The Recipe Box Menu

Sunshine tilapia salad with Dijon dill dressing


Courtesy of Scossa Restaurant, Easton, MD
6 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion minced
1 cup risotto rice (preferably Vialone or Carnorloi short grain Italian rice)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (80g.)
Freshly ground pepper

Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan and keep it at bare simmer. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottom 3 quart (2 2/3 liter) sauce pan and cook the onion over medium heat, stirring for about 3 to 5 minutes until the onion is golden, but not brown. Add the risotto rice and stir with a wooden spoon to coat the rice well with the oil and onion. Turn the heat to medium-high, add about 2 cups (l25mL) of the simmering chicken stock, and keep the mixture boiling, stirring constantly.

As soon as the chicken stock has been absorbed, add another 2 cups(125 ml.) of stock and stir until it is absorbed. You may have to adjust the heat from time to time as• the risotto has to keep boiling, but it must not stick to the pot. If your risotto tends to stick, put the pot on a flamer tamer. Continue adding stock about 2 cups (125 mL) at a time, stirring constantly and waiting until each portion is absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is creamy and tender on the outside with each grain still distinct and firm. This will take at least 20 minutes, maybe as long as 30 minutes, depending on your pot and your stove. If the rice is still a bit hard in the middle after you have used all but a few tablespoons of the stock, add boiling water 1.4 cup (60 ml.) at a time, stirring it in as you did the stock, until each grain of rice is tender but still has the slightest bit of firmness and the mixture is creamy. 
Remove the pan from the heat and vigorously stir in the butter and parmesan. This stirring will make the risotto even creamier. Taste and season with salt and pepper. While continuing to stir vigorously, add the few remaining tablespoons of hot stock or (boiling water if you've used all the stock), to make the consistency softer. In Italy, we call it all'onda (like a wave). Taste carefully for seasoning and serve immediately, passing a small bowl of grated parmesan cheese.