I have in the past made a number of batches of risotto, which is delicious and rich and creamy, usually overflowing with Parmesan cheese, because I don\’t have to make a profit.

But making \”real\” risotto takes time, most of it right at the stove top. A typical recipe for risotto would include a cup of arborio rice, a half cup or so of finely chopped onion, a cup of Parmesan, four or five cups of chicken or beef broth at a simmer, and some nice olive oil. Oh, and I usually finish it with about two or three tablespoons of butter. (Oh, God, why am I overweight?)

The onions are sauteed in the olive oil, the rice is added and that\’s sauteed as well. Then the broth is added about a half cup at a time, stirring more-or-less constantly, until it\’s absorbed, and the process repeated until the rice is done (al dente), about 25 minutes or so later. Then the butter and Parmesan are stirred in. Delicious, but I\’m at the stove for a half hour or more.

That\’s risotto. Now, fauxsotto is much easier.

I picked up a package of fresh pico de gallo at the supermarket, about a cup or so of coarsely chopped onion, red pepper, jalapeno, and just a touch of cilantro.

Into the skillet went about two tablespoons of olive oil and half of the pico de gallo. Saute for a bit, then add a cup of long-grain rice, and saute that a bit. Then add two cans of chicken broth. Bring that all to a boil, turn the flame down, cover, and simmer for about twenty minutes. Voila.

It\’s not as good as risotto, but about 90% easier and 20% faster. You could probably toss in the Parmesan and butter and get it even closer to risotto, but I didn\’t even bother. There are about a million variations on this theme that could be done, but I\’m just starting.

Until next time, bon appetit!
(love you, Julia!)