This weekend was a wet one in Tokyo. After more than 24 hours of rain, Brad and I were starting to feel the effects of long term grayness and gloom. We were both in serious need of some comfort food for Sunday dinner. The perfect solution? Risotto. Creamy, velvety, sinful risotto was the only thing to pull us out of our rainy day slump. Topped with a pile of deep green spinach and a perfectly seared lamb chop, this risotto dish can dazzle and impress at dinner parties, or provide some much needed TLC on a particularly dull and dreary day.
The first time Brad tried creating his own recipe (which can be found, along with one of my Lotus Root Chips, in the soon-to-be-released Foodista Cookbook) he was stunned at how many steps need to be written out. From the ingredient list, to what needs to be chopped, and of course how to assemble the dish, the list of steps can be daunting. Usually, Brad is wondering what on earth I’m doing in the kitchen. He says, “It just looks like a bunch of potions to me!” For him, picture tutorials are crucial to following unfamiliar recipes. Even the simplest recipes can have a laundry list of steps to follow.
While this dish is seemingly simple and basic, there are still plenty of steps (21 in fact) to keep track of. Because risotto has quite a few stages, it can be time consuming and slightly confusing the first time around. So, I’ve put together a step-by-step picture tutorial of what the risotto should look like from start to finish. Everyone learns in different ways. Some of us are visual learners while others do best with written words. No matter what learning style suits you best, you can use the photos along with the written recipe and you are sure to master the art of this dish in no time! And don’t worry, the 21 steps are not labor-intensive. Instead, it is a matter of adding, stirring, and repeating.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter + 1 tablespoon
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice (or other short-grained rice- I used Japanese rice!)
2 cups dry vermouth or dry white wine
Approximately 6 cups chicken stock (if not using homemade, be sure it is low sodium so you can control the salt content)
1/3 cup cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
4-8 lamb chops (I only serve 1 chop per plate, but some may prefer 2)
1 bunch spinach leaves, torn
salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)