Lessons From My Mother

I’m sorry for being such an absentee blogger! I probably sound like a broken record by now. But between,packing, staying on top of my online classes, and the million and one other little things that go along with moving, blogging has been the last thing on my mind. My parents were also gone all last week, so I was in charge of the house and both the dogs. That’s a lot of work for someone used to apartment life! But anyway…I have a new post for you tonight.

My mom has taught me so many things: how to cook with wine, how to dress for work in ultra conservative Washington DC without giving up my personal style, and how to get what I want without forgetting the good manners she also taught me (just to name a few). I’m sure I learn countless other lessons from her in the future. But one thing I really wanted to learn before I move away and see her in person less often, was how to make risotto (in case anyone out there has never had risotto, it’s an Italian grain that looks like rice but eats like pasta). She makes it fairly often and I love it! But I have yet to attempt it on my own. A lot of people think risotto is a challenging dish, but it’s really not. It just takes awhile to make (approximately 30-45 minutes, which isn’t too bad if it’s the main dish but quite long for a side dish) and requires a lot of attention. Nevertheless, I figured the chances of getting it right my first time weren’t very good, unless I made it with my mom. We originally intended to do it over Christmas break, but never had the time. So when she asked me what I wanted for dinner tonight, I asked if we could make risotto. She said yes and it turned out great! I’m hoping that means that I’ll be able to make completely on my own the next time 🙂

I apologize for the lack of pictures, I didn’t have my phone or camera handy and I didn’t think to go get it until halfway through the process (I know, I’m totally out of practice!). I did get a picture at the end though. So here are my my mom’s tips for mastering risotto (Any recipe will have more specific instructions, these are just tips that may or may not be included).

1. Before you start cooking the Arborio rice, set the broth to a low simmer. You don’t want to work with broth that is either room temperature or cold.

2. Once the arborio rice has been added to the olive oil, keep a close eye on it. When it looks mostly translucent with a tiny white dot in the center, you’re ready to start adding the broth

3. Don’t over stir the risotto. It cooks on low so it’s not going to burn as long as you’re watching it, and over stirring will disrupt the process

4. The most important part of making risotto correctly is to add the broth two or three ladelfulls at a time and wait for the rice to absorb it before adding more (don’t let it get too dry though). This is also what makes the dish so time consuming. It’s totally worth it though, trust me!

5. Make sure you regularly scrape down the sides of the pot because the rice can’t absorb the broth if it’s stuck to the side of the pot

6. If you’re adding cheese, save that step for the very end, also save your last cup of broth until right before you’re ready to serve it

That’s it, you’re done! following all of these steps will ensure that you can get

From this


 To this

Risotto with chicken, rosemary, and caramelized onions

Now that’s something worth spending a little time on!




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