Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another Risotto Recipe

Before I get into the actual point of my post, I have to say that yesterday I finally tried one of those famed NY institutions, the Shake Shack burger.

Shake Shack is in Madison Square Park, across the street from 11 Madison Avenue, home of one of my biggest clients, Credit Suisse. I go to this building often, but if I'm rushing to a meeting, I don't have time to wait on Shake Shack's tremendous lines. The only exception is I was there for a meeting two weeks ago. While I didn't have time for a Shake Shack lunch, my coworker and I had time to stop there after the meeting for one of their "Concretes" (I can only describe it as the Shake Shack version of a DQ Blizzard) which was quite good.

Today I had 90 minutes to kill between two meetings, so I decided to wait on line and see what the fuss was about. I had no camera, so I have no photos, but there wasn't much to take a picture of. (Emily already did it anyway.) After waiting on line about 20 minutes to place my order, I had to wait another 10 minutes (beeper in hand) to receive my food. I had a "Shack Burger" with fries and and "Arnold Palmer", a mixture of iced tea and lemonade.

The burger, while good, was really not worth the orgasms people tend to have over them. I thought it could have been bigger. I also would have liked a sturdier bun. The meat itself was pretty flavorful. I knew the burgers weren't chargrilled when I ordered, but somehow I was sort of expecting that kind of flavor. It tasted like - meat - but pretty good meat. There was not much else in the way of seasoning though. The Shack Burger consists of the patty, lettuce, tomato, American chesse, and "Shack Sauce" which is some pale yellow stuff that seems to be a combo of mustard and mayo and possibly something else.

The fries were totally awesome. If I ever go back, I think I might just get an order of cheese fries.

Drink was 75% ice.

I'm not sure it was all worth the long wait, but I'm glad I did it. Shake Shack is one of those things you just have to try for yourself.

On to the main part of my post.

I'm sure any reader of this blog knows my love for making risotto. It's easy to make. It's very satisfying in taste and texture. It lends itself to so many creative variations. It's the perfect quick dinner.

I had about a quarter of a bottle of red wine left after the party this weekend. Kevin doesn't drink red wine and I knew I wasn't going to drink it all myself, so I wanted to put it to use in a way we would both enjoy it (in other words, no beef braised in red wine). I have had red wine risotto before and enjoyed it, so I decided to do it again.

I used mushrooms, broccoli, and onions for the vegetables, but I really wanted some kind of meat in there. I like having a nice salty/smoky element in risotto. Pancetta? Out. Bacon? Out! Ham? Out! All of these things supposedly irritate the delicate widdle tum tum of Sir Pickypants. I found the solution in some turkey ham. Perfect. I cut the ham in a small dice and cooked it with the onions and the rice, and then added the red wine.

I cooked the broccoli and mushrooms separately with some garlic and added them to the mixture towards the end. All in all it was an excellent dish.

Red Wine Risotto

1 quart chicken stock
2 cups aroborio or other short-grain rice
4 Tbl butter, divided
4 Tbl olive oil, divided
1 onion, cut in a small dice
1 turkey ham steak cut in a small dice(Feel free to use bacon, pancetta, real ham, or no meat at all as you see fit)
1 cup red wine
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
Salt to taste
Copious amounts of parmesan cheese

Heat chicken stock to a simmer and keep it simmering on the stove.

In a pot heat 2 Tbl butter and 2 Tbl olive oil. Add onion and sweat it out a bit. Add ham and rice. Stir until rice is coated and begins to look transparent at the edges. Stir in wine and keep cooking and stirring until absorbed.

In a pan heat remaining oil and butter. Add garlic and cook till fragrant. Add broccoli and allow it to cook down a bit. Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to cook down and give off their juices. At this point, adjust seasoning with salt. You don't want bland veggies.

Add a ladleful of chicken stock to rice and stir. Cook until absorbed. When broth is absorbed, add another ladleful and stir until absorbed again. Keep doing this until all of the chicken broth is used up, rice is creamy, and just al dente. Add broccoli and mushroom mixture.

Stir in cheese and serve.


Stacey Snacks said...

We tried Shake Shack at the new Citi Field. Great burgers!

The Duo Dishes said...

The red wine is a new thing for us to see. Adds great color though.

Emily said...

Wow, kind of glad I didn't spend all day waiting in line for a burger from there. That's what I was thinking. I mean, how could they be that good? I wish I got to try the fries. I had some frozen custard, which was very good, so I imagine their shakes are awesome.

Mmm risotto with wine and ham. I need to try turkey ham and bacon.

Adam said...

Yeah, it's always tough to not be let down when there's so much hype. Sometimes I feel like people just go to shacks like that out of habit and tradition.

Nice job on the risotto. I'm always down for an excuse to have red wine with dinner :)

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

DD- It never occurred to me either until a couple of years ago I saw a recipe for a cabernet risotto by Michael Chiarello and tried it for a dinner party. It was like a whole new world was opened up to me!

Em - They do have awesome shakes, but I'd gain a hundred pounds if I had one every time I was in the neighborhood!

Turkey ham and bacon are not as good as the real thing. I'd have much rather used some real pancetta. *sigh*

Adam - Agreed. Once a place gets really hyped it tends to go downhill. It's never as good as the hype might suggest.

LOL at your red wine w/dinner!

gaga said...

I've never had red wine risotto. It's beautiful!