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Old 01-06-2009, 06:37 PM   #1
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Risotto troubleshooting

ok this was my first time and it came out good. It was the lemon gouda risotto from another link. My biggest problem was the average 1/2 hour to 35 minutes wasn't long enough for me. Actually it seemed like it took almost an hour. I'm talking about the part of adding 1/2 cup of broth until absorbed one at a time until tender and creamy. It was creamy and it was getting there tender wise but just seemed to take a very long time for it to get to the tender stage. actually because my husband and two kids (2 and 1) were getting extremely impatient all for different reasons - my husband chose to eat it before it was FULLY tender. but after I served it, I finished cooking it until it was done. I just kept adding 1/2 cups of water "instead of hot broth) as I had used up all the broth. I think my next trip will be a different risotto. I think it was too lemony for me. I kept saying to my husband, I can't believe you couldn't wait for me to finish it and he just kept saying it was good to him. Believe me, it had not reached the complete tender stage at that point, but was very close. An hour seems a bit more than the average 1/2 hour for adding broth, stirring ect. I practically stirred constantly as a fyi.

I also bought this box many months ago, but never used it, never opened it and it just sat in my cabinet. Not sure if that has anything to do with it.

I had it on simmer 2 as 1 was way too long, but I think if the dialed was moved up to 3, it would boil way too fast.

I also THINK I waited until it absorbed before adding more - although perhaps at times, it wasn't fully completely absorded, but it seemed so.

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Old 01-07-2009, 11:06 AM   #2
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Doneness is a matter of taste. Some people like their risotto with a bite to it, others like it more like polenta. Make it the way you prefer.

One of the keys, though, is to "massage" the rice with a spatula or wooden spoon as you cook it. Don't just stir, push down, too. And do it a lot.

It's ok to have it on a good simmer -- not rapid, but not slow. You don't have to cook all the liquid out before you add more (like to complely absorbed), just most of it.

Not sure what kind of rice you used, but when I make risotto with Arborio or Carnaroli rice, it generally takes about 1/2 hour from start to finish. Perhaps the age of the rice has something to do with it, but I'm not sure.

I make risotto a lot and farrotto (with farro) even more. Once you get the hang of it and it comes out the way you like, it'll be child's play to make it again. I like it because it's a blank canvas for you to be creative in your flavor/texture/color combinations.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:13 AM   #3
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The only thing that I can think of is that your chicken stock was not hot enough when you were adding it. I usually have it on a very low simmer.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:24 AM   #4
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The only thing that I can think of is that your chicken stock was not hot enough when you were adding it. I usually have it on a very low simmer.
This is a possibility

The rice having been stored should not matter.

It might be a matter of preference texture wise

One thing is that the broth reduces a bit while simmering so you need to start with more that the total cups you will need

You don't have to wait for total absorption to add more broth maybe you let it dry out too much between adding broth?

Not sure really... I have made a few disastrous risottos (the first time I tried to make it in a large saute pan by the end it was too the brim bulging at the top)
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:49 AM   #5
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I managed to make the perfect risotto as follows.

Put wine, stock, garlic and herbs that respond well to heating in a pot and heat until boiling. Add risotto rice and heat to boiling. Then turn off electric stove and leave the risotto to finish cooking on the after heat with a lid on it. Then serve with parmesan or a creamy sauce and whatever else I fancy to put with it. Roasted peppers is one of my favourite things to put with it.

Quantities of liquid and rice. Make the volume of the water about double the volume of the uncooked rice.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:50 AM   #6
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I managed to make the perfect risotto as follows.

Put wine, stock, garlic and herbs that respond well to heating in a pot and heat until boiling. Add risotto rice and heat to boiling. Then turn off electric stove and leave the risotto to finish cooking on the after heat with a lid on it. Then serve with parmesan or a creamy sauce and whatever else I fancy to put with it. Roasted peppers is one of my favourite things to put with it.

Quantities of liquid and rice. Make the volume of the water about double the volume of the uncooked rice.

Mel!, what kind of rice do you use?
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:54 AM   #7
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Mel!, what kind of rice do you use?
I just use the cheapest one in the supermarket. It has 'for rice pudding and risotto' written on the packet. I dont use a particular brand name. Just whichever is the store brand of whichever store I am in.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mel! View Post
I managed to make the perfect risotto as follows.

Put wine, stock, garlic and herbs that respond well to heating in a pot and heat until boiling. Add risotto rice and heat to boiling. Then turn off electric stove and leave the risotto to finish cooking on the after heat with a lid on it. Then serve with parmesan or a creamy sauce and whatever else I fancy to put with it. Roasted peppers is one of my favourite things to put with it.

Quantities of liquid and rice. Make the volume of the water about double the volume of the uncooked rice.
Sorry. That may taste great (I am sure it does!) but it is not risotto. What makes risotto risotto is the technique, and the result that has the creamy consistency (in Italian, "al'onde" or waves) with the bit of resistance at the core of the grain. That is also why you can't make a real risotto with "regular" rice. It has to be (some variation of) Arborio.

I disagree with the person who said that old rice doesn't make a difference. I think it might get more dried out, depending upon the climate in which it is stored.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:23 PM   #9
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Sorry. That may taste great (I am sure it does!) but it is not risotto. What makes risotto risotto is the technique, and the result that has the creamy consistency (in Italian, "al'onde" or waves) with the bit of resistance at the core of the grain.
Don't knock it till you try it. I make a risotto in my rice cooker that does not employ the traditional techniques. There is no stirring or adding of stock a little at a time. I would be wiling to put this risotto up against anybody's traditionally made and I would bet any amount that nobody, but maybe the most discerning chefs possibly would be able to tell the difference. I do not know how or why it works, but it does.

My guess as to why to OP's took so long is the age of the rice. I believe that if it was very old then it would be much more dried out (think of old beans) and would take much longer to absorb the liquid.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:35 PM   #10
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Sorry. That may taste great (I am sure it does!) but it is not risotto. What makes risotto risotto is the technique, and the result that has the creamy consistency (in Italian, "al'onde" or waves) with the bit of resistance at the core of the grain. That is also why you can't make a real risotto with "regular" rice. It has to be (some variation of) Arborio.

I agree.
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