At chef Michael Schlow's new Boston restaurant, Tico, the flavors of Spain, Mexico and South America all mingle on a menu of tapas-style plates. Many of the dishes are inspired by the chef's travels around the world, including this risotto, which combines smoky pasilla chiles (Mexico) and a generous serving of chorizo (Spain) to create a creamy, soul-satisfying dish that can be enjoyed alone or as an accompaniment to a main dish from one of many cuisines.
Recipe adapted from Michael Schlow, Tico, Boston
Yield: 4 main-course servings
4 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup finely diced yellow onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
½ pound cured Spanish chorizo, diced
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions (white and light-green parts only), plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons thinly sliced and seeded pasilla chiles (or other mild dried chile)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a boil, then keep warm over low heat.
2. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until it's lightly toasted and opaque, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the wine and cook over medium-low heat until absorbed, about 5 minutes. Ladle 1 cup of the stock over the rice and simmer, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Continue to add the stock ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently, until the rice is creamy and tender but still slightly chewy in the center, about 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook the chorizo over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir the chorizo, the ¼ cup of scallions and the chiles into the risotto until combined. Add the Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Divide the risotto among 4 plates and garnish with additional scallions and Parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.