The trick is to make the rice creamy using its own starch. To do this you want the stock almost boiling. As you add liquid you will stir, allowing the liquid to be absorbed by the rice as it is also boiled off.
Either in the microwave or on the stove top heat the stock until it is simmering.
Using a thick-bottom dutch oven cook the shallot in the oil with the pinch of salt over medium heat. Once the shallot is soft but not brown add the rice. Toast the rice for a couple of minutes, stirring periodically. Don’t let it brown.
Add the wine (or sherry) and let it boil away as you stir until the spoon leaves a path through the rice when you drag it along the bottom of the pot.
Add a cup of stock. I simply use a 2-cup pyrex (heat proof) measuring cup to dip up about one cup at a time.
Let the stock boil off, stirring occasionally. When you have just added the stock you don’t need to stir as much, as it boils off and there is less liquid you want to keep a closer eye on things so they don’t burn.
Again wait until you can make a path through the rice and add more stock. Repeat with the remaining stock, adding about a cup at a time. When you add the last bit of stock taste the rice to be sure it is almost done. Be careful not to burn your tongue. Taste the rice again when the stock is not as far boiled off as before. If needed add another half cup of stock and cook.
You want the risotto a bit soupy when it is served so you want it a bit more wet right now. Cover the pot and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add additional stock before serving if it is sticky.
Serve with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese if you can safely do dairy.
Added at the end when it rests, so they just warm through
– halved grape tomatoes
– sliced sun dried tomatoes
Cooked separately (since I can never correctly time the rice and the vegetables to be done at the same time)
– zucchini, sliced thin and quartered
– squash, cube some and puree some
– mushrooms, I personally don’t like them but this is a classic
– shrimp, ditto that I dislike but it’s classic
– spinach (nice with a VERY small amount of gorgonzola, again for those with dairy)
– grilled and cut up chicken
– stick pepperoni slices on the bias and pan fried to crispy. I like to use beef stock for this one!
In reality, the veg and meat you add to this is pretty endless.