Tequila in the Risotto

I was chatting with Tracy about the blog and what we’ve been cooking lately, and I realized that I’ve been thinking about risotto a lot.  I’ve had conversations about it and considered different ways to make it in my head.  I was thinking, particularly, about how much I enjoy white wine risotto, where you use broth to do most of the work and then add in white wine at the end for flavor.  It occurred to me, as I was chatting with Tracy, that I could maybe use other alcohols as well. I mean generally risotto has an italian flavor, but what if it was used to suck up something else, something like… tequila!

I am one of those people who finds the flavor of tequila pleasing, and enjoy when it is used as a marinade or an additive to other dishes.  So, after running the idea by Tracy, who wisely suggested also adding in cilantro to the dish, I decided to make Tequila Lime Risotto (as it will henceforth be called).  And to eat on the side, some tangy pan fried pork chops.

I used the basic portions and ratios from this recipe, but I will give you my recipe as I made it.

Tequila Lime Risotto

1 cup arborio rice

1 Tbsp olive oil

3.5 cups broth (chicken or veggie)

1/4 cup tequila

2-3 Tbsp lime juice

salt to taste

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1/2 chopped tomato

Heat the broth and set aside.

Heat the oil in a medium size pot.  Add the rice and sautee for two minutes. Keep on medium heat.

Add a ladle full of broth to the rice and stir until the liquid has been absorbed.  Keep adding ladles of broth and stirring until the broth is absorbed until all the broth has been absorbed and the rice has a creamy consistancy.  This may take 20-30 minutes, depending on how patient you are and how quickly you are stirring in broth.

Once the broth is gone, add the tequila and lime juice, and stir until the are absorbed.  Taste the rice at this point to make sure it is tender and then add salt to your taste.  If your broth was pre-salted, you may not need to add any.

Throw in the cilantro and tomato and stir until they are warmed through and starting to cook.  It tastes best if they are not completely cooked, but rather, still juicy.

That’s Tequila Lime Risotto.  Try it and pair it with a spicy main or some zesty sides.  If you like the flavor of tequila, especially alongside lime, you will like this twist on the Italian flavor.

For the meat eaters out there, this is what I did to the pork chops.  They were boneless, thinly sliced porkchops.  I submerged them in apple cider vinegar with fresh ground black pepper, soul food seasoning, a little olive oil, and a splash of tequila.  After about 20 minutes to marinate, I threw them in a frying pan on high with a little more olive oil to fry 3-4 minutes on each side.  Then I let them brown on low, which made the whole house smell like pork.  Not a bad thing.

Well, that was a pretty decent meal. I had to make all my own lunches last week, but that definitely wasn’t worth posting about.  If you have never tried risotto, because you are afraid to stand stirring a pot for 20-30 minutes, then you need to get over yourself.  It’s one of the easiest gormet-esque things to do in the whole world. (Which is probably a grand overstatement, but whatever.)

Speaking of gormet things, I had brunch at a big deal brunch place on the Northside.  My meal consisted of blackberry and red plum bread pudding, two eggs over easy with freshmade green salsa, a crepe filled with butternut squash and applewood smoked bacon (and rosemary), and chicken sausage drizzled with red wine syrup.  And on top of that was Belgian hot chocolate made with soy milk.  We had to wait about an hour to get seated, but it was more than worth it.  Brunch is my new favorite thing. =)

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