Monday, February 13, 2012

Risotto Blues - Risotto alla Gorgonzola

It's been a while since I have done a risotto post.  Oh, I have been making plenty of it.  Primarily due to the fact that risotto only takes about 20 minutes.  To me, that seems like a quick meal.  I mean, it takes just about that long to heat up fish fingers (sticks) in the oven... and you have to wait for the oven to heat up.

Not that I have been eating fish fingers or anything, but I have been eating more fish of late.  For example, I have just recently rediscovered Mahi Mahi, which is particularly delicious when baked in a hazelnut crust.  (YUM)   Then again, I am a fish fanatic.  From Albacore to Trout (I could not think of a fish with a "u" or"v", and I have never eaten Walleye Pike) and everything in between, I pretty much like them all. Fish cooks so quickly too; whether you sear it, poach it, bake it or fry it, it's always a fairly fast meal to prepare.  And THAT is pretty awesome!

But I digress....  The original point of bringing up the fish is... While it is generally frowned upon, in Italian cuisine, to combine cheese and seafood or fish in the same dish; there is no hard and fast rule that says you cannot have a cheesy dish on the side.  Gorgonzola Risotto is the perfect accompaniment to  Hazelnut Crusted Mahi Mahi. Or at least I think so.  Then again, I am a cheese freak too. 

Risotto alla Gorgonzola

1 TB olive oil
4 oz (113g) Pancetta
1 Shallot, Minced
1 cup (205g) Arborio rice
1/3 cup Pinot Grigio (Muscat Canelli is good too, though a little sweeter)
3 - 3 1/2 cups (700 - 825ml) Chicken Stock
3 oz (85g) Gorgonzola, crumbled and divided
Pinch Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1 TB unsalted butter

In a 1 1/2 quart saucepan, heat the stock to a simmer.

Place a saute pan over medium heat; when hot, add the Olive oil and the Pancetta, cooking until crisp.

Remove the Pancetta with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Add the shallot and sweat for a few minutes – until wilted and transparent, but not brown.

Add the rice and saute, stirring constantly for about 4 minutes.

Add the the wine and stir until absorbed.

Add the first ladle of broth and continue cooking and stirring until broth is absorbed.

Continue adding stock, 1 ladle at a time and stirring until the rice is al dente. (About 15 minutes)
Remove the risotto from the flame and stir in the Pancetta.

 Add half of the Gorgonzola and the Butter to the pot; stir until melted

Cover and let rest for 3 minutes.

Stir in the remaining Gorgonzola right before serving, to there are un-melted chunks of cheese.


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