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Friday, July 23, 2010

Lemon Saffron Risotto

When in Rome.......



Do you recognize the photo above?  It's the Roman Colosseum.  I love seeing this over and over, the age, the history.  Rome evokes many feelings from me when I think about how old everything is and seeing the modern aspects of the city in the first photo (the smog).  I have a lot of fond memories of Rome.  I loved the Fountain of Trevi and the Spanish Steps.  Regardless, I fell in love with this one restaurant in Rome, Italy.  It is called Edy.  It is a small place off the beaten path but well worth the find.  Their dishes were different than the usual pizza and pasta.  The Lemon Saffron Risotto was to die for! This was the first time I had eaten a Lemon Saffron Risotto and I fell in love!  My mom and I managed to eat this 3 times while in Rome over a three day period! 


While living in Europe I was fortunate to be able to travel a lot and Italy is one of my favorite places to go in the fall, not this time of year, it is as hot as Texas and they have little or no air conditioning.  I hate being hot! 




The Spanish Steps!



Fountain of Trevi......


My Mom and I at "Edy"!  I did not have a blog then so I did not take any photos of the food.  It was a wonderful time with my mom.  

Now for the rest of the story......

My version of Lemon Saffron Risotto!


Did you know that saffron is the most expensive spice in the world!
Coming from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus, it takes 75,000 blossoms or 225,000 hand-picked stigmas to make a single pound, thus the cost!

Because of its expense, intense flavor, and strong dying properties, very little saffron is required for culinary purposes and the key is to distribute it evenly throughout the dish being prepared.  Be sure to get saffron that is bright in color.




Do you see the bright red color?




When buying saffron, always get the bright colors.




To extract the flavor you have to steep the saffron in hot water— a pinch to a cup will create the desired flavor and color. Good saffron should expand on contact with the water and a cup of  saffron infused water 
should be sufficient for 1 lb of rice. 

On with the recipe...


The Players!


Get all you ingredients ready.


Heat the broth in a separate pan, keep warm.


Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoon of oil in large pot.


Add in the onions, saute for 10 minutes.



Add garlic and rice stirring until coated, cook for 4 minutes.


Increase heat under rice/onion mixture and add in wine.  When the mixture bubbles, reduce heat to medium, simmer until wine is absorbed.    


Keep the rice at a hot temperature as you continue to add warm stock 2 ladles at a time, stirring until liquid is all absorbed before each new addition of stock.



Keep the rice at a hot temperature as you continue to add warm stock 2 ladles at a time, stirring until liquid is all absorbed before each new addition of stock.


Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and the cheeses. 
Stir well and season with salt and pepper.


Look how creamy this as I added the cheese and butter!







See the fleck of saffron...




Mine is better than theirs!!

The Recipe:




Lemon Saffron Risotto

1 ¼ cup Arborio rice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sweet onion, finely diced
¾ cup dry white wine
5 ½ cups chicken stock
15 saffron threads (or a pinch) steeped in ½ cup boiling water
1 tablespoon lemon zest (2 medium lemons)
2 ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup Romano cheese
3 slices of prosciutto – cooked until crisp in microwave for garnish


Boil water and add to saffron threads to steep.

Heat all of the stock in a large saucepan.  You will be adding warm stock to the rice in small increments.

Place 3 slices of prosciutto on a microwave safe dish and cook until crisp.  Place on paper towel to cool, and then break into pieces.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon butter in large saucepan over moderate heat.  Add 1 cup of onion and cook for 10 minutes.  Add garlic and rice stirring until coated, cook for 4 minutes.

Increase heat under rice/onion mixture and add in wine.  When the mixture bubbles, reduce heat to medium, simmer until wine is absorbed.  Keep the rice at a hot temperature as you continue to add warm stock 2 ladles at a time, stirring until liquid is all absorbed before each new addition of stock.  Pour in the saffron infused water, the lemon juice, lemon zest with the final amount of stock and stir until absorbed.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and the cheeses. Stir well and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with sprinkles of Parmesan and crispy prosciutto.

Happy Eating!








1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mary, I think I just found what I'm having for dinner. Looks and sounds yummy.

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