Lamb Chop with Classic Risotto & Spinach

by Tokyo Terrace on October 10, 2010

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. In your skillet, add the olive oil and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. To the olive oil and butter, add the garlic and onion.
2. Cook over medium heat until soft and beginning to look translucent, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the rice to the pan.
4. Stir, without any additional liquid, to toast the rice, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Carefully add the vermouth.
6. Stir until the rice has soaked up most of the liquid.
7. After the rice has absorbed the vermouth, add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock.
8. Stir until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup stock. Stir. Repeat. Over and over.
9. When the stock is nearly gone and the rice has begun to soften, take a break from adding any more liquid.
10. Taste the rice to see if it is done. If not, continue adding stock and stirring.
11. When the rice is done, add 1/3 cup of cream. Stir.
12. Add about 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir.
13. Add 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Stir. (I don’t recommend adding extra salt. Parmesan is salty enough on its own.)
And there you have it! Gooey, cheesy, deliciousness. Sophisticated yet comforting. Cover the risotto and keep it warm until you are ready to serve.
Next, cook the lamb chops.
14. Heat your skillet over medium-high/high heat before adding the butter. Be sure to watch the pan during this process.
15. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan.
16. While the butter melts, blot the lamb chops dry with a paper towel.
17. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
18. Add the chops to the pan. Sear for 2 minutes on each side.
19. Flip only once. Leave the chops alone (no fidgeting!) so they can acquire a nice crust during the cooking process.
20. Add the spinach to the pan with the lamb drippings.
21. Turn off the heat and simply stir the spinach in the pan until it is wilted.
Now, place a mound of risotto on each serving plate. Then place a mound of spinach and top with the lamb chop(s). Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve immediately.
Lamb Chops with Classic Risotto and Spinach
Serves 4

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)

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  • sippitysup

    Comfort food in 21 easy steps. Bring on the rain. GREG

  • Elinluv

    This looks mouth-watering. Thanks for sharing :)

  • thelittlefoodie

    nice! I’ve never made that. I’m often scared of new cuts of meat–maybe I will try…

  • junebu8

    Looks tasty! I’m mentally stealing cheese shreds right from the pan…

  • Brie

    risotto is the best – great step-by-step photos. this definitely feels like comfort food perfect for the rain. best of luck!

  • Kathy Gori

    Looks great, very clear directions. Nicely done, you’ve got a vote from me

  • Anonymous

    Oooh so gourmet. So luscious. There is just nothing that speaks comfort and sensuality as risotto. I loved your step-by-step pictorial, and the graphics. Very creative! :-)

  • Daydreamer Desserts

    A perfect dish, and perfect photos to match! Love it… :)

  • Medifast Coupon Code

    Well I know what we are having for dinner now. Thank you so much.

  • Amy (Sing For Your Supper)

    Everything looks wonderful- great post!! You have my vote! :)

  • Debi (table talk)

    Creamy, Cheesy, and definitely comforting. Excellent step-by step instructions!

  • Heather


  • Oui, Chef

    Clear instructions, great photos and a truly tasty dish all add up to another vote from me. Well done! – S

  • Sues

    The lamb chops look amazing! And the risotto with vermouth is just stunning. Perfect for a rainy night like tonight! Awesome post :) :)

  • DailySpud

    Risotto really is one of the all-time great comfort foods and also one that can be very daunting if you haven’t made it before (though not after reading this tutorial :) )

  • angi c

    Beautiful post! Risotto is definitely one of those dishes that’s much easier to learn by photos, so I love that that’s what you chose for this challenge. Good luck this round!

  • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

    Best of luck Rachael in this round. Great step by step of what looks like a mouthwatering dish!

  • Whit @ Amuse Bouche

    that looks delicious! best of luck!

  • Lick My Spoon

    I’ve been using dry vermouth in place of white wine for risotto (among other things) for some time now. It’s so convenient, since it stays good forever. Risotto+wilted spinach+meat is one of my favorite meals, definitely voting for this one. Good luck this week!

    Lick My Spoon

  • Jancek Michal

    what a beautiful dish – wow!

  • Michael Talbot

    Rachael, I am amazed.

  • Fiona at Life on Nanchanglu

    I can smell that lambchop right off the page…delicious. Another vote for you!

  • Bernaljudy99

    Good luck Rachael!

  • jacobskitchen

    beautiful tutorial. It is clear and easy to follow, and your photos are really lovely. Nicely done. Is there anything better than a perfectly made risotto? it makes any meal feel special. I voted for you!

    Good luck! Hope to see us both in round 5!!! =)

  • Jan Cahill

    valiant effort!!!

  • Jeff Berkowitz

    Great job on this dish, the pictorial is great and it is obvious that you cooked everything perfectly. Don’t forget that the stock for the risotto needs to be hot. Hot stock speeds the cooking process and helps to ensure that the rice does not overcook.

  • Natasha Cardinez

    Great dish!

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