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Best Recipe Yet! – Kiss The Cook Risotto

FRom Sea Level

A recipe filled with exuberant joy and flavour

Wine Pairing courtesy of Caribbean Cellars

To start off, I, chef Megan, am a shameless hugger.

I love a parental-hug; a sibling-hug; a friend-hug; heck, I love a dog-hug. Just as hugs are all about love, so is the food I prepare for our very special guests onboard Lolalita. Every detail is carefully selected and dreamed-over, with the expectation of pure, delicious delight as a final plated result.

When Lolalita is preparing for charter guests’ arrival, we get to know them through email and phone conversations, and already, before the week begins, we start to feel the bond.

People board and I want to give them big hugs right out of the gate – not only because I love hugs, but because I feel I’m already acquainted with them and can’t wait to know them better.

Naturally, some guests become very comfortable with the crew as the week progresses. As night-time falls, the cocktails flow and the atmosphere warms with laughter and good cheer.

One evening, anchored outside Spring Bay on Virgin Gorda, after enjoying a beautiful sunset overlooking the Sir Francis Drake Channel, we started our dinner service for a particularly affectionate group of Canadians. All throughout the day, we had been laughing, cutting jokes, becoming ‘framily:’ a loving mix of friends and family.

After serving the main course, I went back out to check on our guests and one man stood up abruptly. As could be imagined: I was intrigued. He pushed his chair away; walked swiftly over to me; held my face in his hands; and kissed me on the forehead, exclaiming, “THIS IS THE BEST RISOTTO EVER!”

I laughed, relieved at his elation. A chef can’t complain about so overt a compliment. And so, here’s my ‘Kiss The Cook Risotto,’ made with love, and served with sheer bliss.

From Sea Level 2

Kiss The Cook Risotto

2 cups risotto rice (Arborio, Carnaroli, or Maratelli, for example) 5 cups simmering beef stock (homemade is best)

1 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp butter

1 medium onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

¼ cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil, minced

¼ cup crispy-fried bacon, diced (not as fine as the sundried tomatoes)

¼ cup minced fresh basil

½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese

¼ cup finely grated romano cheese

¼ cup finely grated asiago cheese

¼ cup mascarpone cheese

½ cup sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Whole basil sprigs for plating

In a deep saucepan, melt olive oil and butter. Sautée onions; add in garlic; cook until just opaque, barely caramelising. Add in risotto rice and stir constantly. The rice will turn slightly brownish-golden in colour and will give off a gorgeous nutty aroma. Add in sundried tomatoes and bacon. Lower heat and, one cup at a time, add in beef stock until rice has completely absorbed each cup, stirring constantly. When all beef stock has been added, turn off the heat and add in the basil, parmesan, romano, asiago, mascarpone, and sour cream, folding everything together thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste and serve in a plating ring. This risotto has a strong enough personality to stand all alone, or beautifully complements many dishes, such as filet mignon, ossobuco, mahi mahi, or roasted chicken.

Buon appetito!

Caribbean Cellars

Megan Schlobohm, Chef - SV Lolalita

Megan Schlobohm, Chef - SV Lolalita

Chef at Lolalita SV
Chef Megan from Atlanta, Georgia of the US decided to join the sailing world very soon after her years in academic education and prior to her admission, developed a fierce passion for cooking. Perfecting her menu on various yachts, most of her phenomenal culinary abilities are self-taught, bringing innovative cuisine to Crewed Yacht Lolalita in the BVI.
Megan Schlobohm, Chef - SV Lolalita
Megan Schlobohm, Chef - SV Lolalita

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