I used to spend a good part of my evening preparing big, healthy, gourmet meals. I really enjoyed cooking. It was my creative outlet and also part of my relaxation time. But I no longer have the time to devote to all of that preparation, so I’ve tailored my meals from labor intensive gourmet dishes to quick and easy gets-the-job done dishes. Which means there’s a lot of roasted chicken, meatloaf, etc on the menu as of late- one pan, pop it in the oven and you’re done.
Yesterday I came upon a lone box of risotto hiding all the way in the dark recesses of my pantry. No doubt, a leftover from my more ambitious cooking days. In an effort to try and thin out the pantry (a new mission of mine) and use up what’s been lying around in there for way too long, I decided to make a risotto. Even though it definitely goes against my new menu policy of fast and easy, I thought I could swing one labor intensive dish. I did a quick Google search for “easy risotto recipes” and hit pay dirt! I found this:
Ina Garten described how to make a risotto in the oven. That’s right… in the oven. Easy peasy, right? So I got out my dutch oven, added the risotto and chicken broth and baked it for 45 minutes. No stirring at all! If you’ve made risotto before, you know it’s a labor intensive dish which involves standing at the stove and stirring and stirring and stirring… You get the picture. This recipe eliminated all of that stirring! After 45 minutes, I moved it to the stovetop, added wine, a little more broth, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and a cup of peas. Two more minutes of stirring on the stovetop and I was done. My risotto was complete and it was almost hands-free!
This recipe was a great find and this way of making risotto is genius for people who don’t have a lot of time for cooking. Admittedly, it’s not the same exact quality as the more traditional way of preparing risotto, but it’s more than good enough when you’re crunched for time. Try it and see. Enjoy!
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