Wednesday, June 29, 2011

From Our Kitchen to Yours: Lemon and Thyme Risotto with Vodka

This week we are cooking in the kitchen, part of our plan to share at least one monthly recipe with you on the blog. As summer temperatures rise, we found a risotto dish that is easy for a light weeknight meal. Add a small salad, glass of wine, and a few chairs around a table on the back porch, and you have a nice way to end the day!

Lemon and Thyme Risotto with Vodka
Adapted from Viva Italia: The New Flavors of Italy (Maxine Clark/hamlyn)


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
3 regular-sized shallots, finely chopped
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
2 1/2 cups arborio rice
6 cups hot chicken stock
2 tablespoons vodka
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (we added more)
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme sprigs
To garnish:
Thyme sprigs
Strips of lemon zest

To prepare the lemon, grate the zest. Next cut the lemon in half and juice. An small appliance electric juicer makes this step quick and easy.

Melt half of the butter in a large saucepan, add the scallions or young shlallots and cook gently for 3-5 minutes until soft. Pour in the wine, add half of the lemon zest and boil hard to reduce the wine until it has almost disappeared.

Pour in the rice and stir until it is well coasted with butter and onions and heated through.

Add the hot stock, a large ladleful at a time, stirring unti leach ladleful is absorbed into the rice.

Continue adding stock and stirring until the rice is tender and creamy, but the grains are still firm.

This should take about 20 minutes depending on the type of rice used. Taste and season well with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, vodka, thyme and Parmesan.

Cover the pan and let the risotto rest for a few minutes, then serve garnished with thyme sprigs, and strips of lemon zest.

Yield: 3 to 6 servings (depending on portions as a side or main dish).


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