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Author Notes: I was making a chile paste and soaking Guajillo chiles in hot water to soften them. I didn't want to throw out the soaking water that was left, now a rich brown color and full of smoky chilie flavors, so I saved it. A few days later I was thinking about making risotto and thought, hey, instead of stock, I'll use the chile "tea". A quickly made up another batch to bring the total amount to 5 cups and proceeded to make risotto. —Jay
Guajillo chiles, or other type of large dried chile.
Large rutabaga, or several smaller ones, peeled and cut into 3/4" cubes
Cloves of garlic, minced
cup olive oil
cups arborio rice
cup dry white wine
cup grated romano or parmesan cheese
cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper
teaspoon ground cumin
- Preheat oven to 450°
- In a kettle, bring about 6 cups of water to a boil, pour over chiles in bowl and let steep for 30 minutes.
- Toss rutabaga with garlic and olive oil, place a cookie sheet and roast about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to so all sides get browned
- Remove chiles from water, save for another use, and heat soaking water to a simmer and keep it there
- melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add shallots. Stir occasionally until shallots are softened, about 6 minutes. Do not brown.
- Add rice and cumin and stir until rice is coated, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add wine and stir until wine is absorbed.
- Stir in a 1/2 cup or soof simmering chile broth, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed before adding the next. Continue until rice is creamy and the texture al dente. About 20 minutes
- Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, cheese, roasted rutabaga and cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. If risotto is too thick, thin with a little more chile broth.
- Enjoy immediately.