The challenge of risotto

For my first cooking challenge, I decided to make risotto. Ambitious? Absolutely considering cheftestants are sent home from Top Chef for it. I’ve made risotto before – from the box mix. From scratch? Not so much. 

I chose the Basic Risotto recipe from Williams-Sonoma’sTools & Technique book. I raised the stakes by making the four cheese variation. Reviewing the recipe, it didn’t seem that hard. Only six steps. I went to the store and picked up my ingredients.

Mmm, cheese! I had planned to make it on Sunday but realized sine I wouldn’t be home the next three nights for dinner due to my work schedule, a lot of it would go to waste. That and I didn’t have win and the liquor store was not open on Sunday. Thankfully, cheese doesn’t go bad very quickly and I was able to wait until the following Sunday to make it.

Pretending to be a Top Chef but in reality was closer to a competitor on Worst Cooks in America, I prepared all my ingredients. And realized I potentially already failed at making the risotto. I bought shredded, not grated Parmesan and asiago cheeses. Fantastic. I decided to risk it because a) I didn’t want to go to the store and b) I had already bought the shredded cheese and had no other use for said cheese. No need to waste money.

Starting off, it wasn’t hard but then came steps four and five. Step four said to add the simmering chicken stock by the ladle until it is absorbed, which will take approximately 20 minutes. Step five said that after 20 minutes, taste the risotto and if needed add the reserved chicken stock. Crap. Was it another 20 minutes after the first 20 minutes in step four or were the 20 minutes in step five the same 20 minutes in step four? A total of 20 minutes or a total of 40 minutes? I called my sister in a panic because I had no clue. Thankfully, she wasn’t sure either but we determined they were the same 20 minutes, so 20 minutes total. Thank goodness – I was getting hungry. She then admitted that she had never successfully made risotto. Fantastic. Thanks sis! I realized at that moment I had a 99.9 percent chance of not be successful in this endeavor.

Once plated, it looked like the boxed risotto I had previously made. It tasted pretty good too. Different than the box but that used different types of cheeses. Also, mine probably wins in the sodium, preservatives, etc. count.

The finished product

Overall, I consider my first challenge a success and I can now mark off one of my cookbooks. I’ll work on selecting the next cookbook and recipe to tackle this weekend.

Diabetes wise, it was a guessing game in regards to nutrition. I still had a box of the other risotto in my cupboard so I used that nutrition label as a guideline to determine my serving size and carb count and for my curiosity, fat and calorie count.

If you know of a great website or app that lets you enter in a recipe to determine the nutrition, please let me know.


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