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Old 02-15-2011, 12:40 PM   #1
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ISO TNT Risotto

I would really love to learn how to make a risotto. I bought a bag of abborio, I just don't know what to do with it. I had this awesome risotto on my honeymoon. It was just seasoned with some shallots and some butter. It was fantastic!! I really would love to recreate that simple dish, but all of the recipes that I find are super complicated and have ingredients my husband would never eat .

Thanks in advance for all of your help!

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Old 02-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #2
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Learning to make risotto is sort of like learning to ride a bicycle. At first, it's a little scary and you may crash a few times but once you've mastered the technique it's very easy.

There are tons of recipes and ingredients you can add in, but start off with the basics and try other recipes after you've mastered the technique.

First, use quality ingredients:
1. Arborio rice (unwashed - you need the starch for creaminess)
2. Good stock (chicken, vegetable, seafood, etc) - never plain water
3. Good olive oil (don't break the bank, its for cooking, but don't use cheap oil either)
4. Real butter, not margarine (some traditionalists use only olive oil, no butter)
5. Freshly grated, good quality parmesan cheese (from the deli, grated to order or at home, not pre-grated)
6. A decent dry white wine

Recipe: Basic Risotto
4 cups stock - chicken, beef, vegetable or seafood as appropriate
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil (if not using butter, increase to 4-6 tablespoons)
1 onion finely chopped (medium or large, to taste). I like a lot of onion in mine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups arborio rice (about 1lb)
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 oz freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

First, heat both the stock and the wine, separately, to avoid shocking the rice when you add the liquids or it may not cook through, remaining hard in the center.

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium low heat, then add onion, garlic and celery, seasoned with a little salt and pepper, and cook slowly about 10 to 15 minutes until completely limp but not browned.

Remove the aromatics from the saute pan, add a little more oil and/or butter if needed, then add the rice and turn up the heat to medium-high. Saute the rice, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes until it becomes translucent.

Add the wine and keep stirring until it mostly evaporates, about 5 minutes.

Turn down the heat to medium low and add a cup or so of the warm stock along with a pinch or two of salt. Stir, at simmer until the stock is absorbed, then add another cup or so. Keep repeating the process until the rice is fully cooked. It should be soft but not mushy. The entire process of cooking the rice will take about 15 minutes, or perhaps as much as 20 minutes, depending on the rice and on the final texture you prefer. A proper risotto should be creamy and soft but never runny nor dry and crumbly.

Add more salt and black pepper, to taste. Remove from heat and stir in the rest of the butter and the parmesan chesse.

Cover the pot and let it stand for two or three minutes, then serve immediately.

NOTE: There is no exact measurement for the liquid. The risotto is done when it has the right texture. You may have leftover stock. If you don't have enough stock, add boiling water.
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:23 PM   #3
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Wow it sounds yummy. I am thinking about making it tomorrow for dinner!
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:59 PM   #4
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While I agree with some of FP's post, I don't agree with all... The basic recipe is fine but I don't get rid off the aromatics, and i've never used celery... As far as risotto being soft, i'm not sure what FP means... Risotto should always be "to the tooth" and always be, how do I put this, when you put it on a platter it should spread... Butter is put in a risotto at the very end for creaminess, along with an absolutely great parm cheese...
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimizkitchen View Post
While I agree with some of FP's post, I don't agree with all... The basic recipe is fine but I don't get rid off the aromatics, and i've never used celery... As far as risotto being soft, i'm not sure what FP means... Risotto should always be "to the tooth" and always be, how do I put this, when you put it on a platter it should spread... Butter is put in a risotto at the very end for creaminess, along with an absolutely great parm cheese...
Oops, I didn't mean to say you should disregard the aromatics. I left out a step. I remove them while I'm browning the rice (to prevent browning them, or even worse, burning them), then add them back in with the first cup of stock. I tried to edit the recipe but I guess I've waited too long. Anyway, thanks for catching the error.

I also agree with you about texture. I just couldn't decide exactly how to describe it. To me, al dente is a little misleading to someone who doesn't know exactly what the texture should be. You definitely don't want any hardness or crunchiness to the rice. It needs to be cooked through (soft, in my words) but still firm with no hint of becoming soggy or mushy.

As to celery, I'll give you that one too. It probably doesn't belong in a basic, traditional risotto. However, I always use it and believe it improves the flavor.
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