Monday, August 11, 2014

Risotto Done Twice.

Risotto is one of most delicious Italian dishes out there. The first time I had risotto was at Trattoria Neapolis in Pasadena and it was to die for. So I decided to try making it myself and take a crack at being an Italian chef for a day. Risotto, although delicious, is known to be one of the hardest Italian meals to make, but this is a misconception. It's more so that it is time consuming and requires constant attention to make sure its perfect and comes out with a good consistency.

There are many different ways to prepare risotto. You can make it with a tomato sauce, add chicken or shrimp, and different types of veggies. I decided to make my risotto creamy with some mushrooms and peas.

Toasting the rice before adding wine & broth.
The finished product. 

Here's how I made it:


  • 6 cups of low sodium chicken broth (I used 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of hot water, you can mix and match or use only water to your taste)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 cups chopped onions
  • 10 ounces of cremini mushrooms chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Bring the pot to a simmer in a saucepan. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat then add the olive oil. 
  3. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Saute mushrooms until tender, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Stir in rice and let it toast for a few minutes.
  6. Add the wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed by the rice stirring often, about 2 minutes. 
  7. Add 1 cup of hot broth, simmer over medium low heat until the liquid is absorbed stirring often, about 3 minutes. It is so important to stir often so the rice doesn't stick to the pot. Repeat this step until all the broth it used and the rice absorbs all the liquid. This will take about 30 minutes. 
  8. Add the peas and Parmesan cheese.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

This turned out so delicious, but it came out with A LOT of risotto. After eating it for a couple days, I got a little tired of it so I found an easy Round 2 recipe that reuses the risotto to make a new dish. Risotto cakes! They're little patties of risotto fried up in a crispy panko breading. 

After dredging and coating in panko, ready to be fried.
Beautifully crispy.

Crispy outside and warm, creamy inside. 

Here's how I made it them...


  • Leftover risotto
  • 1 cup all purpose flour for dredging
  • Eggs, beaten
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying

  1. With cooled risotto, form the mixture into a burger sized patty about 1 inch thick. 
  2. Set up a dredging station with flour in one dish, beaten eggs in another, and panko breadcrumbs in another.
  3. Dip the rice patties into the flour then into the eggs and finally coat them with panko breadcrumbs.
  4. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over medium heat until a panko crumb sizzles in it. 
  5. Working in batches of 2-3, fry the risotto cakes until they are golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. 
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to dredge excess oil and to help them stay crispy. 

Recipes courtesy of Giada DeLaurentiis and Ina Garten.

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