The Post Ranch Inn is perched on the cliffs of Big Sur in Northern California heaven with the sea on one side and beautiful mountains on the other. This spot is a “must go” for an extra special occasion, romantic weekend, or just a good old fashion luxury (yet simple) hotel splurge.
Many thanks to Executive Chef Craig von Foerster of the Sierra Mar restaurant for graciously sharing the amazing recipe below. I will be trying his risotto recipe out on my New Years Eve guests in a few weeks.
Nantes Carrot and Black Truffle Risotto
If the carrot doesn’t taste good raw, it will not make a good risotto. Nantes carrots are a medium-size cylindrically shaped carrot with a sweet, clean flavor. I was first introduced to these delightful orange nibbles by Mark Marino at Earthbound Farms. They are grown locally in Monterey County but are available at most farmers markets. If Nantes are not available, chantenay or any freshly harvested medium-size carrots can be substituted.RISOTTO 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup diced onion 1 cup risotto rice 3 3/4 cups carrot juice 2 tablespoons truffle butter 1/2 cup Carrot Nage (recipe below) 2 tablespoons chopped chives 2 teaspoons lemon juice Salt and pepper 2 tablespoons-diced black truffle, optional
Heat olive oil in a small pot over medium heat and then add onion and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add risotto rice and stir to coat with oil. Add carrot juice to just cover the rice and bring to a simmer, adding more carrot juice as needed to keep the rice barely covered during cooking, stirring occasionally. Continue adding the juice a little at a time to maintain coverage until all the juice is absorbed. The risotto should have a creamy consistency and the grains of rice are cooked through, yet still firm. Finish off the heat by adding the truffle butter, 3 tablespoons Carrot Nage, chives, lemon juice, salt, pepper and diced black truffle. Chef’s Note: To make fresh carrot juice, peel carrots and run through a juice extractor. Four medium carrots yield 1 cup of juice.CARROT NAGE 4 cups carrot juice 6 tablespoons butter, softened 2 tablespoons truffle butter 1 teaspoon lemon juice Salt and pepper, to taste
In a small pot over low heat, slowly reduce the carrot juice to 1 cup, whisking occasionally to prevent the juice from separating. Turn up to medium heat, add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly to incorporate. Pour the sauce into the container of a blender, cover and run on medium speed until emulsified, about 10 seconds. With the blender running, add truffle butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Transfer sauce and keep in a warm place. Chef’s Note: Butter sauces are delicate, therefore keeping the nage warm, not hot, is imperative. A pre-warmed thermos is ideal for keeping this sauce perfect until use.CRISPY CARROT THREADS 3 quarts rice bran oil 1 large carrot, peeled
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat to 325° F. Using the fine teeth of a Japanese mandolin, shred the carrot. Rub the carrot shreds between your fingers to break them apart and separate. Sprinkle the shredded carrot into the oil and fry until bubbling stops. Pull from the oil with a slotted spoon; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. While the carrot is still hot, fluff with two forks to separate the threads.FINISH AND PLATE 1 truffle, cut into matchsticks
To shape the Risotto, place a 2 1/2-inch ring mold on the center of each plate and fill with risotto, tamping down gently with the back of a spoon, remove ring. Top with Crispy Carrot Threads. Use the remaining Carrot Nage to sauce the plate and garnish with truffle matchsticks.Photography by: Kodiak Greenwood (top), Larry Dale Gordon (middle left), K.B. Kaplan (middle right), Thomas Loof (bottom left), Kodiak Greenwood (bottom right).
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