Thursday, August 4, 2016

Lemon Risotto (How to prepare in advance)

Creamy, delicious, comfort food!

Risotto is the perfect side when you are craving something tasty AND want to impress! Plus it's not as difficult to prepare as some believe.

We served this lemony risotto with blackened grouper and roasted was outstanding! Impressed our guests, that's for sure. Special thank you to Mariah for providing and preparing the amazing "FRESH" grouper!

I prepared (aka par-cooked) the risotto about 2 hours before dinner was served...this saved me SO MUCH time and work...I didn't have to stand over the pot stirring for 20 minutes while my guests were here. Once we were ready to eat - I finished cooking the risotto and the end result was perfection! *This is what restaurants do!

Lemon Risotto Recipe 

(when you want to make it in advance- up to two hours before serving)


  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup pre-grated parmesan cheese OR 1 cup of fresh grated parmesan or pecorino (the latter is preferred)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper
  • EVOO
  • 1 medium onion (white or sweet)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (cooking)
  • Casserole dish for cooling the par-cooked risotto 
  1. Heat a splash of EVOO over medium-high heat in a round pot.
  2. In a separate sauce pan, heat and simmer the stock + water...keep hot/warm. 
  3. Saute the diced onion in the olive oil for 3 minutes then add the crushed garlic the last 30 seconds.
  4. Add the rice and lemon zest to the onion/garlic, stirring constantly, and cook for 1 minute. 
  5. Pour in the white wine and cook until absorbed. 
  6. For the next 16 minutes, ladle in the hot chicken stock, one cup at a time, waiting for it to absorb, before adding more (STIRRING CONSTANTLY). Do this with about 3.5 cups of the stock. You will need to reserve around 1-1.5 cups when you finish cooking. 
  7. After the 16 minutes, when your 3.5 cups of stock have been absorbed by the rice, immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the rice into a casserole dish - spreading the risotto out evenly to help it cool down and stop cooking. The rice should be undercooked. Once cooled off a bit - cover with plastic wrap and keep on the counter until you're almost ready to plate your dinner.
****When you're ready to finish cooking the risotto**** (right before plating your meal)
  1. Heat the reserved stock/water over medium-high heat in the larger pot that the risotto was originally in.
  2. Add the risotto back into the large pot with the stock.
  3. Stir quickly and constantly until the stock has been absorbed.
  4. Add butter, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and stir to combine. 
  5. Add salt/pepper to taste.
  6. Continue stirring until the rice has fully cooked and is al dente. 
I can't wait to try more risotto recipes!

Bon apetit!

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