Friday, August 26, 2011

The Kennair-Kuelbsian Supremacy: Grapefruit Infused Risotto with Pear Slices

The scallops were great, but the gold star went to the risotto.
Now that I've cleverly built up your anticipation for the risotto recipe (read: was busy), it's time to unleash it. This recipe gives you the base for any standard risotto (minus the grapefruit), so you should try to experiment with different infusions and let me know how it goes.

For added comedic effect, squirt in your eye.
Grapefruit Infused Risotto 
Servings: 4
Time: 50 minutes

6 Mushrooms, thinly sliced
Mushroom Broth
1/4 of an onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup arborio rice
Grapefruit (juice and zest)
White wine
1 pear, sliced
Manchego cheese
Mint for garnish

Proper broth technique.

  1. First get your mushroom broth heated (note you could also substitute veggie broth). If you don't have mushroom broth, just take some mushrooms and put them in a pot with water and salt or a bouillon cube. Once the broth is warm, keep it hot over low heat.
  2. Sauté the garlic, onion and mushrooms in butter over medium-low until soft. 
  3. Stir in the rice and cook for another minute.
  4. Add about half a cup of white wine, some grapefruit zest (we found that just taking small chunks worked really well instead of actually zesting it), and a little bit of grapefruit juice (about 3 pieces of grapefruit "meat" not entire grapefruits). Stir frequently.
  5. Once the white wine is mostly absorbed, spoon in about half a cup to a cup of veggie broth. Keep stirring. You want to let the risotto absorb the wine and broth but never let it dry up.
  6. Continue adding in veggie broth and small amounts of wine until the risotto becomes creamy. Just taste it. Once the rice is no longer crunchy, you're good to go. This will probably take 4-5 cups of broth, and you should keep adding it in 1/2 cup increments. Remember to keep stirring.
  7. Turn off the heat and stir in the manchego cheese. 
  8. Serve and top with pear and mint.

It takes a while, but on the plus side, all the stirring serves as our workout for the day.

At first, I was pretty worried about the prospect of grapefruit in my risotto. I don't even like grapefruit on its own, so the last thing I wanted was it destroying one of the greatest rice dishes. It ended up working surprisingly well. The juice showed up nicely on the back end. Also, our decision to use small chunks of the zest instead of actually zesting it gave the effect of having two (equally awesome) risottos. Half the bites had that extra kick of grapefruit and half didn't, so it kept it interesting. The pear and mint topping was also fantastic. The pears gave a little bit of crispness, and both added a level of refreshment.

To balance the creaminess of the risotto and the scallops, we made a very earthy salad. We just mixed spinach, sliced mushrooms, tomato, pear and walnuts. Thanks to the other dishes, I thought this worked wonderfully without the need for dressing, but feel free to add some vinaigrette.

I definitely don't have too much free time.
My first cooking adventure with Kevin already led to two of my favorite recipes, so really things can only go downhill from here.

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