T. and I were recently in Ottawa and one of the highlights of the trip for me was stopping at Maple Dale Cheese. We buy obscene amounts of delicious cheeses -- pesto cheddar, garlic cheddar, aged cheddar and cheese curds -- regular and garlic. It's embarrassing how quickly we go through this cheese when we return home. I think mice live here.
Looking for new and creative ways to use some of our loot, I made a basic risotto and added some of the aged cheddar and balanced out the creaminess and sharp flavour with some fresh peas I picked up at a farmer's market. It was a simple and delicious weeknight meal that was good for two nights and a great way to enjoy some cheddar.
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 tsp butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated aged white cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh peas
- 6 cloves of garlic (I like a lot of garlic!)
- pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan,combine the chicken stock and water on medium heat. You want it to be warm when you add it to the risotto because it will absorb better. I used a ladle to transfer the liquid over to the risotto.
- In a shallow but large pan, melt three teaspoons of butter on low to medium heat, add garlic and sautee the diced onion until soft.
- Add the risotto and coat with the butter until it's "toasted," about three minutes.
- Add the wine and stir until absorbed.
- Increase heat slightly (I never went past medium) and add in broth-water mixture about a 1/2 cup at a time. Stir frequently until liquid is absorbed before adding more. This process should take about 30 minutes of stirring and adding liquid slowly.
- In a separate pot, boil water and add peas. Cook for about five minutes until bright green.
- Cook rice until tender and mixture has a creamy consistency.
- Add cream, cheddar cheese and peas. Stir until mixture is creamy, about 2-3 minutes.