Monday, January 4, 2010

Say Cheese for Risotto!

This is Julie Hyzy's week. Her new book Eggsecutive Orders comes out tomorrow, and the White House Chef was on Iron Chef Sunday Night...and she won! Whooppeeee!

Talk about perfect timing!

I hope you will all buy her book and participate in her contest.

And now for other news concerning wine and cheese.

I love side dishes!!! [Good segue, huh?]

But I do. I love side dishes. You know the ones--like mom used to make. Hearty, rib-sticking side dishes. The kinds you’d use your index finger to swoop up the very last flavor off the plate.
Finger-licking good.

Risotto is one of my favorite all-time side dishes. And it doesn’t have to be difficult.
I can hear a lot of you now...

“You’ve got to be kidding!”

But I'm not. I made risotto last week, and it only t
ook 30 minutes. My guests devoured it. And yes, many used their index fingers before I could remove the plates from the table.

The secret: Wine...

And cheese.

And herbs.

And adding things that you think taste yummy.

Try it! You'll like it!


Serves 6


2 Tbs. olive oil2 Tbs. butter
1 cup Arborio rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt


Put olive oil and butter in shallow sauce pan. Heat to melting. Add onions, garlic and shallots. Stir on medium until tender. Add Arborio rice. Stir constantly. Rice will get slightly brown. Add spices, crushing in your fingers before adding.

Add 1 cup white wine and 1 cup of the chicken broth. Stir until all the liquid is incorporated into the rice. Add 1 more cup chicken broth, a half cup at a time. Each should get incorporated into the dish. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (reserving the rest for garnish).

HERE'S THE EASY PART. Add the last 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Stir and let simmer on low for about 20 minutes. [I know traditional recipes will say you need to continue stirring, but as long as you stirred the first half of the cooking process, this second half is good to go.]

Remove from heat. May be made ahead 45 minutes. It will keep warm in the saucepan.

Garnish each portion generously with Parmesan cheese!

[Silly Side Note: When you're plating, and if you're photographing, you might consider a brighter plate than I did. ]
Don't forget to check out Julie's special contest, and we're still open for suggestions for our February Iron Chef ingredient! Rumor has it the prize involves chocolate!

And last but not least, if you'd like to know more about my new book coming out in July, The Long Quiche Goodbye, click here. If you'd like to sign up for my next newsletter, in which I share lots of tidbits about my new book as well as a history about particular cheeses, click on this link: Avery Aames Newsletter. I’ll be having my first contest via the newsletter in just a few weeks. All who are signed up are eligible to win.
Enjoy the new year. And Say Cheese!


  1. I could make a meal of really good side dishes! Great tip about not having to stir the risotto constantly during the second half of cooking.

  2. Oh yum! Those pics are making my tummy growl and it's only 9 a.m.! I'll have to give this a go. I haven't made risotto for years...I'm missing out!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  3. I made risotto on Saturday and it was so good we gobbled it up -- no leftovers. Hmm, think risotto is the new comfort food?

    ~ Krista

  4. Thanks for the shout-out, Avery! And thanks for this recipe. I *love* risotto, but I've never made it at home. You've just given me an excuse to try it! This sounds fabulous.


  5. Congrats to Julie... so exciting to have a book coming out!

    i make risotto often. And you are right about the wine and the chicken stock. I am so ashamed of all those "add water" recipes.

    Any more thoughts on a cooking series for one of your books? So many recipes (so many ways to add a few book sales)... shouldn;t we all pick a day to post a recipe from your bookS???

  6. I'm with you on the side dishes! They often make the meal and your Herb Risotto with vino and parm would be the star of almost any dinner.

    Happy Monday!
    ~ Cleo

  7. Yum! And perfect timing. I recently decided to try making risotto and picked up the arborio rice over the weekend. Now I have a truly delicious-looking recipe to start with. Thanks!

  8. Dear On the Grill - re: our book recipes? I'm not sure about "publishing" rights re: the recipes in our books. I think we're allowed to publish recipes AFTER the book comes out, or recipes that are not published "as recipes" in the book. I'll check this out and we'll respond. Thanks for the suggestion.