Did I make my risotto right?
Thanks to some great tips I saw on here (especially for risotto as a "method" instead of a "recipe") I made some for the first time the other night, with portabella mushrooms in it, and DH scraped the bowl (something he NEVER does).
To make sure it was done, I sampled a grain or two and declared it al dente. However, when I ate a whole spoonful at the table, the texture got a little weirder -- when I got to the center of multiple grains of rice, it had an almost powdery texture, like the insides were dry.
Did I not cook it enough? (Or too long?) I cooked it maybe 15-20 minutes, and lost track of how much stock I used. Also, I didn't use the best quality rice, because I was in a hurry and just grabbed whatever Publix sold -- it is labeled "risotto" rice however.
I've still got lots of rice left, and don't feel like hunting for different one, so I'm hoping you tell me I just didn't cook it enough. ;-)
It sounds like you didn't cook it enough, but the rice may also be a factor if its not arborio or one of the other risotto rices. And I find that the amount of liquid I have to use can vary significantly - so don't worry about losing count of how much broth you've used - sometimes if I'm getting low and still think I've got a ways to go, I start adding some water to the simmering broth.
Rice, like beans, loses moisture over time. If you're working with old arborio rice, it can take a long time for the moisture to penetrate it. I've had risottos that were still al dente after 35-40 minutes and others (with fresher rice) that took 15 minutes. If you bought the rice from a supermarket that didn't have great turnover, there's a chance it was old. Old rice is not the end of the world- you just need some patience.
Constantly stirring rice for 40 minutes isn't the most fun in the world, but we are talking about a labor of love food here.