Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Baked Risotto

I've seen many recipes for almost hands free or baked risotto and always wondered if those methods really resulted in a creamy risotto. Even when we pay attention and slowly add broth and stir, we sometimes still end up with slightly crunchy risotto. When we made the Osso Buco, the notes suggested serving it with this risotto. Since it was Baked Risotto and seemed pretty simple and not too involved, we decided to give it a try. Plus, it's from Cook's Illustrated, so we felt the chances of tasty success were pretty darn good.
It uses a pinch of saffron. It's optional, but we happened to have some (pretty darn old) saffron tucked away in the pantry, so we used it. I don't think I'd make a special effort to acquire the saffron. It does give the finished risotto a nice yellow color.
Like more involved risotto, this starts with sauteing the onions and toasting the risotto.
Add the wine.
Pour into a 13 x 9 pan.
Add the chicken stock and bay leaves.
Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the parmesan.
At first we weren't sure about this risotto. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't quite like the stove top risotto we make. It wasn't quite as creamy. It was a bit firmer. But in the end, we decided it is very tasty, and definitely less labor intensive. We especially liked it on nights when it was re-heated and crispy bits developed on top. We'd definitely make Baked Risotto again, maybe next time trying the Mushrooms & Red Wine version.

Baked Risotto
from Cover & Bake
*our version

3.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 onion, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
pinch saffron
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring broth and bay leaves to simmer in a saucepan. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid to keep it warm. Melt butter in a skillet. Add onion and salt. Cook until onions are softened. Add rice and saffron to skillet and stir/toast until the risotto edges become translucent. Stir in the wine and cook until the wine is absorbed. Pour the risotto into a 9 x 13 baking dish and spread it out. Pour the warm broth mixture into the baking dish. Bake about 25-30 minutes, until the liquid is all absorbed. Take out of the oven and remove bay leaves. Mix in the parmesan cheese until it is melted and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

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