One of my favorite things to "tweak" is Risotto... In all honesty, risotti are one of the simplest dishes to prepare. True, they are a little time consuming, but all ya really gotta do is stand there and stir. The point is that, as I have stated before, risotto is more a method than a recipe. This leaves it open to infinite permutations of creamy goodness.
Thus it was this evening with my Lemon risotto recipe. Not that it wasn't good, but I just happened to have some of those ever coveted Meyer lemons. Which in and of itself is quite an amazing find, considering the time of year. So, armed with golden orbs of sweet lemon goodness, I embarked upon a risotto modification.
It was quite simple really, Meyer lemons are more delicate in flavor, being not as acidic and having more of a "floral" perfume than eureka lemons. So I increased the Lemon juice and zest to that of a whole Meyer Lemon to ensure it would not be lost. I also used Crème Fraîche instead of Mascarpone because I thought the lactic acid tang of the Crème Fraîche would augment the sweeter Lemon. Voila!! Meyer Lemon Risotto. Oh yeah, and I dropped the salt and white pepper by 1/4 tsp as well. After all I could not have them over shadowing my precious commodity.
Meyer Lemon Risotto
2 1/4 - 2 3/4 cups Chicken Stock
2 TB Unsalted butter, plus 1 TB for later
1 Medium shallot, minced
1 Clove of Garlic, minced
1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice (Arborio is easier to find)
1/2 cup Pinot Grigio, room temperature
2 TB grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 TB Crème Fraîche
1 Meyer Lemon, zested and juiced
3/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp White Pepper
Bring the stock to a simmer in a small sauce pan over low heat.
In a medium, heavy saucepan, melt 2 TB of the butter over medium heat.
Add the shallot and sweat until it begins to turn translucent;
then add the garlic and continue to sweat for another minute
Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter.
Add the room temperature wine and simmer until it has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of simmering stock and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and allowing each addition of the broth to absorb and pull the starch out of the rice before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still al dente and the mixture is creamy, about 18 - 20 minutes. (Which is pretty standard for Risotto)
Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining TB of Butter, the grated cheese, Crème Fraîche, the Lemon Zest and Juice, and the Salt and Pepper.
Cover and let stand for 3-5 minutes. (I really need to dry my lids a little better to prevent spotting)
Serves with a simple Lemon slice.