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.
Also because of the method it also happens that some granules of rice will not be cooked while others will be. Simply cook it a little longer, and you don't need to stir (literally) constantly as that will also inhibit even cooking.
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.