I think risotto is something that I always enjoy at restaurants, and even though it’s a fairly easy concept, I’ve generally avoided making it. Why? I don’t know. But I recently read a good risotto recipe over at Butter And Onions: Pea and Bacon Risotto, plus I had these figs, and sometimes I just say something out loud to see if it sounds good. So I said “Fig risotto. Hmm… why not?” I scoured around the internet to find comparable recipes, and found a few, but for most of them, I lacked other critical ingredients, so I basically just gleaned the basic cooking technique from reading several recipes, and came up with this. My technique may not have been totally authentic, but the end result was savory and really good.
5 fresh figs, stems cut off, washed, and diced up
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 cups brown rice (or traditional arborio rice)
3-4 cups water
1 tbsp “Better than Bouillon” chicken stock
1/2 cup cream
1 oz white wine
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Peccorino or Parmigiano
Since I used brown rice in this recipe, which takes a lot longer to cook, I was afraid of it being very under-cooked if I simply followed a traditional risotto technique. Therefore, I decided to precook it about half way in a rice cooker.
I started up my chicken bouillon with the rice & water in the rice cooker.
While that was going on, I sautéed my almonds in about 2 tbsp butter in a cast-iron skillet, until they were nice and golden and aromatic.
I added my diced onion in, and continued sautéing until the onion was almost translucent, and at the tail end, dumped in my diced figs, and the white wine. When the figs were cooked just a tiny bit, I turned off the heat, and set aside this mixture in a separate bowl.
Once the rice approached a nearly cooked state, I added a little more butter to my skillet, and scooped in the parboiled rice filling up the bottom of the skillet. I cooked this on medium heat until it started to stick to the skillet, and then poured in the remaining bouillon water from my rice cooker about 1/2 cup at a time until it was absorbed. Since that didn’t seem to be enough liquid, I added about another 3/4 cup water into the skillet, and kept letting it absorb as the rice was cooking. Towards the end, I stirred in 1/2 cup cream, the fig-mixture, and about 1/4 cup grated cheese, and a dash of nutmeg.