I was making a chile paste and soaking Guajillo chiles in hot water to soften them. I didn't want to throw out the soaking water that was left, now a rich brown color and full of smoky chilie flavors, so I saved it. A few days later I was thinking about making risotto and thought, hey, instead of stock, I'll use the chile "tea". A quickly made up another batch to bring the total amount to 5 cups and proceeded to make risotto.


3-4 Guajillo chiles, or other type of large dried chile.
2 shallots, minced
1 Large rutabaga, or several smaller ones, peeled and cut into 3/4\" cubes
3 Cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


Step 1
Preheat oven to 450°

Step 2
In a kettle, bring about 6 cups of water to a boil, pour over chiles in bowl and let steep for 30 minutes.

Step 3
Toss rutabaga with garlic and olive oil, place a cookie sheet and roast about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to so all sides get browned

Step 4
Remove chiles from water, save for another use, and heat soaking water to a simmer and keep it there

Step 5
melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add shallots. Stir occasionally until shallots are softened, about 6 minutes. Do not brown.

Step 6
Add rice and cumin and stir until rice is coated, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 7
Add wine and stir until wine is absorbed.

Step 8
Stir in a 1/2 cup or soof simmering chile broth, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed before adding the next. Continue until rice is creamy and the texture al dente. About 20 minutes

Step 9
Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, cheese, roasted rutabaga and cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. If risotto is too thick, thin with a little more chile broth.

Step 10
Enjoy immediately.