There is something very decadent and romantic about Champagne Risotto
Ingredients to make enough to serve 2 moderately hungry people:
25g unsalted butter
1 onion, very finely chopped
1/3 stick of celery, very finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic
135g Arborio risotto rice
225ml champagne / extra dry cava
500ml very good chicken stock
50g grated parmesan
1 handful of chopped herbs – optional (parsley, basil, tarragon are good).
Now put the apron on and start by …
Melting 25g unsalted butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Add onions and celery and fry until soft and translucent. Stir in a tiny amount of garlic. I prefer the main aromatic flavour here to be onion and celery, so go easy on the garlic.
Add the rice and stir for 1 minute until all of the grains are coated and shining with butter.
Add 225ml Champagne and simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated, stirring often.
In a separate pan, have your chicken stock simmering, with a small ladle at the ready.
Add the chicken stock ladle by ladle, waiting until each ladle full has almost been fully absorbed before adding another ladleful. It will take around 18 minutes to cook the whole dish, or until the rice is tender but still firm, stirring often. You may not need all of the stock.
Turn off the heat, stir in 50g freshly grated Parmesan and a knob of butter and put the lid on and leave for 1 minute.
Season to taste and fold in a handful of freshly chopped herbs (parsley, basil, tarragon are good).
Risotto should be served with a ‘wave’, i.e. it should not be a solid lump on the plate, but ooze to the edge of the dish, without being too runny at the same time!
Risotto should always be cooked over a medium heat, a too high heat will cook the outside of the rice grains too quickly and the inside will remain hard and at the same time, a too low heat will leave you with soggy rice.