Tomatillo White Onion Risotto

I wanted to make a risotto with simple ingredients but a lot of flavor. We've been on a Mexican food kick so I thought I would incorporate some flavors from the Southwest. This was a challenge because risotto is traditionally subtle and I wanted something more bold. I recommend pairing this dish with a tart white wine (try Ferrari Carano 2007 Fume Blanc) or light, hoppy beer.

Ingredients


1. 1 medium sized white onion
2. 4 medium sized tomatillos
3. 1 cup dry arborio rice
4. 1 tbls earth balance
5. 4 sprigs cilantro (or more if you like)
6. 2 tbls thyme
7. 2 cups water
8. 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
9. Sea salt
10. Dash of commercial spice mixture (Tony's or Spike's Hot & Spicy will do)
11. 2 tbls olive oil



Onion Tomatillo Sauce
Chop the onion, slice tomatillos and mince two sprigs of cilantro. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and sautee the onions and tomatillos on medium heat until the onions are translucent. Season with salt and spice mixture. Add the minced cilantro, reduce heat and cover. Continue to cook on low until all the water has been expressed from the tomatillos and mixture is ready for processing.

Allow cooked mixture to cool for about ten minutes. Transfer to food processor, add butter, and puree. Reseason if necessary. Divide approximately six tablespoons from mixture and set everything aside.

Risotto
To prepare the blanching liquid, combine water and rice wine vinegar and bring to a slow boil. Blanch the remaining cilantro and thyme in liquid for two minutes and remove from heat.

Toast dry risotto until aromatic in a dry, medium skillet on medium-high heat (don't burn!). Reduce heat to medium and begin preparing risotto in the usual way with the blanching liquid. After every third ladle of blanching liquid has been absorbed by the arborio, add a tablespoon of the divided tomatillo onion puree to the rice.

Remember to season with salt as you cook (taste, season, taste)!

Plate risotto and finish with two tablespoons of puree in the center. Garnish with a bit of cilantro.

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