Risotto – The Sweet and The Savory

Ahhh, Risotto. Who doesn’t love a rich, creamy risotto? Well, who doesn’t love a rich, creamy risotto outside of the one who’s cooking it? I think most agree that standing at the stove for 20 some odd minutes, ladling simmering stock into sauteed rice, and stirring until the rice absorbs it, then adding more, repetitively, could be called tedious.  It’s like lather, rinse repeat until your head feels numb.

Unique Sweet and Savory Risotto Recipes from Risotto Fritters, to White Chocolate Risotto - Mango Verrines, to Sausage and Pepper Risotto!

Let me make this clear, I’m not bashing risotto; I love it.  I just love when someone else cooks it for me. It was fun the first 50 times I made it, but now it’s become somewhat of a “Ohhh..I really feel like risotto tonight, but the stock, the ladling, the stirring, my aching arms and feet!” dilemma.  However, you have to do this if you want a perfectly silken, creamy risotto. All that stirring releases the lovely starch in the arborio rice, or whatever rice the risotto experts that be decide is better for risotto, (but I’ll get to that later), resulting in the perfect risotto.

By the way, there is no rice called risotto, it’s a dish made with rice

You can add cream and/or butter at the end to achieve that (sort of a cheat), but if done properly, you won’t need either, although it”s not like it’s a bad thing outside of adding to your waistline.  Butter and cream are two of the most beautiful words in the culinary/pastry world, in my opinion, of course.

Unique Sweet and Savory Risotto Recipes from Risotto Fritters, to White Chocolate Risotto - Mango Verrines, to Sausage and Pepper Risotto!

The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.

Unique Sweet and Savory Risotto Recipes from Risotto Fritters, to White Chocolate Risotto - Mango Verrines, to Sausage and Pepper Risotto!
I had a lot of fun with this challenge; I went off the beaten path, then stepped back on it using the challenge recipe, then a few tiptoes off again. The first vision I had was some kind of parfait layered with a sweet risotto; basically a rice pudding made with arborio rice, accompanied by the tedious ladling of simmering milk in lieu of savory stock.

As I was surfing around, I came across a sweet risotto recipe at Food & Wine in which you add flour, eggs and baking powder to make risotto fritters! I made a few changes to the recipe with several additions, and a bit more sugar, because why not?

This is a unique way to use risotto, since many take the arancini aka rice ball route. Nothing like a light, crispy fritter, similar to a zeppole, but filled with sweet, creamy rice.  I could eat these once day..until I got sick of them; took a month long break, then started over again.

Unique Sweet and Savory Risotto Recipes from Risotto Fritters, to White Chocolate Risotto - Mango Verrines, to Sausage and Pepper Risotto!

My verrines were also a success.  Not only did they turn out beautiful, albeit the mango gelee spilling out a few times while setting on an angle, but the taste and texture of this cup of surprise with every bite, is a flavor rave.  When you first stick your spoon in, breaking through the crunchy pistachios, shaved white chocolate, and sweet mango cubes, it slides into creamy white chocolate risotto, the tip of your spoon picking up the smooth mango gelee peppered with sweet mango cubes, beneath it.  Each spoonful is an absolute delight!

Unique Sweet and Savory Risotto Recipes from Risotto Fritters, to White Chocolate Risotto - Mango Verrines, to Sausage and Pepper Risotto!

After basking in luscious dessert risottos, I decided I really needed to make a nice, savory one using the master recipe given to us, almost verbatim.  We were required to make our own stock from scratch, but I already had several quarts of homemade beef, chicken and roasted vegetable on hand.  I always have stock in the freezer because it’s kinda become a must for me.  I usually spend one week in the Fall making stocks and broths to freeze, and then repeat later on if necessary.  If there’s no homemade stock in my freezer, I sort of feel naked.

Unique Sweet and Savory Risotto Recipes from Risotto Fritters, to White Chocolate Risotto - Mango Verrines, to Sausage and Pepper Risotto!

At first, I was thinking of making this Lemony Ramp Risotto. Then I decided to keep it more homey and simple with a twisty, (Umm, couldn’t find ramps) even though while perusing through the Daring Cooks completed challenge forum I nearly drowned in drool after seeing all the beautiful, creamy, and sometimes very unique twists on savory risotto.  The bell peppers at the supermarket were huge, vibrant, and calling to me.  I bought one of each color and then stood there stumped.  I could do a vegetarian risotto, maybe roasted tomato with those gorgeous peppers?

After mulling over that temporary decision, I stopped at an Italian market to pick up some fresh mozzarella.  Walking toward the cheese section, I was stopped in my tracks by a hunky looking log of sopressata that smelled wonderful.  After the nice Italian mom and pop force fed (Ha..more like I kept begging for more) me some of this beautiful dried sausage/salami, or whichever you want to call it, the bells went off. An Italian sausage (sopressata)and pepper risotto with my aforementioned twisty; the twisty being the sopressata (that counts as sausage, right?).  I was set, well, set after I threw in a couple handfuls of sweet petit peas, just because I happened to have them on hand.

Unique Sweet and Savory Risotto Recipes from Risotto Fritters, to White Chocolate Risotto - Mango Verrines, to Sausage and Pepper Risotto!

Now to my risotto rice beef.  I always use Arborio rice for risotto.  Arborio rice used to be (at least it seemed that way) THE rice you used for risotto.  It had the monopoly on risotto! Then someone told me that Vialone Nano is even better, so I start using that. Then someone else told me that Carnaroli rice is really the best rice for risotto, so I start using that.  OK, enough, I’m going back to Arborio because Arborio is my old friend, and it’s easier to find in the supermarket.

I fully expect a new “better for risotto” rice to pop up any day now, but I’m not budging!

Unique Sweet and Savory Risotto Recipes from Risotto Fritters, to White Chocolate Risotto - Mango Verrines, to Sausage and Pepper Risotto!This risotto sat out for an hour before I could take a photo (I fell asleep!). It was much creamier before it sat out that long, but I didn’t feel like dumping it back into the pan and ladling again for one photo. So.be.it.

Well, that’s the end of my fun-filled, month long, love affair with risotto.  I loved this challenge because it was so delicious, but it may be a few months before I tackle risotto again, says my aching arms.  For the Master risotto recipe and tips, click  HERE.

Risotto – Three Ways

Sopressata (Sausage) and Pepper Risotto
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
  • ¼ cup (2 fluid oz 60 ml )olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • half a small green bell pepper, diced
  • half a small red bell pepper, diced
  • half a small yellow bell pepper, diced
  • half a small orange bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups (14 oz 400g) Arborio rice
  • (Any type of rice for risotto will do. I use Arborio but the recipe itself says Vialone Nano. Another to look for is Carnaroli.)
  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz 60 ml) white wine
  • 4 cups (2 pints or 1 liter) simmering chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup diced sopressata or your favorite type of cured sausage/salami, chopped
  • a handful of petit peas, cooked (optional)
  • kosher salt and fresh, ground pepper to taste
  • shaved Parmesan cheese to top, if desired
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add diced onion, and all three diced bell peppers. Fry for a few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent, and the bell peppers have softened.
  2. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly.
  3. Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated.
  4. Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don’t actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off.
  5. Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed.
  6. Keep ladling ½ cupfuls of stock until the rice absorbs it, then adding another ½ cup, ad infinitum, until the stock is all used up and the risotto is creamy and slightly al dente. Stir in all the parmesan cheese, a tablespoon or two of butter, and the chopped sopressata. If using peas, add them too. Taste the risotto and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Top each serving with shaving or grating of fresh Parmesan (or your fave Italian hard grating cheese).
  7. Serve immediately.

White Chocolate Risotto-Mango Gelee Verrines
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 servings
Special Equipment for Verrines - FOUR 6 to 8 oz clear glasses and 1 empty egg carton
Prep time does not include setting times for mango gelee.
White Chocolate Risotto
  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • 1 split vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ cup arborio rice
  • ¼ cup white wine or water
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 oz white chocolate, chopped and melted
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (optional)
Mango Gelee
  • 1¾ teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from a ¼-oz envelope)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups mango nectar or puree
  • 1 medium mango, peeled and cubed,reserving some for the topping
  • ½ cup roughly chopped pistachios, toasted
  • grated, or shaved (with a vegetable peeler) or chopped white chocolate
  • remaining mango cubes from mango chopped for gelee
Make the White Chocolate-Pistachio Risotto
  1. Melt the butter in a heavy, medium saucepan. Add the rice and stir over moderate heat until coated with the butter. Place the vanilla beans and scraped pod in a pot with the milk and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the white wine or water to the rice and cook, stirring, until the white wine or water is completely absorbed. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon and stir. Remove the pod from the vanilla bean milk and add ½ cup of it to the rice, then cook, stirring constantly, until the milk is completely absorbed. Continue adding the vanilla milk,1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the risotto is creamy and porridge-like and the grains of rice are just tender.
  3. Stir in the melted white chocolate, sugar, vanilla and optional orange zest. Chill until ready to fill verrines or chill and serve as is.
Make the Mango Gelee
  1. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small saucepan and let stand 1 minute to soften. Cook over low heat, stirring, until gelatin is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon mango nectar at a time until gelatin mixture is cool, then whisk in remaining nectar. Stir in cubed mango, setting some aside for the topping.
  2. Transfer to a metal bowl and set bowl into a larger bowl half-filled with ice and cold water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until gelee is the consistency of raw egg white, 15 to 25 minutes.
Assemble Verrines
  1. Divide an even amount of gelee, about ⅓-1/2 cup in each of 4 glasses, then tilt each glass about 45 degrees in an egg carton and let set in the fridge. When set, fill the empty space next to the gelee with the sweet risotto, even with the top of the gelee.
  2. Warm the remaining gelee (set aside about ¼ cup or whatever you have left after pouring the second layer, to top the verrines) to loosen it up, then pour another ⅓ - ½ cup of gelee and tilt again in the egg carton, but in the opposite direction of the first layer of gelee, letting it set. Take care to not let too much of the sweet risotto seep into the new gelee like mine did (notice the second layer of gelee is a little darker?).
  3. When the second layer of gelee is set, fill the rest of the glass with the white chocolate-pistachio risotto and top with remaining gelee (warm it up to loosen it, then just pour over the tops of the glasses, equally. This time, Let it set in the glasses upright to seal everything in.
  4. Top with chopped pistachios, white chocolate and mango cubes. Can be ser
    ved chilled, if desired, just let it chill in the fridge before adding toppings.

Rice Pudding Balls aka Rice Pudding Fritters aka Sweet Risotto Fritters
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: about 6 servings
Adapted from Food&Wine
  • Full recipe for the Sweet (white chocolate) Risotto above, minus the melted white chocolate and toppings *
  • 1 plump vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • small pinch of table salt
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Peanut oil, for frying
Strawberry Compote Dip
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups quartered strawberries (halved if small), divided
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon orange liqueur and/or orange zest (optional)
  1. Make the Creamy Sweet Risotto recipe, above, but Omit the melted white chocolate, pistachios. When all the milk is absorbed and the rice slightly al dente, stir in the vanilla beans scrapings (place the empty, scraped pod in a canister with sugar for vanilla sugar!) transfer to a bowl and let cool,
  2. When cool, stir in the beaten egg, then stir in the flour and baking powder.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir half of the beaten egg whites into the risotto, then fold in the rest.
  4. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat 2 inches of peanut oil to 350 degrees F. Position a wire rack on a baking sheet and cover the rack with paper towels. Scoop rounded tablespoons of the rice into the hot oil without crowding and fry until golden brown all over, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritter balls to the rack to drain.
  5. Repeat to make the remaining fritter balls. Sprinkle the fritter balls with confectioners' sugar and serve warm, with the strawberry compote and warm chocolate sauce or ganache.
Strawberry Compote Dip
  1. Heat 1 cup quartered strawberries, sugar and water in medium saucepan over medium-high heat then bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, then remove from heat. .Give it a whirl in the food processor, blender or break it down with a stick blender until smooth.
  2. Stir in orange liqueur and/or zest, if using and let cool. Stir in remaining ½ cup quartered strawberries. Chill or serve at room temperature.
*OK, I did not try these fritters with the melted white chocolate, but I can't see why not it wouldn't work. If you do try it, drop me a line and let me know! Also, you can flavor the rice pudding/risotto batter any way you want, like with the citrus zest of your choice (lime, lemon, orange), or bits of dried fruit or nuts, or spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, or try dark chocolate if you want to try it with chocolate.


Rice Pudding Fritters! Sweet and crispy on the outside, super creamy vanilla bean risotto rice pudding on the inside. ALL MIXED in one bowl, NO BREADING or batter dipping! Also, a great strawberry dipping sauce recipe to go with it! #ricepuddingfritters #fritters #deep-fried #risottofritters #risotto #Vanillabean #strawberrycompote

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79 Responses to Risotto – The Sweet and The Savory

  1. Rosa says:

    You are very creative! Everything is magnificent (dishes, pictures & presentation)! Wow!



  2. ap269 says:

    Really enjoyed reading your post. OMG, all your version look super scrumptious!!!!!

  3. Valerie says:

    Good Lord, Lisa Michele, this is nothing short of sensational! The verrines are sooooo perfectly patterned, I have no idea how you pulled this off! And the arancini look crisp on the outside and so nice and creamy on the inside! As for the chocolate and pistachio combo, it sounds delicious! As usual, I take my hat off to you!

  4. Megan says:

    Oh my gosh. All of this looks amazing! Nice work!

  5. Dan says:

    Incrediable pictures and everything looks great. Wish I could have some I am so hungry now. Your creativity is par excellance!!!

  6. pragmaticattic says:

    Those verrines are just STUNNING!! Wow, wow, wow . . .
    BTW, I like Aborio best, too.
    Oh, and one more thing: Lidia Bastianich has a new way of making risotto that involves less stirring. After insisting on lots of stirring for years, her recent cookbook about regional Italian dishes shows a more laid back approach. I usually don’t like shortcuts for risotto, but this method really produced very good results.

  7. WOW – you are so creative!! I absolutely love mangos but would never have thought to use them like this, and your presentation is breathtaking. I will definitely give this a try. Awesome job!

  8. Margie says:

    I love how you brought so much color to risotto! Your sweet risotto parfaits are edible art. The sopressata-topped savory version was inspired. You definitely hit this one out of the park.

  9. Memoria says:

    WOAH!! You went all the way on this challenge!!! I love love love the parfait!!! The beautiful design you made. I wonder how you did that. Wow. GREAT JOB!!!!!

  10. Shelley says:

    WOW. Just… WOW. You went so far above and beyond, and the results are truly stunning. Mango? Amazing. Sausage and peppers? Inspired! Seriously amazing work (and amazing photographs, also!).

  11. jo says:

    OMG, I could absolutely, absolutely dig into every single one of the dishes. They look so, so good. Great job!

  12. Sue says:

    Your parfaits are INCREDIBLE!!!

  13. Ruth H. says:

    Vanilla risotto fritters? I might marry you if I didn’t love my husband so much! Amazing work, and I love your presentation!

  14. Arlette says:

    OMG Lisa, you are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love this challenge, I love the rice pudding looks awesome, and i am going to try the fritters soon…. will add some cheese and fry
    you are genious my friend….
    Five Stars Dining.

  15. ingrid says:

    Love those verrines. Do tell how you got the lines so perfectly straight and angled? I smell a tutorial! 🙂

    Great job on this challenge, Lisa!

  16. Asha@FSK says:

    LOVE LOVE the parfait. what a fantastic idea! and such a gorgeous presentation! awesome creations Lisa!

  17. Laura says:

    Stunning! Wonderful job!

  18. chef_d says:

    Wow, the mango gelee risotto looks so pretty! I love all your versions! They look so good..excellent job on this challenge!

  19. Amazing! They are all colorful and so enticing! I like them all but i like most the parfait..so beautiful!

  20. Jenn says:

    LOVING your verrines! What a cool and artistic way to present such a lovely dessert! beautiful!

  21. Wic says:

    Wow what a presentation. it looks stunning. love your versions, love the pictures and adore what you did with this months challenge.
    it looks delicious.

  22. Simone says:

    I am with you on the having to stand there at the stove…lol… but wow, girl you have outdone yourself on the presentation and creation of all those varieties and that mango one… Ooohhh… I just have to have a bit of that. I have never made sweet risotto but now that I have seen yours; guess what I will be doing soon?

  23. Sophie says:

    Hello, Lisa!

    Gegous creatins, sweet & savoury!! Waw!!!

    I am blown away !!! MMMMMMMMMMMM,…..excellent!

  24. Veganpower says:

    OMG Lisa o_O your sweet risotto is just AMAZING ! Waouw, very nice, very pro, all is beautiful, my god !!!!

    Great job, nice challenge o_O waoouuuuuuuw !

  25. Firstly Lisa your photographs are incredible – the colours of the capsicum (bell pepper) risotto is astounding but the look of the mango verrines are exquisite and the fritters are so juicy all superbly done. What can I say the best post I have seen so far. And thanks for all the wonderful and kind words you left on my blog. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    Five gold stars to you <3<3<3

  26. trissalicious says:

    Wow Lisa – you really went all out with this challenge! Just totally loving the mango verrine – thanks for sharing tips on how to get that look. Am sooo going to try it.

  27. shaz says:

    Hats off to you Lisa Michelle!! I am SO, UTTERLY, IMPRESSED by those verrines. In fact by all your risotto efforts. Bravissimo! Heh, like you, I use arborio all the time too, can’t be bothered to go searching for all the other varieties. But I kinda like the stirring part, it’s a bit meditative, plus I can tell the kids not to bug me or dinner doesn’t get served 🙂

  28. You’ve definitely created over the top risottos for this DC challenge! Wow! So impressive!

  29. tariqata says:

    I’m just going to have to sit here for a while and look at your glorious photos before I can possibly absorb the recipes. But they look both wonderful and original!

  30. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Wow! Spectacular creations with risotto! The verrines especially are just stunning!

  31. The verrines are fabulous, most definitely, but those peppers and sopressata are calling to me! Beautiful and, yes, over the top! Happy Spring!

  32. blepharisma says:

    Delicious!!! I’m trying to grab one of the parfaits through the computer screen, seriously. The photos are lovely, too!

  33. I love what you’ve done with the risotto. You really took things to a new level. The desert with the pistachios looks positively heavenly.
    *kisses* HH

  34. Lori says:

    I love every single interpretation here. Tastey and beautiful- a good combination. You always amaze me with your creativity and zealousness for these challenges. Bravo girl, well done!

  35. Esther says:

    Fantastic, love both the pudding version and the savoury ones sounds pretty fabulous too I love continental sausages like that. Very tempted to try the verrines next time we have a dinner party.

  36. Rose says:

    Hahahah! I just saw you on foodgawker – guaranteed to turn your palate into a rave 😉 You’re funny girl! Amazingly gorgeous risotto/parfaits. Stunning! Those fritters look out of this world too. Excellent job turning risotto into something unique! Love it!

  37. bakingaddict says:

    Wow such mouth watering recipes. I love the risotto fritter, makes me want to eat it straight from the screen!! Really beautiful photos and amazing creativity. Might have to give Daring Cooks a try one day.

  38. Julie says:

    Very impressive! I’d be hard pressed to decide which one to dive into first!

  39. Marcellina says:

    OMG! I am salivating! The verrines ( I didn’t even know this was a word! I’m learning everyday!)are magnificent. The fritters are sublime. And the risotto so appealing. What amazing work! Did you have a spare minute this month? I want one of those verrines right now! YUM!

  40. I LLLOOOVVVEEE the mango verrine, omg, did I mention how I love it. Beautiful and creative. The rest looks awesome too…but love the mango stuff he he. I am so with you on the risotto preparation. Every time I read the liquid quantity of a risotto recipe I laugh!

  41. climbhighak says:

    You astound everytime. I have to say though, that soppresata put the savory dish over the top with me. Slice.seriouseats.com has been saying that sopresseta is the new pepperoni. It just looks so rustic and delicious. I must now make my own.

    I am also digging on the fritters. Corn fritters are a taste from my childhood and your version with rice immediately took me back there. You have got some mad skills Lisa.

  42. Leah says:

    This is amazing!! I wish I could reach through the screen and eat all 3 of those dishes. It’s all so impressive that last night, I called my boyfriend over to the computer to see your completed challenges.

  43. Juliana says:

    Oh Lisa…so nice…everything looks so delicious and you are so creative…and great presentation 🙂

  44. Lindsay says:

    WOW! Your sweet risotto looks gorgeous! And your arancini – divine!

    Gorgeous photos, and a whole bunch more inspiration for my kitchen, thank you!

  45. Meghan says:

    Thanks so much for your comment on my blog! Your photos are amazing – truly mouth-watering!

  46. Wendy says:

    You’re always so creative. Sweet risotto sounds awesome.

  47. The sweet risotto mango gelee verrines are so beautiful and tempting. And you took breathtaking pictures, simply delightful!

    Your mango twist of the challenge is superb! Thumbs uppp 🙂

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  48. You are SO clever Lisa! I was just thinking that the mango design was just magical and then you make them into sweet arancini balls! 😮

  49. Natashya says:

    Absolutely wonderful! But you have especially won my heart with the verrines. That is an artform I would love to learn this year.

  50. Erusi says:

    The verrines are simply to die for. I love mango, and your plating of the dish looks too gorgeous for words too. And the arancini… mmmm. Wonderful job!

  51. angelica says:

    WOW, your mango parfait is a work of art! What a simple yet great idea to create shapes by tilting, thanks for sharing! I’ve got many ideas running through my mind now 😉 The risotto fritter is also a genius idea, love how you went so many routes with risotto!

  52. Three amazing dishes here! The fritters look absolutely irresistible, and the verrines are lovely. Regarding which rice is best, I’m having a similar issue with paella. Every source suggests a different type.

  53. Claudia says:

    Boy, I am even more anxious for our mango season now. Outstanding job as per usual.

    As to the tedium whilst making risotto, a large glass of good wine to sip helps the process along.

  54. Oh my dear Lisa…im late here arent i…i did expect u to excel this round but u did way more than that…………i love love love those VErrines…super …wanna make some myself….
    Ur way way good Lisa….super fantastic,..
    and yeah am with a new blog coz my feeds aint updating at VSSF nor does feed burner ping so am now at http://brightmorningstarsfoodie.blogspot.com/….
    cheers and have a fantastic day …..

  55. I do need to try a dessert risotto and the arancini are my new snack food sensation.

  56. pragmaticattic says:

    Mrs. Stahl’s? Was that your friend’s knish source?

  57. suezumout says:

    Talk about creative!! The mango risotto is almost too pretty to eat. Your arancini look comfortingly cheesy and creamy. I am certain whoever ate with you was extremely appreciative. Your posts are always so lovely!

  58. Esi says:

    I’m suddenly craving risotto in both your (stunning) sweet and savory versions.

  59. Holy cow, Lisa, I’m speechless … your Verrines are absolutely stunning. Stunning!!! Actually, all of your iterations are magnificent, but its the Verrines that are calling my name. I sure they were every bit as delicious as the look. Wow, I’m impressed!

  60. peasepudding says:

    OMG, those verrines are spectacular, I can just imagine the sweet rice, pistachio, white choc and mango altogether! You have such patience layering them like that but so worth the effort.

  61. OK.
    1. How do you take your photos so that the ingredients look like they are floating on a white background? This is not a redundant question.
    2. Where did you get your cool glasses – and are they glass?
    3. Seriously, how hard were these to make – and how did you get them so perfect… any step by step photos hiding on flickr somewhere you could share
    4 What an amazing piece of writing and photography.
    5. Seriously – please answer my first questions.
    I am hear to learn. XO

    • lisamichele says:

      Valerie..glad to answer your questions!

      1. I place the ingredients on a white sheet, board or big white plate, then crop if any background other than white snuck in, Then, of course..a little photoshopping helps.
      2. The glasses are plastic, and they’re Emi Yoshi 12 oz tumblers, They sell all kinds of great plastic ‘but looks like glass’ products. I bought mine at a local restaurant supplier..a pack of 20 for 6 bucks! I would stay away from purchasing these online, as from what I’ve seen..they prefer to sell them in super duper bulk.
      3. The verrines were SO SO easy to make and if you go to the bottom of my entry, next to UPDATE:, I have instructions on how to make them look like that. Gelee, gelatin etc..sets so cleanly..in a straight line, that’s it’s a piece of cake, although some of my risotto leaked into the second layer of gelee..sort of ‘drabbing’ the translucent orange glow.
      4. Thank you so much for the nice compliments 🙂 *hugs*

      • Thank you, and back to number one… what aperture setting and lens or camera do you use… photo shop helps – do you use photo shop, or something else. Tell me – I am getting it.

      • lisamichele says:

        Valerie -I should be asking you these questions because your photos are absolutely beautiful! I use a Canon Digital Rebel XTi with a 50 mm f1.8 lens. I play with every f-stop, from the widest at f1.8 all the way to 22, and then take a few photos on auto. Whichever photo(s) look best (out of the hundred I take – seriously) is/are the one(s) I choose. I’m still such a complete novice, but if I had natural light, it would be so much easier to get a beautiful shot. I really need to start futzing with manual and learn RAW!

  62. Jenni says:

    You are my hero. So creative, fantastic presentation! I love it! Can you overnight some to me?! 🙂

  63. Jamie says:

    I actually love making risotto – I find the stirring rather soothing and it takes my mind off other things. What I hate is the splattering of stock on the stovetop and then cleaning everything up!

    I LOVE your sweet risotto recipe! The verrines are gorgeous but just that recipe has just been added to my to-make list! Fabulous! And that is very creative!

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  65. I have been struggling with the tilted pudding idea for quite some time now; thanks for the egg carton tip, I will try that next time! Your meal is very impressive and totally delicious! Love that dessert and the risotto savory and sweet version too. Congratulations on a job that well exceeded expectations!

  66. I forwarded you a little love today that was passed my way and gave you a beautiful bog award. Stop by and pick it up Sometime…and Thank you!

  67. Olive says:

    everything looks so delicious, the risotto parfait/verrine is beautiful! 🙂

  68. Wow, everything looks so stunning! Yummy!

  69. natalia says:

    Wow ! Your many rice wonders are really something !!!

  70. Kathy says:

    The Mango Gelle for Verrines is an exciting recipe for sweet fruit lovers like me. Mango nectar or puree taste so great and when you mixed cubed mango, for toppings, yes indeed, it is heaven! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes, very creative!

  71. peasepudding says:

    They look absolutely stunning and I like the idea of the kiwi strawberry flavour of course being an honoury kiwi myself!

  72. Ralph says:

    I was blown away by your presentation. The look is fantastic and I perceive that the taste would be fabulous. I plan on making your savory risotto with peppers and sausage very soon. I, too, hate standing and stirring. In fact, I had quit making risottos for that very reason ( I just can’t stand for an extended period of time.)THe Los Angles Times, a few years ago published a pressure cooker method for resotto that tastes as good as the traditional ‘stand and stir’ method. It only takes six to eight minutes to make a risotto!

    I am trepidatious at attempting a dessert risotto, that uses milk as part or all of the liquid in a pressure cooker. In fact, that’s how I happened on your posting. I’m searching to see if anyone else has successfully used milk in a pressure cooker.

    • lisamichele says:

      Ralph, the sausage and pepper and white chocolate- mango gelee risotto were both very yummy1 Thank you so much for your sweet compliment!


      Having said that, I don’t own a pressure cooker, and frankly, would probably decorate my kitchen walls and ceiling with loads of edibles, If I used one..so I wouldn’t know how milk would fare in one..lol Let me know if you get an answer or try it yourself!


      Also, I actually have a recipe for a dutch oven risotto, everything in one pot..that is pretty good. However, it’s that sometimes ‘annoying’ stirring that gives risotto that uber creaminess. The stirring releases something in the arborio (or whatever risotto rice you’re using) rice to make that happen. However, like I said, that dutch oven risotto is still pretty darn good, and I’m sure your pressure cooker recipe is also!

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