Remember that time when you ate risotto for lunch and dinner and next day lunch? No? You’ve never done such a piggy-like thing before? Hmm. Weird. Maybe that’s because you haven’t made risotto with a nice and old, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, jamon serrano, tons of butter, and avocado. This kind is the second best risotto I’ve ever tried (it was here), the first one being a Black risotto with calamari, which you can enjoy right here in Mexico City, but which I’m not adventurous enough to try and make myself yet. (How do you go about using squid ink? Where do you even buy it?) For this recipe though, I did feel bold enough to try it with a recipe I made up myself, using good ingredients as the secret for good results. I chose jamon serrano, which one could say is the spanish version of prosciutto, but which tastes quite different. And then I did something (if you’re squeamish/vegan/a health nut , I would suggest you stop reading) quite naughty; I toasted the rice in those white slices of fat. I know. I’m terrible. But you can really justify it to other people once you present them with a hot bowl and a spoon. They won’t be complaining once they the get tiny bits of golden, delicious, cheese covered goodness. Read more for the recipe!
Serrano Parmesano Risotto with avocado
Serves 4-5 as a main dish
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
3/4 cups finely grated parmesan cheese (use the best you can)
4 slices serrano
2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp butter plus 4 tbsp butter
freshly ground white pepper
1/4 firm but ripe avocado
800 ml – 1 liter stock*
Heat the stock until it boils and reduce the heat to a simmer.While it’s heating, you can prepare your serrano; Using a sharp paring knife, separate the white parts and chop them into as tiny pieces as you can. Next, remove 5 of the round ham parts, the nicer ones, and save them for serving. Cut up the remaining ham also as tiny as you can. Set aside.
In a separate medium saucepan (with a thick bottom, preferably), heat the 1 tablespoon butter, and as soon as it’s melted, add the onions and the white fat pieces from the ham. Cook for 5 minutes on med-low heat. Add the rice and moving it constantly, cook until it starts to lightly brown. Add the white wine, and stir. Turn the heat to low and once the wine is consumed, add a ladleful of stock, wait for it to consume as well, and another ladleful. Repeat the process, stirring constantly, until you’ve got a tender rice with just a slightly hard bit on the inside. *This will depend on your stove, saucepan and rice, but it should take approx. 18-20 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the remaining 4 tbsps. butter , the parmesan cheese, and the serrano bits you’d previously chopped. Serve immediately in pre-warmed bowls, placing a slice of the ham rounds you set aside, and then make a fan of avocado slice to place on top. Optionally, you can add a couple parmesan slices.