Monday, May 21, 2007

Risotto with Apples and Manchego Cheese

I had a similar risotto once at an Italian restaurant - it had the sauteed apples, but instead of Manchego, they used Asiago cheese. This dish turned out well, but I think it could be improved with a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to brighten things up a bit.

Risotto with Apples and Manchego Cheese

4 c chicken stock
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 c diced onion
1 apple, peeled, cored & diced (I used Fuji, which was maybe a little too sweet)
1 c arborio rice
1 c white wine
1/4 c grated Manchego cheese
salt & pepper

Bring the stock to a simmer in a pot, and leave it on medium-low heat to keep it warm but not boiling.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the onions and apples, and season with salt & pepper. Sautee gently until the onions are translucent. Remove the apples with a slotted spoon (try to leave the onions in the pan). Add the rice to the pan, stirring to coat it evenly with the oil and butter. Let the rice toast for a minute, then add the wine. Let the alcohol cook off for a minute; when the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add a couple of ladles of stock to the rice pan. Stirring often, allow the rice to almost completely absorb all the stock before adding more to the pan. Continue in this manner, adding stock gradually and stirring frequently, until the stock is gone and the rice is cooked al dente, about 20 minutes. Add the apples back in to the rice, and allow it to cook for a few minutes more, to reheat the apples and soften them a bit. Add the cheese at the last minute, and serve immediately.

Makes two big servings, or two regular servings and a small portion for tomorrow's lunch.

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