Next dinner party: serve a risotto bar!

From   |  May 13, 2011
In Coffee and Convo
Featured Recipe: Risotto with Ham and Asparagus

Risotto with Ham and Asparagus

So you've heard of and probably served a make-your-own taco bar, extended salad bar, sandwich bar, even stuffed potato bar, but what about a Risotto Bar?

Risotto is super easy with our two preparation methods and as long as you have Arborio Rice, they are foolproof, restaurant-quality renditions of your favorite risotto you'd order out.

Set up a toppings and stir-in bar with ham, asparagus, assorted crumbled and shredded cheeses, prosciutto, sauteed onions and peppers, crab, sauteed shrimp, mixed mushrooms cooked in wine...the possibilities are endless. Get creative.

For the slow cooker method:

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
3 3/4 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth*
3 tablespoons half and half
1/4 cup, grated Parmesan cheese, optional garnish

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium. Add rice and stir and cook until it begins to turn translucent, about 2 minutes. Scrape rice into slow-cooker. Turn slow-cooker to high and add broth. Cover and cook on high until tender and moist but not soupy, about 1 3/4 hours to 2 1/2 hours.

Uncover the risotto and stir in the half, Parmesan and half and salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

For the microwave method:

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
5 1/2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Place butter, oil in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered on high, until butter melts, about 3 minutes. Stir in rice and microwave, uncovered on high, until rice begins to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.

Stir in broth, cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap (or use a lid) and microwave on high, until mixture is at a full boil, 10 to 14 minutes.

Remove the bowl from microwave, uncover, and stir well. Continue to microwave on high, uncovered, for 10 more minutes or until rice is almost done (rice will be very moist, al dente in texture, but not soupy).

Stir in cheese and continue to microwave, uncovered, until rice is done. Serve additional cheese for topping at the table, if desired.

If you want to skip the stir-ins and serve an already mixed risotto, check out our two recipes at the bottom of the post.

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