4 Cups chicken stock
3 tbsp buttter
1 cup finely chopped red or yellow onion
1.5 cups Arborio rice
1/4 cut Brandy liqueur
3/4 cup grated Parmigiana-Reggiano (real parmesan)
1/4 cup chopped Parsley, Chervil, or Basil
1/2 pound shrimp, lobster, or other shellfish
In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Put the lid on to keep it hot (you never want to add cold stock to hot risotto).
In a large and wide saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once melted, cook the butter for a couple minutes until it turns brown. The butter is first going to foam a bit, then it will take on that brown color you want. You see the white foamy stuff? Those are the milk solids, and they burn very easily. The most important thing to do when browning your butter is to make sure you don’t walk away from it. Why do we brown butter? Browning butter gives it a nutty character, which tastes gooooood.
Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes, just to soften slightly. (I actually just threw my shrimp in at this point and cooked them while the onions were softening. I took the shrimp out when they were done and added them back in when the dish was done.) We are building the aromatics! Add the rice and stir for 3-4 minutes (we are toasting the rice…smell how aromatic it is)! Add the Brandy and simmer until it evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add a few ladles of stock to the rice, just enough to cover the surface of the rice.
Stir until the stock is absorbed, then repeat the process, until the stock is all gone (this should take about 15-20 minutes). Now, taste the rice. Does it taste crunchy at all? If it does, add more stock if you have it. If you don’t have more stock, add white wine. If you don’t have any white wine, add water. Remove your risotto from the heat, and beat in the parmigiano, 1 tbsp of butter, and desired herbs with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.