Goat Cheese Risotto

Who’s had goat cheese?  (Yep)  Who’s had goat cheese and didn’t like it? (Guilty)  I’m here to change your perception of goat cheese, as someone did for me.  The first time you try goat cheese it can be overwhelming.  It’s different.  But like many of the best things (coffee, red wine, tequila), it can be a bit of an acquired taste.

This goat cheese risotto will win you over.  It’s amazingly creamy, but not too rich as the tang from the goat cheese gives just the right flavor.  I could have easily put down the entire dish, but there was no way my family was going to let me.  This dish fits into the lacto-vegetarian diet, (Does not eat meat, but eats dairy) which is how most of my vegetarian friends eat.  But trust me, even the meat eaters will go crazy over it.  (And puppies, isn’t that the cutest photo bomb you ever did see?)

Goat cheese also has several health benefits that typical cow milk cheeses don’t have.  Lower in fat content and calories, goats cheese is a good alternative to reduce your overall saturated fat and cholesterol intake.  (Though there have been recent studies suggesting ingesting cholesterol has no affect on your body’s cholesterol levels.)  It also contains lower levels of lactose than other cheese, meaning that some people who have sensitivity may be able to digest it without problems!  Vitamins D, K, and B can also be found in abundance along with calcium.

You may have heard that risotto is somewhat challenging to make.  While this is true, if you are patient and attentive you should have no trouble executing a divine dish of risotto.  (Of course, sometimes the cooking gods have their own plan)  I’ve comprised a list of “Risotto Rules” to help ensure triumph over this tricky dish.

    1. Use hot stock!  Adding cool stock to the risotto will bring the temperature of the rice down, which will result in a gluey sticky product.
    2. Stir often, but not constantly.  The reason behind this is along the same lines as using hot stock.  Stirring too much will cool the rice down.
    3. Do not turn the heat too high.  This is a slow process, turning the heat high will evaporate the stock too quickly, and the rice will not cook, and could end up burning.
    4. Use a large enough pan.  There needs to be enough surface area to cook the rice, you do not want it layered thick in the pan.
    5. Use correct ingredients.  The most important ingredient is the rice.  Arborio rice is medium grain, and contains a higher amylopectin content than long grain rice.  This gives it a slightly sticky characteristic, which lends itself to becoming the creamy goodness that is risotto.

 

Goat Cheese Risotto
Ingredients
3 C vegetable stock, I use unsalted
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced small
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 C arborio, or other medium grain rice
Salt and pepper to taste
3 oz goat cheese
Chives for garnish

Directions
Heat stock in saucepan to a simmer, keep over heat during process, do not let boil

In a large skillet or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add in onion and cook until softened.

Stir in garlic, rice, and desired amount of salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, do not let burn

Using a ladle or measuring cup add in enough stock to cover the rice, stir often

 

Once the stock is nearly absorbed, add in another ladle or two of stock-enough to cover the rice

Repeat this process until the stock is gone, should take around 20 minutes

The rice should be cooked al dente, which means that is is soft on the outside, but still slightly firm in the center

Stir in the goat cheese until combined, and serve with chopped chives if desired

**I made this recipe again and used different goat cheese (pictured below), still amazing, if possible even more creamy and delicious.

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