Another shime 締め dish with some Italian twist. It is essentially a rice dish from leftover or frozen rice we always have in the fridge or freezer. It is closer to risotto than to Japanese zousui 雑炊
, so I call it risotto. Risotto is very popular dish in Japan since it is, after all, a rice dish and we also like it but it is too much work and takes too long if you make risotto from scratch, especially when you are winding down your home Izakaya feast. This is my instant risotto-like rice dish.
You can use whatever you have but this time I used, shallot (one, small), Jalapeno pepper (1/2 seeded and deveined), fresh shiitake mushroom, stem removed (5-6, small), and parsley (2-3 tbs); all finely chopped or thinly sliced. Rather than discarding the stems of shiitake mushroms, you coud also use the stems by first tearing them apart along the length of the stem and then finely chopping them. I use about one cup of cooked rice (if frozen, thaw it by briefly in the microwave) for two servings.
First, I add 2 tbs of light olive oil in a frying pan on a medium flame. When the oil is hot and shimmering, I saute all the vegetables except the parsley. I then saute the cooked rice to coat every rice grains with oil. You could add a bit of white wine to start but I usually do not since we do not have a half open white wine around most of the time. If you use a white wine, I will use a small amount (2-3 tbs) so that the end-product will not taste to acidic. I add chicken broth (my usual non-fat reduced salt kind from Swanson in a box
) like you are making real risotto while constantly stirring with a silicon spatula (or whatever utensils you prefer). Add enough liquid so that the rice grains are initally freely moving in the liquid and stir until the liquid has been fully absorbed by the rice then add more broth so the rice is again swimming in the liquid. I repeat this procedure 3-4 times until the rice is creamy enough (do not expect an al-dente
rice here, actually, I do not particularly like al-dente
risotto anyway). After the last installment of the broth has been absorbed, add a thin pad of butter (less than 2 tsp), stir and add chopped parsley. Finally, I grate Parmigiano-Rigggiano
cheese (as much as you like) over the top and adjust salt and black pepper to taste. Since I had a cooked chicken breast
(in balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and sake), I added slices of the chicken breast, which were warmed up on the top of the risotto for few minutes before plating. I also added the congealed or jellied sauce from the chicken dish, which promptly melted adding an additional dimension of flavor.
We kinda like this dish. The experience is similar to a rice porridge but with a taste of Parmesan cheese and mild balsamic vinegar.