It’s been a summer of beach BBQs, picnics in the park, sunset surfing on the beach, and day camps and play dates for my little Gigi. We’ve had sun burns and scraped knees at the beach, played endless rounds of ball with the dogs, and whooped it up during our weekly hula hoop contests in the backyard.
It’s also been quite the summer for Gigi. She’s become a junior real estate mogul thanks to her ability to always snap up all four railroads and both utilities in every game of Monopoly we’ve played. As for my efforts toward bettering humanity, I’ve turned my kitchen into a margarita testing lab, and I intend to continue this fine work as I whip up a batch of these, from my friend Liz, for friends and family this weekend.
This summer, however, has not found me turning on the oven, minus the one time I made an exception. And what an exception it was! Creamy, summery, easy risotto. Bliss in a bowl, let me tell you.
Now, once upon a time, I made risotto with Marco Pierre White, my friend Kathy and a dozen other bloggers at BlogHer. That was a few years back, but I’ve never quite mastered the technique on my own. Maybe if I had a battalion of cameras in my kitchen watching my every move I’d have no choice but to succeed at this seemingly simple task, but that’s not in the cards. (Unless the Food Network has use for an obsessive yet occasionally challenged middle-aged home cook with no prior TV or media exposure. No? Well, I tried.)
Luckily, this story has a happy ending. And her name is the Barefoot Contessa. Ina’s recipe for oven-baked risotto is so shockingly simple, I’m almost embarrassed to say it’s the only way I’ll ever cook risotto again. Made with this homemade chicken stock recipe, it’s even better. As much as I love a good challenge, I love a good hot bowl of risotto with a cold glass of wine even better. Let’s eat!
- 1½ cups Arborio rice
- 5 cups warm chicken stock, divided
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup white wine
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Add the rice and four cups of the chicken stock to a 5-quart Dutch oven. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes or until the rice has absorbed most of the stock.
- Remove from the oven. Add the remaining ingredients, minus the peas, and stir until thick and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, steam the peas in the microwave for a few minutes. Drain.
- Gently stir in the peas, serve.