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Speaking of Risotto- any good recipes and tips

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  • BJE Feb 4, 2007 03:50 AM
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Here's another one I have not made before but have always wanted to try. Does anyone have any good recipe and are their any cooking tips I should know. I have the right kind of rice which has been sitting in my pantry for awhile now. Now is the time to try it. Inspire me to open the package..

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  1. Well, risotto, let's see: the right kind of rice should be arborio or caranoli type.
    Now, if you will bear with me: if you get a modern pressure cooker you can make excellent risotto with it in six minutes with almost no stirring.
    Yes, you heard that correctly.
    Otherwise it will require continuous stirring and up to 1 hour of cooking.
    It is important to coat the rice in the pan with a butter-oil mixture before adding broth with either method. Do a google search for basic risotto recipes; you can make it either soupy, or dry, as you like it.
    Some people like to take their time with it in the classic style.
    I like to make it and eat it immediately with the pressure cooker. It is good cold or reheated as leftovers, too.
    Don't be alarmed by the pressure cooker stories of long ago; the new models are really safe, easy to use, extremely versatile, and good looking.
    There are many pressure cooker cookbooks on the market and a google search or trip to local megabookstore will prove that.
    Good luck.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Warren Goodman

      I'm not a pressure cooker user, but I've lately become a fan of Lorna Sass (especially her grains book) and she's written several cookbooks using a pressure cooker.

      1. re: Warren Goodman

        Risottto does not require continous stirring or one hour of cooking! you must've been doing it wrong.

        1. re: bolivianita

          I agree, risotto rice doesn't need an hour to cook. That would make it mush. Most risotto rice will take between 20 to 25 minutes to cook.

      2. Julie Child published Lidia Bastianich's wild mushroom risoto recipe a number of years ago, I always make it and it is always great. Be patient have all ingridents ready and wear comforble shoes because you will be standing over the pot for 1/2 an hour making it. But, it has always been yummy.

        1. I agree about being patient and having time to stir for the whole time. I don't follow one recipe but in general, melt butter, add arborio rice and stir until toasty, add white wine, then slowly add heated broth. One scoop, stir until it's been absorbed, continue until the rice is the right consistence (about half an hour). I serve immediately. I've tried waiting but it gets gummy.

          2 Replies
          1. re: chowser

            Also another reminder, left over risotto is a good thing. Bring out the deep fryer the next day and make rice balls from the left overs.

            1. re: chazzer

              I love arancine but I'm terrible at deep fat frying. I go out for it when I want some. I've tried pan frying but it's not the same.

          2. Butter nut squash , Spinach Risotto, Wild mushroom risotto, black Ink risotto with mussels and Shrimps,Cold Risotto with pesto , mozzarella ,and sundried tomatoes, Risotto with red wine , radichio amd onions.I have a few more tell me which one you like and i will post it for you.
            There are 3 kinds of risotto Arborio, Caranoli, Valone
            Leftover risotto Rice Balls or Fried risotto cakes top with grated chesse.

            2 Replies
            1. re: FAL

              Fal, the spinach risotto sounds good. and also the cold risotto with pesto, mozzarella and sundried tomatoes. Could you give me some idea of these recipes?

              1. re: BJE

                Spinach Risotto
                1/14 ib spinach or 10 oz frozen whole leaf spinach
                1/2 cup milk
                8 cups stock - your choice beef , chix, veal or veg
                6 tablespoon butter
                1 yeallow onion finely choped
                31/3 cup arborio rice
                1/2 grated cheese
                S/P
                If using fresh spinach
                In a sauce pan , comibne the spinach and a liite water and bring to a boil. Cook until the spinach in wilted and tender.Drain well and squeeze dry.
                If using frozen >Thaw. Drain well and squeeze dry
                Place spinach in a blender and add the milk . Puree till smooth. Set aside
                Bring stock to a boil.
                In a saute pan over medium heat melt half the butter . Add the onion and until translucent. Stirring frequently.Add rice and coo until rice is well coated with the butter.
                Add 1/2 ladlefuls of the stock, enough just to cover the rice, and cook stirring frequently. As the liquids is absorbed add a litte more .
                Continue to add the stock in this matter , making sure the rice is covered with the liquid. The risotto is done when the rice is tender and but firm. (go figure) Season with S/P The risotto should flow from the pan and not be too runny. This should take about 15 minutes.
                Add the pureed spinach mix well and cook for another 2 minutes . Remove from heat stir in the cheese and butter Taste if it needs more seasoning. Serve in warm bowls

            2. Start with the correct rice as others have stated. Likewise once the stock goes in you are married to the risotto. The more you pay attention to it and treat it with warmth versus high heat, the more you will love it.

              I try different stock combinations and adds. Sometimes vegetable stock, sometimes chicken, sometime fish, sometimes a combo. Adds can include mushrooms, other times peas and asparagus and sometimes as a base for my favorite scallops. It will accept various flavors and you canplay with them over time.

              I absolutely love risotto and the kids think it is the best as well. We have at least once and up to three times per week.

              1. I like roasted butternut squash & arugula risotto (recipe from epicurious) and beet green and leek risotto (recipe from cooking light). I've occasionally made others, but these two are so good! I think in general I like risotto that has some sort of bitter green to compliment the richness of the rice. If you're not into the stirring (I like it and find it relaxing), there are instructions for microwave risotto on www.realgoodfood.com . I've never tried it since i don't have a microwave.

                1. Well, here is Joe. H's famous gorgonzola dolce pistachio risotto recipe from 2002: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/28891...

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Snackish

                    I read the recipe and it sounds very interesting. I will probabaly try it in the near future.

                    I have to ask, though, who *is* this guy? Is he for real? I've been on the receiving end of a major hissy fit by a well-known pastry chef and he didn't come off half as annoying as this guy. If the amount of money won in contests makes one an instant expert I guess I'm about 10-15% the expert he is. I guess that means I have to tone down my level of snippiness a few percent.

                    1. re: rockycat

                      Oh wait. I just found this.

                      http://restaurants.washingtoncitypape...

                      That explains a lot.

                      1. re: rockycat

                        The thing I loved most about that post was Joe H's constant plea to make it EXACTLY as his recipe stated, or forget it - and then the replies of 'hounds who had made it with modifications...funny. To me, anyway.

                  2. there are many variations for making risotto but there are a couple of italian rules that remain true......whatever you start with re butter or olive oil is what you finish with. add a little bit more of the same for the finish at the end of stirring. yes,,,,stirring. feel free to make a good rice dish any old way you want to but risotto is about stirring and releasing the starches of the partic rice in to your other ingredients. many years ago i took a little lecture course from marcella hazan (in my mind the doyenne of italian cooking) and in the q&a period, i timidly raised my hand and asked if it would be true that cooking risotto longer and over lower heat would make it creamier (at the time i used to stir for 45 min or so!)....the short version of the story - she changed her tone, pointed at me and literally screamed - "if you do not use hi heat it's because you are afraid!!!". she says 20-25 minutes and she's right. everytime i have the urge to lower the heat, i remember that shriek - and all the successful risottos i've made since then. i prefer cannaroli or viale nano rice to arborio. your stock is everything so you want that to be the best of whatever it is you are using.....and dry vs wet is an italian regional thing as well as your personal taste. most italians i know believe that you must only stir in one direction so i find myself doing that most of the time but in any case - the stirring is a great part of the ritual and always more fun with a glass of wine in the other hand.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: djk

                      A few years ago I took a cooking class from a chef who had just returned from attending what was to be Marcella's last class in Venice. She had pictures from the risotto making that showed her wearing on oven mitt to stir, because Marcella required them to cook it at a high heat so that it would spatter and burn her arm if she wasn't protected. She described the stirring of the risotto as being kind a terrifying ordeal--it sounded quite consistent with your experience with Marcella.

                    2. Always start with some wine before beginning the stock regiment. And always finish with a bit of butter or cream or both and of course parmesean cheese.

                      1. Here's how I do a simple risotto. I put a pot of chicken broth on the stove at med. high heat. in a seperate pot I add olive oil and diced onions. Cook onions at med heat until translucent. Add the risotto rice (arborio etc.) and stir in the pan with the onions for about 5 min. Deglaze with white wine (nothing too sweet) and start adding chicken broth. Not all at once tho. Add enough to cover the rice. Let in start to simmer and give it an occasional stir. You should reduce the heat to a med. temp. When all the broth is absorbed you should add more and continue in this manner for about 15 min. When it is still very al dente I add peas that are unthawed but not cooked. And then I season with salt pepper and herbs. The end product should still be loose. Taste a grain of rice to check for doneness. When you bite one in half you will see just a speck of white surronded by a more translucent white. Add lots of butter, olive oil, check seasoning, serve. It should look creamy. Lemon zest gives it great kick and really enhances the flavor. I usually add lemon zest and parsley right before I serve it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bolivianita

                          Thankyou Bolivianita. For my first try at making risotto, I tried your method. It was very good. and easy. So now that I have my confidence I will try another recipe from the posted ones.
                          Thanks everyone. Chowhounders are the very best!! I was thinking I could have posted a photo, but alas there wasn't time and we ate almost the whole thing.

                        2. I love risotto but stirring it is a a pain in the a**.

                          So now I make barley risotto! Easy! Saute onions, perhaps some mushrooms (fresh or dried, reconstituted), then in goes the barley, some wine and then dump in 2/3 of the stock. Stir, cover, and go do something else, and then add the rest of the stock and let it continue cooking on its own.
                          And barley is good for you.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: NYchowcook

                            I love the barley risotto. Made that a few times it really coats the stomach.

                          2. As many are noting, risotto does not require constant stirring or attention; just don't put the flame up too high, and make sure to stir up the bottom of the pot when adding the hot stock (a little at a time, until rice achieves desired doneness). It's an easy, versatile dish. Add herbs or dried mushrooms to the stock. Use a few threads of good saffron. Try starting with some sauteed shallots before adding the rice. I love to add an enormous amount of green peas to one risotto we frequently enjoy (variation on risi e bisi). And always top with fresh parmesan and...pass the truffle oil.

                            1. I think the most important thing to remember about risotto is that it is a method and not necessarily a recipe. Find a good basic recipe you like and are comfortable with and then start experimenting. My favorite is apple and goat cheese.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: bonmann

                                I agree with this. I tend to take whatever I have on hand and start from there. For instance, the other week I had some leftover broccoli, dried porcini mushrooms, turkey stock instead of chicken laying around, and shallots instead of onions. After giving the dried 'shrooms a good long soak in hot water, I also used the porcini water in the cooking. Finished off with the usual parm cheese, parsley and butter. Not a recipe per se, but delish nonetheless. Once you know how to make it, half the fun is experimenting with flavors that you enjoy.

                              2. Lots of good tips here, I have nothing much to add on the general technique. It may take a few tries but once you get a feel for the basic idea, there are unlimited possibilities. I will share one thing about squash risotto, which is one of the more popular. For years I had seen two different variations on squash risotto, the first with diced chunks of squash, the second with pureed squash. Recently I made one with both: I cut a butternut squash in half lengthwise, roasted one whole half, then diced and roasted the other half. While it roasted I got started on a basic risotto. Near the end, I removed the "whole-half" squash from the oven, scooped it out with a spoon, then mashed it in a bowl and stirred it into the rice. When the rice was just about done I added the diced roasted squash. Finished with a little browned butter and crispy sage. Heaven!

                                1. This isn't exactly a recipe, but I found "Egyptian Rice" in my international market. It is short grained, very even sized, and slightly shiney. I used that to make risotto and it was terrific. And easier to get that regular risotto rice. I washed it 3 times before using to get the external starch off.

                                  Also I read that you can make risotto out of barley, for variety.

                                  1. BJE, I love risotto and make it all the time. I've posted a few recipes on my food blog, most using seasonal ingredients. One you can try that you can still find ingredients for is this pumpkin mushroom risotto that others have tried and liked. http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200... (You can replace pumpkin with any squash like butternut.

                                    )

                                    The base for risotto always starts out the same for me: saute onions, add rice to toast, then add white wine. Then add broth and cook to right consistency, then add other ingredients to make the risotto your own.

                                    It's important to toast the rice to help make it more absorbant of the broth.

                                    I think risotto is pretty easy to make, and in my recipes I keep in on the less complicated side. Also, to make sure it's creamy, you can finish off with adding either butter or parmesan cheese at the end. But add it a few minutes before the rice is done and with the pot off the heat.

                                    Let me know if you have any other questions. Nice to see the risotto brigade building! :)

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: singleguychef

                                      Exactly my suggestion. Must use wine to start and end with butter and cheese. Lidia taught me well !!!

                                      1. re: singleguychef

                                        Thanks singleguychef for the link to your blog site. I am guessing that you can substitute any squash for your sugar pumpkin. We can get crimini mushrooms here, but I will have to wait until August for the chanterelles which grow under our spruce trees. Lucky aren't we! You mentioned crispy fried sage leaves in your recipe. When we were visiting Toronto during the summer we had an unusual squid appetiser in an Italian restaurant. The squid was laid on a bed of deep fried spinach. I had to ask what is was. It was delicious. Took on a kind of nutty flavour. I bet it would be good with risotto as well.

                                        1. re: BJE

                                          Of course, everyone will agree that anything fried is good. I'm not really into deep-fry and do more pan-frying. The crispy fried sage is just for garnish although it is more intense in flavor after crisped up. Like I mentioned on the blog, you just need a little bit of oil and the sage, because it's so small, will crisp up in just a second.

                                          I've done risotto with fresh spinach that I add about 5 minutes before I think the rice will be done, letting the spinach wilt. If you do a risotto with spinach, I would recommend adding a savory element to counter the blandness of the spinach, something like prosciutto.

                                          As for the squash, yes, any can be substituted for pumpkin. I still see butternut squash at my local grocer. Also for the mushrooms, go with whatever you can find. Chanterelles are just more sexy, but any seasonal mushrooms will work. My mushroom person actually told me that this is the best time for mushrooms because mushrooms hit their peak during the wet, rainy season. But I guess if you're in a place where it's covered with snow, then that won't do.

                                          Let us know how your risotto turns out!

                                        2. re: singleguychef

                                          singleguychef's basics are mine too.

                                          Last night I made the best risotto ever (and yeah, I've made Joe H's, *exactly* as he requested). Leeks and celery instead of onion, and I added thyme, fennel sausage, butter beans and long-roasted cherry tomatoes.

                                          Tomatoes are actually my go-to never-fail risotto ingredient. I roast them in a 200 degree oven for 4-12 hours (depending on their size) and they add a spectacular hit of sweetness that offsets all the butter and cheese. Delicious.

                                          Risotto is very rewarding to make, and easy.

                                          1. re: spigot

                                            Spigot, I love roasted tomatoes on top of my risotto as well. I agree that the intense flavor from tomatoes after you roast gives a nice acidity to cut into the risotto.

                                            On a side note, what's butter beans? I've never heard of them and am intriqued.

                                            1. re: singleguychef

                                              butter beans are great in chili (as am a vegetarian, do not have chili with meat)
                                              singleguy - they are a sort of larger, flat pale yellow bean...

                                               
                                              1. re: lollya

                                                thanks lollya, sounds interesting. Are they buttery like, thus the name? I'll definitely keep an eye out for them at my specialty shops.

                                                1. re: singleguychef

                                                  I think they're a kind of small lima bean, singleguychef.

                                                  Here is a song about them :-)

                                                  http://www.floridamemory.com/Collecti...

                                                  1. re: singleguychef

                                                    i guess i don't know if the name comes from the colour or the taste! they are very smooth inside, rather than gritty - if that helps! they should be in your regular grocery store!

                                          2. how is it that NOBODY recommended a little saffron in the broth. It goes particularly well with Italian sausage and porcini in it as well.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: C70

                                              C70, I had saffron in my pumpkin risotto recipe. I agree that it's a nice addition to risotto. Especially a seafood-based risotto. Very much like paella.

                                            2. there's a really nice and fairly easy shrimp risotto recipe in the Best Recipe cookbook. beware: it makes a large amount (at least for our family; we had leftovers for days).