In this special weekly feature, TODAY food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.
THIS WEEK: Crispy Risotto Al Salto from Aigre Doux in Chicago, Illinois.
When you think of risotto, the first thing that comes to mind may be its smooth and creamy consistency. Well, you're in for quite a surprise, as this risotto is given a little crunch! Pair this fun combination of textures with some great cheese and quality prosciutto, and you've got yourself a sumptuous appetizer or side dish that will impress any guest.
About the chef: Joining the ranks of America's star chefs wasn't on the agenda for Mohammad Islam back in 1995. A native of Bangladesh, Islam grew up in the States and had taken a rather conventional career path as a computer hardware engineer. However, after realizing that he didn't enjoy it, he had an epiphany — his first love was food.
As Islam set out on his new professional journey, he needed to learn how to cook. The quickest way to learn was to simply do it — and thus, he was launched into the kitchen at the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago. There, he was molded into a chef and proved that he had the natural talent and desire for a culinary career. It was also at the Ritz that he met his future wife and business partner, Malika Ameen.
In January 2007, after several years of refining his skills at various other establishments, Islam, along with Ameen, decided to open Aigre Doux in Chicago, where his culinary journey had begun. Islam excitedly states, "Chicago continues to grow rapidly as a fabulous food city, and I am thrilled to become a part of this extraordinary scene."
Crispy Risotto Al Salto is served at Aigre Doux for $9. The recipe is for a serving size of two.
Crispy Risotto Al Salto By Mohammad Islam of Aigre Doux in Chicago, Illinois
Crispy Risotto Al Salto Steal This Recipe® step-by-step Instructions:
1. Saute onions, butter, and garlic with olive oil for thirty seconds; do not color.
2. Add dry Arborio rice.
3. Toast in oil for thirty seconds; season with pinch of salt and pepper.
4. Add wine; reduce until dry.
5. While stirring, add 1/3 of the hot water or chicken stock at a time. When absorbed, repeat until cooked, approximately 20 minutes (Additional cooking time and liquid may be required depending on quality of rice used).
6. Once cooked, spread evenly onto a sheet tray and cool.
7. In a bowl, mix cheeses, thyme and celery leaves with cooled risotto.
8. Form mixture into tablespoon-sized portions and shape into balls; freeze until just slightly hardened.
9. Coat balls in egg yolks evenly; dip into breadcrumbs to finish.
10. Deep fry for one minute until golden brown.
11. To plate, place prosciutto evenly on serving platter. Place risotto balls on top of bed of prosciutto. Garnish with grated parmesan and serve.
1931569660481onions, minced2tablespoon2 Tablespoons onions, mincedbutter1tablespoon1 Tablespoon buttergarlic, minced1teaspoon1 teaspoon garlic, mincedolive oil2tablespoon2 Tablespoon olive oilarborio rice0.5cup1/2 cup Arborio riceSalt and pepper, to tastevermouth, extra dry0.25cup1/4 cup vermouth, extra dryhot water or chicken stock2cup2 cups hot water or chicken stockparmesan cheese0.25cup1/4 cup parmesan cheesemozzarella cheese, grated0.25cup1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, gratedfresh thyme1tablespoon1 Tablespoon fresh thymecelery leaves, julienned1teaspoon1 teaspoon celery leaves, juliennedegg yolks44 egg yolksbread crumbs1cup1 cup bread crumbspieces prosciutto, thinly sliced66 pieces prosciutto, thinly slicedGarnish: grated parmesan cheese
230 W. Kinzie Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.