Risotto is a great weapon

People ask me all the time what is a good dish to add to their repertoire. There are a lot of generic items that you all already make that I can make adjustments to and improve but its still the same generic item. There is only so many ways you can make a roast chicken or a London broil. I always suggest that people try their hand at making a good risotto, Risotto is delicious and can be made in many many different styles. There seems to be some sort of mystical apprehension when it comes to casual cooks when it comes to risotto. I have made it many many times and once you understand the concepts of it, its not very difficult at all. The most impoertant aspect of making a good risotto is choosing the correct rice. The two you want to look for are either arborio or carnaroli. Carnaroli is more expensive harder to find but is the optimal rice for risotto. The concept of a risotto is to have as much liquid as possible absorbed into the risotto so choosing a very absorbent rice is of utmost importance. The next step is to find or make a flavorful liquid. If you are going dairy you can just use whole milk and some vegetable stock. I almost always make my risotto with meat ingredients so you have the option to buy a beef broth ( They are all complete crap) or make a simple stock in a pot with some meat or chicken bones. To start your risotto you want to sweat ( saute until translucent) some onions and garlic. Then add the rice and just coat the rice with the onions and oil. At this step you can add either some white whine or beer. I personally usually use beer as its cheaper and I do not have to open a bottle of wine. The next step is to add your cooking liquid until it is covering the rice. Far and away the most important aspect of making a good risotto is to make sure you are constantly stirring the rice. Once most of the liquid is absorbed continue to add liquid until the rice becomes tender. About 15 minutes after you add the first round of liquid taste the rice to see if it done. If its still not tender continue to add liquid. That is the technique for a super simple risotto. I suggest you experiment with adding things to the risotto. For dairy risottos it is very common to add Parmesan cheese and lots of butter. For meat risottos I like to add some rendered bone marrow and some robust mushrooms. You can eat the risotto by itself or use it a side dish to a protein to really enhance your dish.

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