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Jan 3, 2006 12:23 PM

How can I reheat my risotto?

  • k

Well I made ristto for the first time (yeah!) after about a year of procrastinating, and well just being too intimidated by it to even make an attempt, I finally overcame my fears, threw caution to the wind and made it! (You know what it wasn't so scary after all, you just need to pay close attention to it!)It turned out great, the only problem is we have leftovers. Is there any way to revive this dish to what it once was?
I know there is a recipe for leftover risotto rolled into balls, stuffed with mozzarela, rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. Sounds great but I'd rather have my risotto back!


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  1. While you can reheat risotto (despite insistence that such is utterly unworthy of your time), the fact is that when you chilled the rice, it continues to absorb liquid (unless you drained all liquid, which I doubt) and thus changed its texture further; adding more liquid upon warming will continue the process. I would try it over a makeshift covered double boiler (I'm not happy with the microwave for this purpose, but others disagree), very gently warming the risotto. But it will not be the "same", though it might still be yummy.

    1. I've heated risottos in many ways over the years, and the only way I've found that even remotely gets it back to creaminess is to apply liberal amounts of butter and a bit of white wine (or, uh, vodka, which is my white wine substitute for those instances when I drank all the white wine that I used to make the risotto in the first place) while stirring and gently warming in a pan on the stove. I find the alcohol loosens things up better than using stock or water, but as a general order of preference: (White Wine > Vodka > Stock > Lemon Juice > Water). Add a touch more cheese at the end, to freshen that up, as well.

      In fact, if you're expecting to have leftovers, I recommend stopping the first batch before you throw the cheese in at the end and refrigerating the excess at that point - needing a little more water, and not quite finished. Then bring it back up to temperature with half a cup of stock or wine, and add your cheese and finishes on your leftover day rather than the first day.

      Reheating it in a hot oven with parmeggiano sprinkled on top can you give you a soft/crunchy mix that's quite tasty and good, but more along the lines of the rice balls you don't want than the risotto you do.

      The microwave will leave you with a gloopy mess unless you add more liquid and take it out and stir it very, very frequently, at which point, you may as well use a pan as described first.

      In any of these cases, if you had perfect risotto with toothiness the first time around, it'll be somewhat overcooked the second time around. It absorbs water while it cools, it absorbs water while it heats back up again. It probably sits in the fridge and sucks water out of the environment, too, just to be spiteful.

      1. We really enjoy making risotto cakes out of the left overs. Just make a patty and dust lightly with flour(wondra) and fry up.

        1. Can you post your risotto recipe? Thanks!

          3 Replies
          1. re: In-N-Outer

            I'm at work and don't have access to the recipe, I can't quite remember everything off the top of my head but I can tell you it was a "simple risotto" from Cook's Illustrated's New Best Recipe that doesn't require homemade stock. You infuse canned/boxed stock with dried porcini's, thyme, bay leaf and(I know this sounds wrong but trust me on this one) soy sauce. (I know, I know but don't worry it's only about a tablespoon full)The other shortcut they take is that once you have sauteed the rice in butter and it has absorbed the white wine you add half the cooking stock all at the same time. Once that is absorbed then you slowly add the remainig stock little by little(half cup at a time) until the rice is al dente (I just kept tasting it with each addition)

            As I said in my previous post I was pretty intimidated by the whole risotto making process, so I wanted to use a recipe that wasn't too overwhelming, that's why I went with Cook's Illustrated. Their recipies are easy to follow, concise, and really tasty. Granted they may not be the most authentic, but for someone just getting started in the kitchen they are a great
            source for getting your feet wet.

            I'm sure they have the recipe on their web site, but you may have to be a member...Let me now if your still interested having the recipe (now that you know about the soy sauce) and I'll post when I get home.

            1. re: In-N-Outer

              Inspired by this post, I made risotto last night. A very similar recipe using chicken stock infused with dried porcini mushrooms. It was delicious. I've linked to the recipe below. Very easy. Now again - what to do with the leftovers?



              1. re: oaklandfoodie

                I feel as though there are a good deal of dishes where reheating is considered taboo. I've learned that if it is a matter of satisfaction from eating something warm that you only made a few hours ago and immediately chilled, there are quite a few of these you can reheat, with a little planning for the probability of leftovers, Risotto is one of these dishes. While making the dish I like to set aside a good amount of the cooking liquid and a little of the rice just before it is completely done cooking in separate containers. About twice of your incremental additions for the liquid and half of what you anticipate will be left over of the rice will usually suffice, then the actual fully cooked leftovers in, again, a separate container.
                Now, when reheating, do it similar to how you would cook pasta carbonara, by first heating up half of the reserved liquid (place the rest on the side piping hot incase you need extra), then adding the slightly undercooked rice, heat both through thoroughly and when hot enough to effective reheat the actual left over, add it in, remove from heat and let the hot rice/liquid and residual heat from the cooking vessel go to work while you stir gently adding reserved hot liquid if needed. This can be done in the microwave so long as you increase the amount of liquid you reserve for the process.
                But keep in mind, this method may not provide the necessary heat and time at such temperature to kill bacterial growth that happens when food is left in the fridge for extended time, so for food safety I would say this should be done no more than 12 hours after the initial cooking if it was all immediately chilled, if not then do not attempt or it will be to dry from the necessary amount of cook time to be safe.