Friday Mike (aka “dad”) and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. It’s been 11 years and two beautiful babies since that day. According to the anniversary lists, steel is the traditional gift this year, but we opted for a sensational dinner for two instead. Do stainless steel utensils count? 😉
When we were planning our meal, we tossed around several of our old favorites – things that Mike used to whip up to impress me. You see, I didn’t cook back then – except for my favorite bowl of pasta which only I seem to like. (To this day I think my dad is afraid to touch any pasta that I’ve made.) Fortunately, I’ve evolved since then and Mike and I have spent lots of date nights in our own kitchen whipping up meals, sipping wine and having great conversations. It’s easily one of our favorite things to do. So this weekend we got the kids to bed early and whipped up one of our favorite celebratory meals – Champagne Risotto with Truffle Oil.
We brought the chicken stock to a boil in a medium-sized sauce pan. Once boiling, we reduced it to a simmer and added the shrimp. We leave the shrimp in the stock while cooking the risotto. (Aw – isn’t this cute. 😉 )
We typically only use shallots, but I’ve wanted to try leeks and thought they would make a nice addition to this dish. After 2-3 minutes, it’s time to add the Arborio and toss to coat. The first liquid added to the dish is half of the Champagne. We used an Asti, but any Champagne or dry sparkling white wine will do the trick.
Once the Champagne was absorbed we began the process of adding the chicken stock and cooking the rice. The key to a good risotto – constant attention and continual stirring. The whole process took between 20 and 30 minutes. Once all the stock was incorporated the rest of the Champagne was added and the risotto cooked for another 2-3 minutes. Finally we removed it from the heat and stirred in some SarVecchio. We spooned out the risotto and garnished it with the shrimp and truffle oil. While the truffle oil isn’t necessary it adds a tasty luxuriousness to the whole meal, and you don’t need to use more than a 1/2 tablespoon per dish for the effect.
This was easily a 4 spoon dish for both Mike and I, but then again, we knew that going in. The risotto is creamy with bites of both sweet and earthy goodness, and it goes very well with a fresh roasted garlic, a hearty bread and dipping sauce.
This is definitely one of our favorite celebratory meals. It’s not terribly difficult and it uses so many fun and interesting ingredients. Perhaps the best part of this meal, however, is that it lends itself well to a kitchen date night. Think sipping wine while snacking on the SarVecchio – yum! Who knew 11 years could bring so much goodness. 🙂
Print this recipe: Champagne Risotto with Truffle Oil