Thursday, December 31, 2009

Risotto Cakes

Well, I guess this will be my last recipe for 2009... happy new year, everyone! I really enjoyed making these risotto cakes during the last few months of '09. They're hearty enough to be served as a main dish, with a side salad or grilled vegetables. Enjoy!

2 c. Arborio Rice (risotto)
6-7 c. low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 small white onion, diced
2 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
2 T. butter

Keep the stock nearby and warm, over low heat.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the risotto and 1/2 t. black pepper (and salt, if you desire) and stir constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not brown!
Use a ladle to pour in hot stock 1/2 c. at a time, stirring constantly. Wait until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Keep the risotto at a gentle simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary. Continue to cook this way for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is al dente. It should absorb at least 6 cups of liquid. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese and 2 T. butter. Alternately, you can choose to serve the risotto as is for a traditional side dish. Leftovers may be used the for the following risotto cake recipe. The recipe above makes about 5 1/2 c. of risotto and you need about 4 c. for the recipe below.

4-6 slices bacon
2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
all-purpose flour
4 c. risotto (above)
1/2 c. vegetable oil

Crisp up 6 slices of low sodium bacon in a large skillet. Allow to drain over paper towels before crumbling or chopping. Incorporate the bacon into the risotto and allow to cool in the refrigerator.
Form the risotto into balls, about 1.5 x the size of a golf ball. Press a cube of the mozzarella into the ball, and flatten the risotto to form 1/2 inch thick patties. Dredge the patties in flour and set aside in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet and re-dredge the patties in flour (shake off any excess flour). Fry the risotto patties in 2 batches, until golden brown and warmed throughout, about 8 minutes per batch. Makes 8 cakes & serves 4 people.

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