First thing I learned was that risotto is a “cooking method” not a dish. So that explained a lot to me. All grains, rice and pastas can be prepared in the “risotto” method.
Normally traditional risotto is prepared by using Arborio rice – it’s pearly, round medium grain rice that is readily available. Its’ outer coating contains the highest starch level of any Italian variety which ensures creamy texture in risotto.
Always serve risotto in preheated plates or in warm shallow bowels. NEVER rinse the rice as it helps with the creamiest of the risotto.
Toasting the rice quickly heats up the grain’s exterior. The rice will get hot but it should remain pearly white not turning brown.
No matter what recipe you use the quantity of liquid is a “suggested” amount. And again since it’s a method of cooking make sure you have reserved warmed/hot liquid waiting just in case. On the other hand you might not use the total amount called for in the recipe. So add small amounts at a time it’ll give you a better result. If you add cold liquid to hot rice you’ll probably end up with hard uncooked kernel in the center of the grain. YUK!
If you want to know even more check out: http:/whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/risotto
Using the Standard Risotto Method – 1 lb. formula
Yield approximately 10, 5 oz. portions
1 lb. Arborio Rice
2 qrts. Hot liquid (stock, water or juice)
1 oz. oil
1 oz. small diced onion
3 oz. grated cheese, cream or butter
Sweat onion in oil, add (toasted) rice then deglaze with wine or other liquid of your choice. Reduce heat to medium and then gradually add warm/hot liquid in small amounts. 6 – 8 oz. at a time giving rice time to absorb the liquid. Continue to add liquid as needed till rice cooks to al dente. This is usually 20 – 30 minutes so be prepared to watch your dish . . .you just can’t rush it.
Stir in your dairy of choice and then your featured item. And serve in warmed bowls or preheated plates.
During our class we made crab, porcini mushroom, asparagus shrimp, milanese, roasted butternut, scallop and coconut, apple, grill vegetable and chocolate risotto. Some more we discussed were beef with golden raisin, sun-dried tomato with prosciutto, and sausage with peppers, onions and cheese to give you more ideas.
I never had risotto when I was little but what a great meal . . . .you can put anything together and make it taste great. Just don’t rush cooking the rice . . .the risotto method!