Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lovely Creamy Risotto

I have never ordered risotto in a restaurant. I don't know if I've ever been to one that serves it. But having seen it so many times on tv cooking shows and online recipes and Chef Ramsey's obsession with only serving perfect risotto on Hell's Kitchen I figured I'd try it.

I did not plan to fall in love with the creamy flavor packed rice.

Here's how I make it, I have no idea really if this is how it's supposed to taste but I love it, and eat way too much of it.The basic ingredients: Aborio rice (sometimes called risotto rice like mine up there), butter, garlic, and onion.

You don't have to use anything but the rice, it's special. Aborio rice is a super starchy short grain, it's the starch on the rice that gives risotto it's creaminess, you never want to rinse this type of rice. The butter/margarine can be substituted with olive oil or really any kind of fat. The garlic and onion can be subbed or left out entirely, but I think they make great flavor.

For a single good sized serving I use 1/3 of a cup of rice.

About the liquid, I use chicken broth because I usually pair my risotto with roasted chicken, and I don't drink wine so I don't cook with it, but you can use some white wine and whatever broth tickles your fancy, or just go basic and use water. The amount really is up to the rice and how done you want it. If I had to guess I'd say I average about 1 and 1/2 cups of liquid per 1/3 cup rice.

I melt the butter on medium-low heat and cook the onions about 5 minutes, then scoop in the garlic and stir just until I can smell it, then dump in the rice and toss around to coat it in the butter.

Then I start adding liquid, about a 1/3 to a 1/2 cup at a time and make sure you always stir really well after you add the liquid. You want a simmer going pretty steady once you start adding liquid, lots of small bubbles, but not boiling and popping over, raise and lower your heat accordingly.

I use a good nonstick pan to make my risotto so I don't follow the rule of always stirring, but if your pan is on the sticky side I'd say you need to keep right by it because if it sticks it will burn.

After a couple of liquid additions it will get a creaminess going, but it's not done, if you taste the rice now, it will still be crunchy, bleh.

This may look like the same picture but notice the carmelized chicken stock around the pan? That's how I know it's getting close when I start seeing that. Also it tends to stay in mostly a mountain when you scoop it up. Always just check the rice, it's so much easier than guessing.

I never need to add salt to mine because the chicken stock while low sodium is still full of it, but I do add some fresh pepper.

If you want to add anything now is the time, asparagus is a popular choice and just about any kind of cheese or any fresh herb. I like mine plain mostly.

One of my favorite dinners. Just throw in some roasted chicken and have a salad and you're ready to go. In all it took me about 20 minutes for the risotto, the chicken that's another story.

No comments:

Post a Comment