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Hello! I'm new with a risotto question

Hello! I've been lurking a while reading all sorts of fabulous chow posts :)

Inspired by everyone here, I made my first attempt at risotto last night. I think it turned out ok, not quite as creamy or "soft" as I was hoping for - more like rice than the creamy risotto it should have been.

I'm thinking maybe I didn't cook it long enough, or add enough stock. I used about 3 cups of stock to one cup of the rice.

Any tips are appreciate. Thanks!

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  1. What kind of rice did you use? You gotta use the short grain Italian variety (I think Spanish bomba would also work) and cook it low and slow.

    1. I can't tell you any quantities specifically but I know that with risotto you must keep addingthe stock until the rice is done. Three cups seems like a too little. Keep your heat at low-med. A good test for doneness is too take a rice grain and bite in half, it should have just the smallest pinprick of white in the center and the rest should be more translucent. Plus it will keep absorbing liquid as it sits so even off the heat you may need too add a little broth before serving. (Always use hot broth) use plenty of butter, olive oil, and cheese and whip it in very fast at the end.

      1. If the rice is done (not hard in the middle), it should be creamy. Did you add the broth slowly? About 1/2 cup at a time. Don't add the next bit of broth until the first one is almost completely absorbed.

        1. You need arborio, carnaroli or vialone nonna rice, as I understand it traditionally one was used for veg risotto, one for fish and one for meat. I can't remember which way round it is but they are all subtley different. I have two at home and use whichever is nearer the front of the cupboard! You could also use some of the short Spanish rices but I keep them for paella rather than risotto (I have lots of rice at home!).
          Add the stock slowly (bit by bit), keep the temperature so that it is just bubbling, do stir (not too much or too vigourously though as you'll just break the rice). Keep tasting the rice as you're going you'll be able to tell from the bite if it's ready. Because you add the stock slowly you shouldn't need to boil off any excess liquid (which will mean you get mush rather than something with texture) you should be able to pretty much pull the pan off the heat when it is ready. Depending on flavouring and what you're serving with it (if anything) add cheese at the last minute and let the residual heat melt it. Or chuck a piece of parmesan rice in for at least the last 10 minutes cooking time.
          Practice. I found the fairly plain ones (onion, stock, herbs) a good place to start as you do add parmesan (or something) at the end which helps make the bit of remaining liquid creamy. But these need to be served with something rather than a dish in their own right.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ali patts

            Is there such a thing as a brown or unpolished rice appropriate for risotto?

            1. re: Meann

              It'd very unorthodox, but you can do it. I use the organic short-grain brown rice (Lundberg's? Lundgren? Something like that) from Whole Foods and it makes a perfectly nice dish, but don't think I'm winning any points in the authenticity department. It's something I make for a family meal, not company, ykwim?

          2. Thanks everyone! I used arborrio rice. I think I maybe just didn't let it cook long enough, or add enough stock. I'll definitely try again - practice makes perfect hopefully. Thanks!

            1. Also, as a rule of thumb, I start with 4 parts liquid to 1 part rice for a risotto. I usually like to add a bit of wine and use warm stock or broth for the rest of the liquid. The other suggestions here all look to be good ones to me!

              1. I stir my risotto with a silicone *spoonula* and an executive chef taught me to gently scrape the bottom of the spoonula (or wooden spatula) across the bottom of the pan and when the rice doesn't fill in the metal trail left by the utensil on the bottom of the pan, it is time to add more broth. Works every time.

                1. I stir the risotto as little as possible during cooking. Also, make sure the stock you use is warm before adding to the rice. When it is just about done, I add some lite cream, butter, and parmesan or romano cheese. It seems to come out great every time