Favorite Ways to Cook Risotto?
Please share with me all your favorite risotto recipes!
It's hard not to throw in an entire stick of butter or cup of cream, but if you have any healthy-ish risotto recipes -- don't hold back!
Bonus points for creative flavor combinations.
Classic: red wine + chopped white onion sauteed in butter
Valentine's: chicken stock + drizzle truffle oil + topped with marinated porcini mushrooms + parmesan slivers
Weekend: veggie stock + chopped scallions + asparagus + white wine + white & black pepper
Leftover deluxe: braised short ribs (or any tender meat: osso-buco style, pork shoulder, etc.) + himalayan pink salt
Summer Risotto: fresh sweet peas + roasted garlic cauliflower + chili flakes + white wine + herbed bread crumbs (thyme // oregano // green onion // leeks) + drizzle olive oil
Southwest Risotto: tomato juice + stock + black beans + sauteed chopped onion + can chillies (chipotle // ancho) + salt + handful cilantro
I like to leave that last one a bit charred on the bottom like dolsot bibimbap.
I haven't made risotto balls yet as it seems a bit sticky and laborious.
Perhaps someone has baked them with success or has any clean-up-minimizing wisdom to share?
I like to take left over risotto, or overcooked stuff and turn it into congee/poridge. I flavor mine with a pinch of sugar, pickled ginger liquid and black pepper and serve it with spicy shrimp and grilled scallions. The base ratio I use is 8 parts cooking liquid to 1 part rice.
I've also had success using a blender to grind uncooked rice into a powder and using it to encrust fish. It works similar to rice flower, but by doing it yourself you get a courser texture, and by using arborio rice the resulted crust conveys a nice toasted nutty flavor that begs for sea bass and brown butter.
I've very recently started experimenting with risotto, and I scoured the net for healthy options. I've concluded that I can make it without any butter or cream whatsoever; I use only olive oil, wine, broth, and cheese (so far only parmesan or asiago) at the end.
The flavors I've done so far are as follows (all were very yummy):
-mushroom & butternut squash (I pan sear the squash first)
-cauliflower & cocoa nibs & pistachios (I only threw in the pistachios bc I had them on hand; I think it would have been equally yummy without them)
-butternut squash & pistachio
FYI - I've actually adopted the absorption cooking method for pasta over the last year, so I make a lot of pasta "risotto" style, and it comes out just as "creamy" without having to add any butter or cream or even cheese (though I do tend to throw in a bit at the end for flavor), and I've made a lot of great "creamy" pastas that end up very healthy. One of my favorites is julienned sundried tomatoes (in oil & spices) & walnuts. Asparagus & walnuts is really good as well.
I don't think you have to go all out and make a mess to enjoy fried risotto. Really, if you're going to throw away leftover risotto sometime, just experiment with something ad hoc. Take a minute and shape some leftover risotto into a little cake and fry it in a nonstick pan with some butter, or an oil that matches what's flavoring the risotto, and see what you think. It's amazing how good they can be.
My biggest problem is making risotto that survives so there are leftovers that sit overnight and get good and sticky for frying.
Agreed with Yanz about "healthier" risotto - I make mine consistently with only olive oil, onion, wine, broth, arborio, and cheese (added at the end). Other ingredients may be added (mushrooms, asparagus, etc.).
I've found the keys to extracting as much flavor without adding cream/butter are:
1) well toasted rice
2) A good wine
3) Homemade stock, preferably with enough collagen in it that it has a silky texture to it,
4) Quality parmesan (or whatever cheese you're using).
For leftover risotto, balls or cakes are very easy to make. I've even made stuffed risotto balls, stuffed with bits of prosciutto and cheese. Yes, they're a bit messy, and it's easy for them to fall apart, but they make a pretty nice dish, especially the stuffed ones.
My "special" risotto is a goat cheese and smoked salmon one - same basic recipe, except I use a lighter chicken stock or use a fish stock, goat cheese instead of parm, and add smoke salmon when the risotto is done. It's very rich, so it's good as either a (very) small first course, or larger plating with a salad, but every time I've made it it has gone over very well.
Rissotto... I like mine a bit on the moist side so it sinks down when you mound it on a serving dish. Lately my favorite is mushroom risotto with a little nest hollowed out in the center for a sous vide egg (or two). A great combination! I always use olive oil as my fat, saute onions or leeks in it with a clove of mashed garlic (optional), and mushrooms, all of a kind or a variety. I also add a sprinkling of Fusion truffle salt. It's magic! If a reaaaaly special occasions pops up, I might use real truffles (and pray for leftovers!). Sometimes I toss in some pine nuts, then the rice; arborio, or if I'm out of it then a good grade of sushi rice (Cal Rose works well) does just fine. When the rice is toasty, I add a very generous splash of Noilly Pratt, then the first ladle of hot broth and it's time to start my automatic risotto stirrer. (You didn't think I'd make risotto if I had to do the stirring, did you?) At the end, I may (or may not) stirr in some freshly grated Parmigiano Regianno or (my fave) Pecorino Romano, but the risotto is delicious with it too.
Oh, the sous vide eggs... I start them from twenty minutes up to a couple of hours before I start the risotto. At least 2 eggs per person dropped into a 145F water bath until the risotto is done. I just put the eggs directly into my Sous Vide Supreme. It seems silly to vacuum seal eggs. I serve one egg nested in the risotto, then the rest of the eggs in a bowl on the table for people to help themselves. The combination of the remarkably creamy sous vide eggs and the also remarkably creamy risotto is love climbing all over your taste buds!
I haven't tried it yet but plan to test out an oyster risotto with a little Pernod in the near future. Hey, it's a great combination in Oysters Rockefeller, so why not risotto? I just have to find some non-Gulf of Mexico wild caught oysters first!