We're not food purists by any means: we say, if something tastes good, why not run with it? Which is exactly the case in this transcontinental, mixed-up, mashed-up risotto that features some distinctly non-Italian flavors. Jalapeño, corn, and Monterey jack cheese give it a Tex-Mex edge, adding some larger-than-life personality to the extra-creamy grains of rice.
Red Bell Pepper
Vegetable Broth Concentrate
Smoked Cheddar Cheese, shredded(ContainsMilk/Lait)
Salt and Pepper*
Preheat your broiler to high (to broil the peppers). If you run out of broth before the rice is cooked through, add water (1/2 cup at a time) and continue stirring until it's cooked. In Step 3, use this heat guide to determine what spice level you prefer: 1/2 tbsp mild, 1 tbsp medium, 1 1/2 tbsp spicy and 2 tbsp extra-spicy!
Wash and dry all produce.* In a medium pot, combine 4 1/2 cups water (5 1/2 cups for 4 ppl) and broth concentrates. Cover and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, peel, then mince or grate the garlic. Roughly chop the cilantro. Peel and finely chop the shallots into 1/4-inch pieces. Finely chop the jalapeño, removing the seeds for less heat. (NOTE: Wear kitchen gloves when prepping the jalapeño, if desired!)
Core, then slice the bell pepper(s) into 1/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, toss the peppers with half the Mexican seasoning and 1/2 tbsp oil (dbl for 4 ppl). Season with salt and pepper. Broil in the middle of the oven, stirring halfway through cooking, until golden-brown, 8-10 min.
Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp oil (dbl for 4 ppl), then the shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 1-2 min. Add the rice, garlic, 2 tbsp jalapeño and remaining Mexican seasoning. Stir to toast the rice slightly, 1 min. (NOTE: Reference the heat guide in the Start Strong.)
Add 1 cup broth to the rice. Cook, stirring regularly, until the broth has been absorbed by the rice. Continue adding the broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly after each addition until the broth is absorbed.
After the last cup of broth has been stirred in and absorbed, the rice should be tender and the texture should be creamy. (The entire process should take 28-30 min.) Stir in the broiled peppers, corn, cheese and half the cilantro. Stir until heated through, 2-3 min. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the risotto between plates. Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro.