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Old 09-01-2007, 02:17 PM   #21
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Risotto normally does not have cream in it. It could be that your cooking surface is too large allowing for too much evaporation. If you will take a look around the web at risotto pans the majority of them do not have a huge cooking surface. It could be that you need to add more liquid towards the end and stir, developing the creamy texture. Some of that creamy texture will come out with the Parmesan too. But risotto does not have cream in it. I know there are recipes out there but...........

Once the risotto is done take it off the heat and add the butter, Parmesan cheese, and stir, stir, stir.
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:19 PM   #22
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My guess is that you are not stirring enough. You don't need to stand there stirring nonstop, but you do have to come close to that. Stirring helps coax the starch out of the grains.
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:22 PM   #23
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hmm, that explains some things, i think. thanks elfie and gb.

i've used a fairly wide, somewhat shallow saute to make my (successful) risottos. i had to add a lot more liquid than the recipes i've seen called for, and had to stir, and stir, and stir, and stir. all the way through. again, much , much longer than recipes have called for.

but maybe because of the technique, it developed the desired creaminess? i dunno. i'm usually not that good.
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:41 PM   #24
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remember, the liquid has to be more than warm....and it's very important to add butter and parmesan at the end, with a good stirring in of these two items.
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:27 PM   #25
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In your method that you posted, nowhere did you write how often, if at all, were you stirring the risotto. KElf and GB touched on that as well. Risotto gets it's creaminess from the starch that is developed by stirring the heck out of the rice while it's absorbing the liquid. While you don't need to constantly stir it, you do need to stir it vigorously fairly often or else you will not release the starch from the rice. I can't say how often and for how long because it's a technique and experience thing. While other things like having your stock heated helps, it's not a neccesity. Risotto is one of those things that you cook by feel. Either you get it or you don't. Some professional cooks have a hard time making a proper risotto.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:05 PM   #26
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I usually make a cream sauce, to pour on top of the finshed risotto.
It makes it delicious and creamy too.

How to make the cream sauce.
Add oil and a sprinkling of salt to a pan.
Fry some chopped garlic and/or chopped onions and fry, until these are golden.
Add a tablespoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar and immediately remove from heat. Then imediately stir in a quarter litre of fresh cream.

About the restaurant creaminess
I think they make it so creamy, by adding a particular type of cheese to it.
One time I added the ground parmesan, than one can buy in supermarkets, to my risotto, when it was almost cooked. I just stirred it in. It made the risotto very creamy.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:40 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel! View Post
About the restaurant creaminess
I think they make it so creamy, by adding a particular type of cheese to it.
One time I added the ground parmesan, than one can buy in supermarkets, to my risotto, when it was almost cooked. I just stirred it in. It made the risotto very creamy.
While some cheeses can help a risotto get creamier (i.e. marscapone, or goat cheese), cheese really has little to do with it. It's all about proper technique and good risottos, beit in a restaurant or from a homecook, will utilize that. For example, you can make a lemon risotto with no cheese in it at all. It will be creamy from strictly the starches that are developed by properly cooking the rice. While adding cream can help a risotto thicken up, one should learn how to make a proper risotto first, and then only use the cream as a last resort to fix a risotto. Risotto that is made properly doesn't need the usage of cream.
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:19 PM   #28
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Alex, you didn't mention tht you stir in a chunk of butter to finish the risotto. Do you do that?
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:38 PM   #29
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Risotto is a method of cooking rice as well as a definable rice dish. What I mean is, you can make risotto the traditional way, using arborio rice and stock, or you can use, say jasmine or basmati rice, and cook it a la minute over low heat with some cream, butter, and cheese. The reason that some of the restaurant risottos you have enjoyed might be creamier than yours is because they use the second method, which allows much greater contol over the texture.

We do risotto both ways at my workplace, the 2nd method comprises an entire dish of its own, served with shrimp, and a nice hard jack cheese that we get. We also make risotto the traditional way, with herbs and fennel, slowly cooked with stock, but then we chill it, and patty it almost as you would a hamburger. We then sear it a la minute for service, and let it warm in our oven. The result is a texturally complex risotto, having developed a nice carmelization on top, and hot and creamy and rich on the inside. It's the starch that is served with our pork chop, and a lot of people really like it.

Using cream and butter to make risotto is certainly easier, and if you need an idea for a quick meal its a sure winner. However, its not the same a traditional risotto that's done right.
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