Three Cheese Risotto
Ah, risotto. So creamy! So delicious! All that cheese! And you wanna know what? You don’t need to go out to eat to enjoy it. It’s not remotely as hard to make at home as some folks might think.
This risotto gets a smooth, rich balance of cheese-y flavors from Gruyere, Taleggio, and Parmesan. A generous amount of butter beaten in at the end adds just a little extra creaminess.
Seriously? I think I may have died and gone to cheese heaven. (Not a bad ending for a mouse, I know.)
A big thank you to my friends at Cookstr
The good folks over at Cookstr have asked me to do step-by-step walk-throughs of a handful of their recipes. We’re really excited about working with them! This first recipe for Three Cheese Risotto comes from Jamie Oliver.
Cookstr is rapidly building one of the best food sites I’ve seen. All their content comes from chefs and cookbook authors. If you haven’t already, definitely check them out for tons of recipes and info on your favorite chefs.
Three Cheese Risotto: A note on ingredients
Risotto is made with Italian arborio rice, a short-grain rice that’s super starchy. Slow cooking and constant stirring help coax that starch out, creating risotto’s trademark creamy texture.
For the cheeses, I used Gruyere and Taleggio.
Gruyere is a Swiss cow’s milk cheese with a fabulous nutty flavor. It’s generally aged for 10-12 months, and is good for eating out of hand or for cooking.
Made in the Lombardy region of Italy, Taleggio is a rich, semi-soft cow’s milk cheese. When it’s younger, it’s a pale-ish yellow and fairly firm. As it ages, it gets darker in color and runnier.
For chicken broth, I like Pacific brand if I don’t have any homemade on hand in the freezer.
Three Cheese Risotto: The basic technique
Here’s the basic technique. There’s a lot of stirring. But trust me, your efforts will be well worth it.
+Heat the stock in a separate pan
+Sweat the veggies in another pan
+Add the rice to the veggies and cook it a bit
+Pour in the wine and cook until absorbed, stirring constantly
+Add the stock one ladle at a time. Stir constantly until the stock is absorbed before adding more.
+When the rice has absorbed all the stock, stir in the cheese
+Add the Parmesan and butter
+Cover for a few minutes
+Serve and enjoy!
Read on for a step-by-step walkthrough.
Three Cheese Risotto
Recipe by Jamie Oliver
~1 quart chicken stock, preferably organic
1 Tbls. olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 sticks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups uncooked risotto rice
2 wine glasses of dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. Appenzeller or Gruyere cheese, roughly chopped
4 oz. Taleggio cheese, roughly chopped
6 Tbls. butter
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Three Cheese Risotto: Do a little prep
Gather your ingredients together. You want to prep everything ahead of time. Once you start the risotto, you won’t really be able to walk away from it.
Set two medium-sized pots on the stove. Pour the chicken broth into one. Set it over medium-high heat. You want to barely bring it up to a simmer, then drop the heat to low (so it’s still hot when you add it to the rice).
Meanwhile, prep the cheese and veggies. Cut the rind off the Gruyere and Taleggio and discard.
Chop them up roughly. Set the cheese aside in a bowl.
Chopped Gruyere (left) and Taleggio (right)
Peel the onion and chop it finely.
Trim the ends off the celery and cut it up the same way.
Peel the garlic and mince it up. Set the chopped veggies aside for a sec while you heat the oil.
Three Cheese Risotto: Sweat the veggies
Add the olive oil to your other pan. Set the pan over medium heat. Toss in the onion, celery, and garlic.
Stir to combine and coat with oil. Keep your heat on medium. You want them to start to turn translucent, not brown. Cook them like this, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
Three Cheese Risotto: Add the rice
When your onions are getting translucent, pour the rice into the pot.
Give the pot a stir to combine the rice and veggies. Raise the heat to medium-high.
Cook the rice like this, stirring constantly, until it starts to look translucent.
Three Cheese Risotto: Pour in the wine
Next, add the wine to the pot.
Stir to combine. If the pot feels like it’s too hot (i.e. the rice is sticking or sizzling a lot), turn the heat down a bit. You don’t want the rice to cook too quickly on the outside.
Cook, stirring constantly, until all the wine is absorbed.
Three Cheese Risotto: Add the stock one ladle at a time
Next, add the first ladle of stock.
Toss in a little salt.
Grind on a little black pepper.
Cook like this, stirring constantly, until all the stock has been absorbed.
Then add another ladle of stock.
Keep stirring, just like you did with the first ladle.
Repeat this process until you’ve used all the stock. As it cooks, the rice will plump up and turn more and more opaque.
When all your stock is used up, your risotto should be nice and creamy. Give it a taste. The rice should be totally cooked, but still have the slightest amount of bite to it.
You want to be able to draw a spoon across the bottom of the pot like this:
Take the pot off the heat and get ready to finish the risotto up.
Three Cheese Risotto: Finish the risotto
This is the fun part. Add the chopped Gruyere and Taleggio to the pot.
Stir well to combine and start melting the cheese.
Toss in the butter and Parmesan.
Stir well to combine. Cover the pot for a few minutes to let the cheese finish melting. When you uncover it, give it a stir. It should look about like this:
Three Cheese Risotto: Serve and enjoy!
When your risotto is done, heap it up in bowls.
In terms of consistency, it should be thick and creamy, but not so much that it’s rubbery or gluey.
Top with a little minced parsley if you like.
Serve and enjoy!
Three Cheese Risotto: How to reheat your risotto
Here’s the best way I’ve found to reheat risotto (assuming, that is, that you have leftovers).
To help maintain the nice, creamy texture that you worked so hard to create, reheat your risotto in an uncovered double boiler, stirring frequently. If it’s feeling a little dry, beat in a small nob of butter to loosen it up.