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Old 03-19-2005, 12:27 AM   #1
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ISO good Risotto recipe, TNT

My duaghter is making a special meal for her husband and wants to make a perfect risoto. She needs to know what kind of rice to use, and the cooking technique to create the velvety texture.

I have never had risoto and so have no experience to give her. I know there are some of you who have perfected this dish. I'd appreciate any help offered. Thanks.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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Old 03-19-2005, 12:38 AM   #2
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I forgot to add that like myself, she doesn't care for the flavor of alcohol. The same is true for her husband. So please omit recipes containing wines, or other alcoholic beverages.

Thanks.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 03-19-2005, 08:11 AM   #3
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The following is a Jamie Oliver recipe for a basic risotto that allows you to take it in any direction you want (I omit the celery, you can of course drop the alcohol, but it does not taste like alcohol at all the white wine just adds a little something to the flavour). There are a number of different rices you can use, arborio being the most widely used but you could use other types such as carnaroli, paldo or padano.

The key to a good risotto is both time (you cannot rush it by dumping the whole load of stock in there at once, don't treat it like normal rice) and constant movement. The movement develops the starch and gives it the proper consistency, it should be like creamy, very-very thick porridge, but each grain still slightly firm with a discernable texture. Remember, risotto like pasta should be cooked al dente.

I like risotto with rosemary, pancetta and cannelini beans, but also great is a wild mushroom risotto (bit more garlic, selection of mushrooms, quite a bit of parsley), pea and mint risotto or risotto simply flavoured with large amount of various fresh herbs. There are heaps of recipes to choose from and nearly all of them follow the same technique (fry onion/garlic, add rice and fry then add stock ladle by ladle until it is cooked, with adding your other main ingredients at the various stages throughout.

----------------------------
Basic Risotto
Serves 4



Approx. 1 litre/2 pints stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 finely chopped shallots or 2 medium onions
1/2 a head of celery, finely chopped (discard any tough outer sticks)
Maldon sea salt and black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
400g/14oz risotto rice
100ml/3fl oz dry white vermouth (dry Martini or Noilly Prat) or dry white wine
70g/2oz butter
85-100g/3-3 1/2oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Stage 1.
Heat the stock. Then in a separate pan heat the olive oil, add the shallot or onion, celery and a pinch of salt, and sweat the vegetables for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and after another 2 minutes, when the vegetables have softened, add the rice. Turn up the heat now. At this crucial point you can't leave the pan, and anyway, this is the best bit.

While slowly stirring, continuously, you are beginning to fry the rice. You don't want any colour at any point (so remember, you're in control, and if the temperature seems too high, turn it down a bit). You must keep the rice moving.

After 2 or 3 minutes it will begin to look translucent as it absorbs all the flavours of your base (it may crackle at this point, that's fine). Add the vermouth or wine, keeping on stirring as it hits the pan - it will smell fantastic! It will sizzle around the rice, evaporating any harsh alcohol flavours and leaving the rice with a tasty essence.

I must admit I'm a sucker for dry vermouth. When it cooks into the rice it seems to give it a really full but subtle flavour and leaves a wicked sweet-ness that works perfectly with the rice. White wine is lovely, probably more delicate and fresh. Try both - see what you think.


Stage 2.
Once the vermouth or wine seems to have cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a pinch of salt (add small amounts of salt to taste while you are adding the stock). Turn down the heat to a highish simmer (the reason we don't want to boil the **** out of it is because, if we do, the outside of the rice will be cooked and fluffy and the inside will be raw).

Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take about 15 minutes. Taste the rice - is it cooked? Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Check seasoning.


Stage 3.
Remove from the heat and add the butter and the Parmesan, saving a little of the latter to go on top if you like. Stir gently. Eat it as soon as possible while it retains its moist texture.
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Old 03-19-2005, 02:19 PM   #4
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Excellent technique, Haggis! You've got it just right. I don't usually add garlic to my rissotto but there are many different kinds out there. This is one time to splurge on great Parmesan Reggiano (sp?) - do not use the pre-grated stuff. It makes a tremendous difference.

Good luck!
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Old 03-20-2005, 07:51 AM   #5
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Haggis; I thank you, my daughter thanks you, her husband will thank you, her cat thanks you, the neighbor two houses East of me thanks you, etc., etc. :)

In all seriouslness though, your post is great. It is very clear, and easy to understand. I have coppied it to my files, with your name attached, and have givine it to my daughter. She is going to flavor it with various mushrooms, and the juices extracted when cooking them. She's also going to use some of my truffle paste.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 03-20-2005, 08:13 AM   #6
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Just remember, if you are going to use the juices from the mushrooms, measure it and minus the same amount of liquid from the stock.

I have been wanting a risotto recently, but living on campus...well I could make one but I hate our stove, not only is it electric *shudder* but a really bad one at that.

Oh and another thing about risottos...I hope your daughter has strong forearms, because [edited] it's a workout after 20 minutes of pushing the stodgy rice around. But then again, I use a massive stockpot so I have to kinda reach down into it, not the most comfortable.

Which reminds me, risotto works best in a saucepan that is higher than it is wide, helps to keep the moisture in it from escaping too quickly.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:39 PM   #7
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Sweet! I've been looking for a basic risotto recipe ever since I first saw Hell's Kitchen, lol. But seriously, I'm very anxious to try this recipe, thanks a bunch for this post!
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:49 PM   #8
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This revisiting of the risotto post shows how valuable a resource this site is. The original post was made in 2005. We are now in 2009 and the information is still available and can help anyone who needs to learn how to make a risotto. Again, Haggis, your information is still valid and thank you for it.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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