California Grill: Lemon Grass Risotto

Lemon Grass Risotto

California Grill, Contemporary Resort

Yield: 4 servings (about 4 cups)

about 5 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped lemon grass (tender parts only)
2 tablespoons grated, peeled, fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups Arborio rice
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or to taste
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Heat the vegetable stock to a boil in a 2 quart saucepan, reduce the heat and keep at a bare simmer.
Heat the oil in a 3 - 4 quart saucepan, over medium heat.  Add the onion, lemon grass, ginger root, and garlic, and cook, stirring for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the onion and lemon grass are softened.  Add the rice, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the ends are translucent.

Add about 1/2 cup of the simmering stock to the rice, and cook, stirring constantly, until all the stock is absorbed.  Continue cooking and adding stock, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is al dente, about 20 minutes; season with salt and pepper about halfway through the cooking time.  When the rice is almost done, add the lemon zest, then taste and adjust the seasonings.

Place the risotto on 4 warm serving plates or shallow bowls, and serve immediately.

Cooks Note: an abundance of lemon gives this risotto and refreshing flavor.  At some grilled or sautéed shrimp just before serving to turn it into a very satisfying main course.

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