while pregnant with Miss E.]
If you are into healthy or low in fat...well...tough. You'd better avert your eyes!
3 cups of arborio rice
6 cups of chicken broth
4 tablespoons of butter (unsalted)
2 regular spoonfuls of mascarpone
shredded parmesan (to taste...about a cup?)
lemon juice (to taste...about a cup?)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
ham (shredded or cut to small pieces)
What to do:
If you've never made risotto I suggest reading up on it here. Basically risotto requires a lot of attention and standing over the stove while stirring for 20 to 40 minutes. The gist is to add ingredients, stir, add ingredients, taste, stir, add, taste, stir...you get the idea.
Start with letting your butter dissolve in the saucepan as it heats. [*almost all risotto recipes I've seen call for onions being included here...I do not DO onions. if you are a lover of onions by all means go at it, I cannot tell you what it will do to the taste of this recipe but if you love onions then it can't be all that bad can it?] Once the butter is melted add the rice and 2 cups of broth. Stir allowing the butter to get into the rice grains. Let that simmer until all the liquid seems absorbed by your rice. Then continue adding broth a 1/2 cup at a time. Continue to stir so your rice doesn't get stuck to the pan and the liquid distributes evenly. Each time the broth is absorbed add an additional 1/2 cup. I went along this way for quite awhile...basically until I was down to 4 1/2 cups of broth absorbed. Then I started adding ingredients.
I chose my ingredients by whatever I found in the refrigerator and adjusted the amounts according to taste. I periodically added a spoonful of mascarpone, stirred, added a teaspoon of lemon juice, stirred, added broth, added pepper, added parmesan, more mascarpone...it went like this for a bit. After adding all of the broth I added the shredded ham. I didn't want it to get completely lost in rest of the tastes. If you have an ingredient such as the ham that you'd like to stand out a tad then I would suggest adding it as the last layer.
Once the rice and its ingredients were creamy and a little sticky as seen in the photo above I took it off the stove and immediately in a bowl to serve. You want to serve risotto as soon as it is ready.
This is what it looked like 26 minutes after taking it off the stove. I'm pretty sure it was a hit. Even the picky toddlers ate it! Ten minutes later and there were no leftovers.
Well, I don't know about you but this post made me HUNGRY. I suggest going over to A Quilter's Table to check out what other people are serving up... Bon Appetit!
- rebecca lynne