Risotto, Grissini style

November 14, 2008 3:09:02 PM PST
In this edition of Neighborhood Eats, we're getting the feel of Italy in New Jersey. Tuscany, to be exact.We headed to Grissini Restaurant, located at 484 Sylvan Avenue in Englewood Cliffs. It just celebrated 15 years in business.

Tony Delgado likes people to come back, and his customers often do.

Many of the diners live or work in or near Englewood Cliffs, an affluent area of northern New Jersey. And Grissini is meant to feel a bit like a Tuscan villa, from the decor to the menu.

Chef Alberto Leanardi makes a lot of daily specials, always changing up the ingredients. We sampled some risotto.

He starts with cannaroli rice. That is added to onions and oil, and to that he adds stock. The secret is to keep stirring, and to add liquid gradually.

Eventually, he adds rock shrimp, saffron, leeks and, at the end, blanched asparagus and butter. There are pasta specials, whole fish, salads and don't forget the bread sticks. That's what Grissini means, but it stands for much more.

And on Sundays, the owner steps into kitchen to make family-style meals like his mom used to make.

Recipe for Risotto con scampi, porri, asparagi e zafferano

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup cannaroli rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 pound rock shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish saffron
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 quarts fish stock

    Preparation:

  • In a 12 to 14-inch frying pan with 3-inch sides, heat the olive oil and onion over medium heat until softened, but not brown, about 4 to 6 minutes.

  • Add the rice and, stirring constantly.

  • Cook until opaque, about 2 minutes.

  • Add the white wine, saffron, then the fish stock, ladle by ladle, until the rice is covered.

  • Turn the heat to high and, stirring constantly, continue to cook, maintaining the level of liquid just above the level of rice, for 10 minutes.

  • Add the rock shrimp, leeks, asparagus and continue cooking until rice is soft, but still al dente.

  • Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and stir in butter and parsley. Serve immediately.

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    STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg

    WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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