The wedding dinner was held after the sunset ceremony. The vegetarian option was a vegetable risotto. Now you are wondering how to make risotto for over a hundred people. Risotto is an art in the pro kitchen. It is precooked early in the day up to about 5 to 8 minutes before being done. Then it is spread out to air dry on sheet pans. As the orders come in, the parcooked risotto is tossed into a pan with some more boiling hot broth and cooked over high heat a few minutes until al dente, then plated in shallow soup bowls, garnished, and dusted with cheese. But for you at home serving a crowd risotto, you have the advantage of the slow cooker. You can double or triple this recipe in the large slow cooker and serve a small party without any fuss at all. The slow cooker does all the work and stirring is minimal. This is a luscious year round vegetarian risotto due to the addition of creamed corn. This is Italian-style comfort food at its best. You can leave out the wine and replace with another cup of broth if you like, but the wine cuts the sweetness of the corn a bit. This is also good served with some fresh chopped chives sprinkled on top. Serve with a big green salad and dinner rolls.
Recommended Size: Large round
Machine Setting and Cook Time: High Heat: 2 1/2 hours
Serves 4 to 6
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow or white onion, finely chopped
- 12-ounces Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine or Prosecco
- 6 cups light vegetable broth (one 48-ounce can)
- 1 (15-ounce) can creamed style corn
- 1 1/2 cups thawed frozen baby white corn kernels, or fresh cut off the cob
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or plain soy milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
- 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (optional but tastes good and looks nice), for topping
1. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Cook the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, until rice turns chalky and is coated with the oil. Add the wine and bring to a boil, then simmer 2 minutes. Scrape with a heatproof rubber spatula into the crock. Add the hot broth.
3. When done, the risotto should be creamy and tender but still slightly firm in the center. Add the cream and the butter and season to taste. Recover and wait a minute for butter to soften. Stir in the cheese. Serve immediately, spooned into bowls. Risotto will keep on KEEP WARM setting for an hour or so. Serve very hot. Pass some more cheese for sprinkling and a bowl of diced tomatoes for topping.
Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Family Favorites, by Beth Hensperger. (c) 2009, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.