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Old 02-16-2012, 01:05 AM   #11
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BT at least I hope you aren't in charge of a nuclear plant.

I haven't had much experience with risotto. My one recent experience at a restaurant indicated that they didn't know how to cook it, since it was grainy and hard, much harder than rice.

I've been meaning to explore making risotto. I think I could probably make Andy's recipe particularly if I added some shrimp and vegetables. That would work, right?

I guess Arborio is short grain rice. I've always liked long grain better but I guess I better look for some Arborio.

Somebody please tell me if my recipe sounds workable regarding sauteing the shrimp, set aside, then follow Andy's recipe and add the shrimp mid way, maybe carrots sooner and peas later. Or would that be an abomination?
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
BT at least I hope you aren't in charge of a nuclear plant.

I haven't had much experience with risotto. My one recent experience at a restaurant indicated that they didn't know how to cook it, since it was grainy and hard, much harder than rice.

I've been meaning to explore making risotto. I think I could probably make Andy's recipe particularly if I added some shrimp and vegetables. That would work, right?

I guess Arborio is short grain rice. I've always liked long grain better but I guess I better look for some Arborio.

Somebody please tell me if my recipe sounds workable regarding sauteing the shrimp, set aside, then follow Andy's recipe and add the shrimp mid way, maybe carrots sooner and peas later. Or would that be an abomination?
I would add the shrimp towards the end of the cooking. Cooking them first, removing them and later putting them back in will just expose them to more heat. And it is the extra unneeded heat that makes them tough. Cook them once at the end. Anytime I have seen paella made on TV, seafood is always added at the end.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:19 AM   #13
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GG Valencia paella is my fav Freelance Spain -* "Paella Where It Grows" by Janet Mendel
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:03 AM   #14
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Andy's recipe is pretty much how I would do it. I couldn't get arborio rice when I first moved here, eventually found Calrose, which was the short grain rice of choice when I lived in Hawaii. I cannot emphasize enough his instruction on making sure your stock/broth is kept hot through the process.

Long-grain rice, to me, is meant to be fluffy. This is not a fluffy dish, it is a creamy one. If you try to use long-grain to make risotto, chanced are pretty good you'll wind up with rice mush. It isn't sturdy enough to get that creamy outer layer, firm inner layer.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:51 AM   #15
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I like the soccarat from rice made with Goya's Valencia medium grain rice.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:54 AM   #16
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GG, risotto requires a short grain rice to make the creamy 'sauce'. If not arborio, carnaroli.

If you're going to add shrimp, I'd make the risotto and add the cooked shrimp on top when you serve it. If any veggies are cooked, just stir them in at the end.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:27 AM   #17
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And you can get the arborio at Trader Joe.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
I guess Arborio is short grain rice. I've always liked long grain better but I guess I better look for some Arborio
The hallmark of good Risotto is not only creaminess, but texture that has a little bit of an al dente byte. In other words, it shouldn't be mush. The reason Arborio is used for Risotto is because it has an unusually high starch content, which is what gives the dish its creaminess. But it also has a hard center that helps keep it from turning to goo. You can substitute any short or medium grain rice, and get decent results, but it won't be exactly the same. Sushi rice isn't a bad substitute, either. I wouldn't use long grain, though. It will turn to mush and never develop the creamy characteristic.

I've had a lot of bad restaurant Risotto. I think some of that comes from the fact that, unless they have some knowledge of Italian cuisine, many chefs just don't understand what defines good Risotto, that is, the combined creamy and al dente qualities. It also doesn't help that restaurants often leave food sitting under a heat lamp. Risotto must be served as soon as it comes out of the pan, or it'll quickly turn into a semi-solid mass on the plate.

Risotto has a reputation for being difficult to make, but really isn't if you start with the right ingredients and follow the technique in Andy's recipe above.

By the way, Goya makes an Arborio rice that I see in grocery stores a lot. It's not always in the rice section, though. Sometimes you'll find it in the section of the store where they sell packaged side dishes.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:44 PM   #19
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I think the restaurant I had risotto at didn't know you need to keep stirring it. I think they just let it sit on the burner for periods, although I did not watch them cook it. Lots of the grains were insufficiently cooked and had a crunchy texture.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:46 PM   #20
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I have my own paella recipe that used to be great except that it relied on a package rice ingredient, Uncle Ben's brown rice. I've never been able to reproduce the recipe since UB terminated the product, although my many guests said they loved it.
Did they really? It's not on their web site, but it shows up on Costco's web site in 25 pound bags.

Now that's an odd thing. American's never seem to have gotten very enthusiastic about parboiled rice, although parboiling is done while the rice is whole (brown) and locks in nearly the same nutrients as whole brown rice, albeit with zero fiber once it's milled to white.

I guess that for consumers, parboiling rice and leaving it whole, brown that is, wasn't much a promotable product. Brown rice is better nutriently. Parboiled white rice is nearly as good nutriently. So how do you hype parboiled brown rice? It does cook quicker than regular brown rice. I guess that wasn't enough, and they wanted to promote brown Ready Rice.

But I suspect it still appears, as apparently at Costco, in institutional bags, because parboiled rice generally says firmer, which is nice for institutional situation where it sits hot for a long time and probably why it appeared in a rissoto recipe. It would hold up better, getting less mushy. But I would think parboiled white, plain Uncle Ben's would suffice, too. Or you can eat a LOT of brown rice. In fact, parboiled rice is the recommended alternative in paella when short grain can't be had. It's much more popular in Asia, maybe again because it stays firmer, and they more often cook the whole days rice up in the morning.
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