Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Comté and Ham Risotto

It's official now: we had our first frost yesterday on the 21st of October, not particularly early and not particularly late, but certainly signifying the start of the cold weather comfort food season.

The comfort food that I was craving yesterday was risotto. And after thinking about it for a few minutes, I wanted to do my risotto in homage to a great croque monsieur, the awesome French ham and cheese sandwich, so I picked up a nice piece of city ham (as opposed to country ham) and a block of Comté cheese on the way home. Comté is one of the great nutty melting mountain cheeses of France, similar to the equally delicious Gruyère from just across the border in Switzerland.

Comté and Ham Risotto
The risotto is a really simple affair of very few ingredients: butter, olive oil, onion, Arborio rice, dry white wine, ham, chicken broth, and Comté. Because there are so few ingredients, they need to be of the highest quality for the dish to really succeed and this is especially true for the stock that you use. We try to keep chicken broth in the freezer for occasions just like this. Whenever we have a chicken carcass left over, we make chicken broth.

What to Drink? Bordeaux is a Fine Choice!
You should have heard Ann and me scrapping about when the rice was done! You might find it odd that I wanted the rice less done than the full-blooded Italian! She might be Italian but I make risotto just about every day of the year at work! Throw a few glasses of wine into the mix and.... ;)

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