Caramelized Onion Risotto
by Maryellen Driscoll; Fine Cooking Magazine; December 2012
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 lb. yellow onions (about 4 medium), halved through the root and thinly sliced lengthwise
- Kosher salt
- 4 cups lower-salt chicken broth
- 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 oz. finely grated aged Gouda or Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 cup on a rasp grater)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the onions and reduce the heat to medium. Cook without stirring until the bottom of the pot begins to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and stir with a wooden spatula. Continue to cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot frequently and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the onions are well browned, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a 3-quart saucepan, combine the broth with 2 cups water and set over medium heat until steaming hot.
- Transfer the onions to a small bowl, cover, and keep warm. Add about 1/2 cup of the broth mixture to the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot with the wooden spatula until any stuck-on bits are released. Pour the liquid back into the broth mixture. Wipe out the pot.
- Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in the pot over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring gently, until glossy and translucent around the edges, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Ladle enough broth over the rice to just cover (about 1/2 cup) and simmer, stirring often, until most of the broth has been absorbed (test by running a spoon through the rice; no broth should pool on the pot bottom). Continue to add the broth in this manner, stirring often, until the rice is tender but still has a bit of resistance when you bite into it, 20 to 30 minutes. (You may not need all of the broth.)
- Stir in the remaining 2 Tbs. butter, the cheese, and all but 1/3 cup of the onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately, topped with the remaining onions.
- I used three big shallots instead of onions.
- I used the Gouda cheese instead of parm, which gave it a rich nutty flavor that was amazing.
- I added some Cayenne for a little heat. You know me....
- I mixed all of the onions into the risotto instead of saving some to layer on top.
This risotto was really good; I mean really good.
I served it with Filet Mignon, sautéed mushrooms, and a spinach salad. So good. I actually made it for my sister Casey for her birthday. Instead of “Cooking with Casey,” I cooked for Casey. She and I need to get into the kitchen again for our "Cooking with Casey" nights. The last time we were supposed to cook a fabulous meal together she had food poisoning. We’ll be sure to get it on the calendar soon; she is a great sous chef.
Red Wine. We had it with a 2008 Northstar Walla Walla Merlot, which was very good. I usually prefer a Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel with steak but this was really good and lush. I love velvety wines.