Sunday, April 6, 2008

Creamy Risotto with Edamame

Back in January, when my BIL & SIL Greg and Denise came to visit us in Okinawa, I had asked them to bring me back a few things Kev and I couldn't get here on the island. One of the items (believe it or not) was Arborio rice. Better known as Italian risotto rice. I think Greg thought it was a bit ridiculous to bring rice to Japan, but I assured him that Arborio rice was not something Kev and I could easily find here. Fast forward to April and with Kevin away for a week, I decided to prepare myself a good dinner. I have a great recipe for Risotto that I wanted to make: Creamy Risotto with Edamame. This recipe is from "Food & Wine" magazine and is so simple. Heck, it even has a Japanese ingredient: Edamame. For those who don't know, edamame is simply boiled soybeans.

Here's the recipe:

Creamy Risotto with Edamame
Serves 4

1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame (thankfully, I can find these at the Japanese grocery stores off base)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO according to Rachael Ray)
2 medium shallots, very finely chopped approx 1/4 cup (On this night, I didn't have any shallots, so I just used a sweet Vidalia onion)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of Arborio rice
3 cups of low sodium chicken broth, warmed
1 cup of Lager beer, such as Budweiser (In the Miller household, there is always some sort of beer in the fridge. This night, I used Kirin beer, a Japanese brand)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Three 3/4 oz wedges of Laughing Cow Cheese (La Vache Qui Rit)

1. Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the edamame and cook until tender, about 5 minutes; drain.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, untily slightly translucent, about 2 minutes.
3.Mix the chicken broth with the beer and season generously with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of the beer broth to the rice and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the broth, about 1 cup at a time, stirring until it is absorbed before adding more. The rice is done when it's al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy liquid, about 17 minutes in toal. Add the edamame and cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper and serve right away.

Dee-licious. Ideal with chardonnay...

Thanks so much to Greg and Denise for bringing me the Arborio rice all the way to Japan. Dinner is served. :)


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