So you're looking to impress a certain date with a home-cooked meal and want to prepare a special dish for a special occasion but don't have the time or extensive cooking skills to go all out. If you're still unsure (the day before Valentine's Day, no less), try your hand at risotto.
Cooked in broth until it reaches a creamy consistency, risotto is usually served as a first course or on its own. This traditionally Italian rice dish isn't overly complicated to prepare but its taste and texture will dare you and more specifically, your date, to believe otherwise. Try our recipe for Creamy Fontina Risotto with Mushrooms that is sure to impress.
Creamy Fontina Risotto with Mushrooms
Makes 3 cups (serves 6 as a side dish, 4 as a first course)
2 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped onion or shallot
1 cup (Rice Cooker) Arborio rice
6 tablespoons dry white vermouth or other dry white wine (not Chardonnay)
3 cups (standard liquid measure) low-sodium chicken broth
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, tough stems removed, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon thyme
3 ounces shredded fontina cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh thyme and Italian parsley as
Place 1 1/2 teaspoons each of the butter and olive oil in the cooking bowl of the Cuisinart® Rice Cooker/Steamer. Cover, turn on, and wait one minute. Stir in the chopped onion and cover; cook 1 minute. Add the rice; stir to coat completely. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the wine; cover. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until the wine is completely absorbed. Add the chicken stock; stir. Cover and cook until Rice Cooker switches to Warm, about 28 to 30 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times during cooking.
While the risotto is cooking, heat the remaining teaspoon of the butter with the remaining teaspoon of the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When bubbling, add the mushrooms, stir to coat, and cook, stirring now and then until the mushrooms are golden and slightly crispy. When Rice Cooker switches to Warm, stir in the shredded fontina, cooked shiitakes and ground pepper. Serve risotto hot. May be garnished with chopped fresh thyme and parsley, if desired.