Sweet Pea and Smoked Ham Skillet Risotto
The rice grains stay a little firmer and are slightly less starchy when risotto is cooked in a skillet. The skillet can go from stove to table. Serve this risotto on its own as an appetizer or middle course. Texture is everything with risotto. I prefer my risotto with a little tooth so I cook it a little less. The rice should have enough liquid so that the texture is creamy but not soupy. If the rice is not cooked enough the texture will be starchy and crunchy. If the rice is overcooked the grains will be bloated and stick together. Add enough liquid and cook the rice long enough to reach the texture you desire.
Serves: 4 as a main course; 6 as appetizerPrint this recipe
1 cup water
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ pound thinly sliced smoked ham, diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup finely diced yellow onion
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Carnaroli or Arborio rice
½ cup white wine
1 cup shelled fresh peas
6 large mint leaves finely julienned
½ cup finely grated Parmesan
1. In a medium sauce pan, bring the stock and water to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.
2. Heat a large 3-inch deep skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and then the ham. Cook until the ham is golden and crisp.
3. Add the butter to the ham and then the onions. Sauté until they are translucent and tender, about 2 to 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the rice to the pot and sauté it until it is hot. Add the white wine, bring to a boil quickly and stir briskly until the wine is absorbed. Set the timer for 14 minutes.
5. Start adding the simmering stock one ladle at a time. Wait until the rice absorbs the stock before adding more. Continue to cook adding the stock and stirring the rice constantly, to prevent it from sticking on the bottom of the pan, until the timer goes off. Add the peas and continue to cook for 4 minutes or so until the peas are bright green and the rice is tender but not mushy. The grains should be silky and slide easily over one another when a spoon is drawn through. If this is not the case, add a little more stock to loosen the grains.
6. Fold in the mint and Parmesan and season the risotto with salt and pepper to taste. The risotto should be served as soon as possible after it is cooked. If you have to wait a few minutes, cover the risotto to keep it warm. If the risotto stiffens, thin it with a little hot stock.