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Risotto: Home Cooking Dish of the month (February 2013)

L.Nightshade Feb 1, 2013 07:58 AM

This month we will be cooking Risotto.

It was a tight race, but risotto edged out the competition. If you'd like to view the voting thread, click here:

As usual, you are invited to use published recipes, old favorites, or a recipe you've invented. Please describe your recipe, and your outcome. Photos are always encouraged. Please remember to paraphrase any recipes that are not your own; verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Marcella Hazan talks about insaporire being what one does to draw out and develop the flavor of several ingredients. Speaking of risotto, she says:

"The guiding principle of insaporire is to cause an ingredient to bond its flavor to that of another and thus expand both."

A romantic notion, and a romantic dish, for the month of valentines.

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  1. mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 1, 2013 10:50 AM

    awesome. I hope to really participate in this month's dish! i like the idea of this one: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201...

    although i don't particularly like the picture - the risotto doesn't look creamy enough, to me....

    this looks great too: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/wi...

    but again, the pic! i just think risotto should be more ... spready... don't you think?

    more like this? http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=h...

    oooh, doesn't this look lovely? reminds me of you, LN: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=h...

    so many possibilities!

    22 Replies
    1. re: mariacarmen
      pikawicca RE: mariacarmen Feb 1, 2013 11:18 AM

      I think that all of the risottos pictured are a little on the dry side. IMO, risotto should be just runny enough that you have to serve it in a bowl, not on a plate, but not so runny that you can't eat it with a fork. (I don't always hit that nail squarely on the head.)

      1. re: pikawicca
        delys77 RE: pikawicca Feb 1, 2013 11:42 AM

        That's an interesting point. I've ordered risotto in a restaurant and gotten both loose versions and dryer versions. My own preference at home is always something slight thicker, not dry by any means, but something that could be served in a bowl or on a plate (I serve in a bowl usually). I'm sure there is an "authentic" way, but personal preference is important also.

        1. re: delys77
          ttoommyy RE: delys77 Feb 1, 2013 11:48 AM

          It depends on the region in Italy. In the Veneto, they serve it loose; it is called "all’onda," "on the wave." In other regions they serve it thicker. It's all personal preference and no way is "correct" or "incorrect."

          1. re: ttoommyy
            HillJ RE: ttoommyy Feb 1, 2013 11:56 AM

            tt, is the amount of liquid used the only contributing factor for loose or thick risotto? Or do other ingredients such as moisture for an add in make the difference?

            1. re: HillJ
              ttoommyy RE: HillJ Feb 1, 2013 12:01 PM

              I can only answer from my own experience. I think it is moslty the amount of liquid (broth or water) used. Of course add-ins that retain their own moisture will add to it. Then of course there is the mantecare step after the risotto is done cooking in which you mix butter and grated cheese into the risotto which not only adds a creaminess but also absorbs some of the moisture.

            2. re: ttoommyy
              delys77 RE: ttoommyy Feb 1, 2013 12:50 PM

              That is good to know. Not that I am a stickler for authenticity, but I always like to at least try the most authentic approach at least once. In this case no need to worry.

              1. re: ttoommyy
                mariacarmen RE: ttoommyy Feb 1, 2013 05:34 PM

                it's a matter of preference. i had it homemade in northern Italy and it was looser than those pics. either way, it's still delicious.

            3. re: pikawicca
              mariacarmen RE: pikawicca Feb 1, 2013 05:33 PM

              i agree with you, i like it a tad runnier than those pictured.

              1. re: mariacarmen
                Frizzle RE: mariacarmen Feb 1, 2013 06:44 PM

                I like it runnier too, but I find on the occasions that I mess things up and it gets too dry that the leftovers are easier to turn into risotto patties (I have a weakness for these on a cold winter's day).
                I'm really looking forward to the DOTM even though here in Australia it's not exactly risotto weather. There's a taleggio and cauliflower risotto that I adore despite it's pungent odour that I'll have to make. The recipe is unfortunately packed up in a box in another country but I think I can wing it. I also am keen to see if anyone has a crab risotto recipe they recommend that I can try.
                Embarrassing to admit but until I was an adult I thought risotto was something Maggi invented (a brand we have here in Australia/NZ not sure about elsewhere) . They had these awful boxes of rice with a powdered spice mix and you added some fresh peas etc. You could cook it in the microwave in about 5 mins. In my student years I ate a lot of it. Having a proper risotto was such a revelation. I love the meditative stirring and often grab a novel to read and a stool to sit on by the stove while making it.

                1. re: Frizzle
                  pikawicca RE: Frizzle Feb 1, 2013 06:51 PM

                  You're my kind of cook.

                  1. re: Frizzle
                    pikawicca RE: Frizzle Feb 1, 2013 06:57 PM

                    Asian rice is a short grain, like Arborio. I would experiment with the ingredients available. Try using dashi and add miso as a finish, perhaps? I think you could come up with a very nice dish. Actually, I think I might have to play with this, myself.

                    1. re: Frizzle
                      HillJ RE: Frizzle Feb 1, 2013 08:20 PM


                      This recipe for crap risotto was made for me. I loved it but it was more like a crap stew-soup than a creamy risotto. With some crusty bread..really satisfying.

                      1. re: HillJ
                        Frizzle RE: HillJ Feb 1, 2013 10:40 PM

                        It sounds really good. Thanks!

                        1. re: HillJ
                          ttoommyy RE: HillJ Feb 2, 2013 04:56 AM

                          Before I clicked on the link I really thought you were calling the risotto "crap!" Check your typos. LOL!

                          1. re: ttoommyy
                            HillJ RE: ttoommyy Feb 2, 2013 05:08 AM

                            oh my I really was tired! LOL! CRAB CRAB CRAB!

                          2. re: HillJ
                            HillJ RE: HillJ Feb 2, 2013 05:09 AM

                            CRAB risotto...oh lordy HillJ!

                            1. re: HillJ
                              HillJ RE: HillJ Feb 3, 2013 07:17 AM

                              some in my household are focused on the Superbowl today, so I made gumbo earlier in the week and a loose risotto reminds me a lot of gumbo.

                              1. re: HillJ
                                TheCarrieWatson RE: HillJ Feb 6, 2013 04:38 PM

                                That's totally hilarious.

                                Great looking recipe though - I think this'll be the first one I try from this thread.

                                1. re: TheCarrieWatson
                                  HillJ RE: TheCarrieWatson Feb 6, 2013 05:12 PM

                                  Yeah, I have my moments..ha!
                                  CRAB risotto is a rich meal. I wouldn't consider it a side dish, would you?

                                2. re: HillJ
                                  Sal Vanilla RE: HillJ Feb 7, 2013 12:35 PM

                                  Oh thank you for the laugh. I thought "Crap? This I gotta see". Especially in light of it being honest food.

                                  It does look delicious. I wish I liked crab on risotto.

                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla
                                    HillJ RE: Sal Vanilla Feb 7, 2013 12:36 PM

                                    heheheh, happy to provide the laughter!

                          3. re: mariacarmen
                            HillJ RE: mariacarmen Feb 1, 2013 11:57 AM

                            Nice choices. I guess it depends if I'm craving risotto has the main dish or a side. That first recipe with the egg on top would def. be a meal for me, whereas the mushroom version a delicious side.

                          4. Tom P RE: L.Nightshade Feb 1, 2013 11:05 AM

                            I am a risotto fanatic. I will post a couple of my own recipes below. But first, this is a recipe I discovered this year and was my #1 food find on my blog for 2012. This is SERIOUSLY incredible:


                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Tom P
                              grayelf RE: Tom P Feb 1, 2013 05:13 PM

                              I just dropped into this thread as I was tempted by the title, having taken on learning how to cook risotto as a New Year's resolution in 2010. Imagine my delight in finding a link to a recipe for gemelli "risotto" using my favourite pasta shape! Thanks Tom P, can't wait to try it. Not to mention all the other great posts here (I also love farrotto, made one to go with the turkey at Christmas dinner). I do like carnaroli rice the best though, never fails me. I will now step back and enjoy the rest of the month... thanks all.

                              1. re: Tom P
                                geminigirl RE: Tom P Feb 1, 2013 05:38 PM

                                Looks interesting, have you ever subbed out the carrots for another vegg? I just can't do cooked carrots, but love the idea of the dish.

                                1. re: geminigirl
                                  Tom P RE: geminigirl Feb 2, 2013 05:40 AM

                                  Grayelf, let me know if you like it! Geminigirl, understood. Though I have served it to people who said the same and they went nuts for it. I would imagine you could use any root veggie?

                                  1. re: Tom P
                                    grayelf RE: Tom P Feb 4, 2013 11:13 AM

                                    Tried it last night, Tom P, and it turned out well. Cooking time is rather less than for a "regular" risotto which is a plus. I only needed 6 cups of stock rather than the suggested 8. Also found it a bit on the mild side, so maybe will up the onion quotient next time to a large one. Finally, I found that the texture of the sauce that results from the starch on the pasta was less creamy and a bit more glutinous than the same when I use carnaroli in my usual recipes.

                                    1. re: grayelf
                                      Tom P RE: grayelf Feb 5, 2013 05:17 PM

                                      Glad it was all right, though it didn't sound like it blew you away as it did me. It is indeed mild. The sweet creaminess of it is what gets me. And I throw in a lot of butter and cheese, too :)

                                      1. re: Tom P
                                        grayelf RE: Tom P Feb 5, 2013 07:29 PM

                                        One of my DCs commented on the sweetness of the carrots for sure. I did end up adding more butter and LOTS more parmesan than called for, plus freshly grated on the top, which added more zip. Maybe my taste buds are just flamed out :-). Really liked trying a different style of risotto (pastasotto??) so thanks again for posting.

                              2. Tom P RE: L.Nightshade Feb 1, 2013 11:10 AM

                                WINTER GREENS RISOTTO

                                Over the years I have become more and more addicted to a variety of things… perhaps none so much, separately, as risotto and sautéed greens. For a few years I have been making a terrific pasta tossed with greens. Then I tried a risotto with sautéed greens that turned out just as good, if not better. Recipe of sorts below.

                                A sidenote is that I love all kinds of greens. You can cook them solo, or combine them. Beet greens have become some of my favorite. But anything works.

                                I like a wild and wonderful mixture of greens: chard (whatever color), kale (whatever color), beet greens, dandelion greens and/or Italian parsley leaves. You could add or substitute anything: spinach, mustard greens, collards, whatever.

                                In one pot make a simple risotto:

                                sauté chopped onion (I often add a little chopped fennel), then add the Arborio rice. Saute 3 minutes.

                                Add a few glugs of white wine. When the wine had cooked down, start adding warm chicken broth. Cook as you would any risotto, stirring and adding broth, until the rice has just a tiny bit of bite left and the mixture is thickening. It is time to add the final ingredients.

                                At the same time, in olive oil and garlic, sauté the greens, torn into relatively bite sixed pieces, adding greens to the pot as need be. As they cook, add more olive oil as needed, and white wine or chicken broth, then a touch of balsamic vinegar, all for flavor.

                                When the risotto is almost done, add butter, parmesan cheese, and the greens. Cover and let rest a few minutes.

                                This is really good.

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: Tom P
                                  HillJ RE: Tom P Feb 1, 2013 11:53 AM

                                  Tom P you sound like a CH that knows their risotto! Your recipe is right up my alley and I'm wondering if you have leftovers have your ever made arancini with this paticular risotto? This recipe has me thinking it might be a contender.

                                  1. re: HillJ
                                    Tom P RE: HillJ Feb 2, 2013 05:41 AM

                                    Oh, wow. I never thought of that and now must try it! That sounds wonderful, I think this particular risotto would be terrific as arancini.

                                  2. re: Tom P
                                    HillJ RE: Tom P Feb 1, 2013 12:13 PM

                                    How much Arborio rice are you using for this recipe? I can see your a "by feel" recipe writer :)

                                    1. re: HillJ
                                      Tom P RE: HillJ Feb 2, 2013 05:43 AM

                                      I usually do 1 1/2 cups of rice for serving 4. With 6 cups broth. One note on broth: I make homemade broth so often I have a hard time using store bought anymore. And veggie broth is so quick and easy, sometimes I just throw a few broth veggies in a pot (onion, carrot, celery, anything else I might have) with water, bring it to a boil, then as it simmers, use this for the heated broth for the risotto. Very fresh, works great and much better than store bough.

                                      1. re: Tom P
                                        wyogal RE: Tom P Feb 4, 2013 08:54 AM

                                        Good idea, I would like to make some tonight, bit, I don't think I have broth. But, I have veggies, so I think I'll toss some in a slowcooker, then it can be ready for me later today. I work this afternoon.

                                        1. re: wyogal
                                          Tom P RE: wyogal Feb 5, 2013 05:19 PM

                                          Wyogai, in a pinch, you can throw any veggies you might have... carrot, onion, celery... in a pot with water, bring it to a boil then simmer while you do your prep for everything else. I've made quick veggie broth that way in 15 minutes that works fine. Let me know what you think when you try this!

                                          1. re: Tom P
                                            wyogal RE: Tom P Feb 5, 2013 05:33 PM

                                            That's what I did, I put the leftover crudites from Super Bowl (celery, carrot, green onion, yellow pepper) in a saute pan, got a bit of color on them, then put them in the slow cooker for the afternoon while I was at work. It was yummy. I added a bit of peppercorn, yellow onion, a bay leaf, and 3 cloves as well.

                                            1. re: wyogal
                                              Tom P RE: wyogal Feb 6, 2013 07:19 AM

                                              I love a few cloves in my homemade broths as well!

                                              1. re: Tom P
                                                wyogal RE: Tom P Feb 6, 2013 07:26 AM

                                                It adds a subtle depth, doesn't it? :)

                                    2. re: Tom P
                                      mariacarmen RE: Tom P Feb 1, 2013 05:36 PM

                                      that sounds really wonderful. thanks for posting it.

                                      1. re: Tom P
                                        magiesmom RE: Tom P Feb 2, 2013 05:52 AM

                                        i like winter greens with red beans risotto.

                                      2. m
                                        Memorando RE: L.Nightshade Feb 1, 2013 11:17 AM

                                        Risotto is a standby in our house. Lately we've been doing a lot of pumpkin/winter squash risotto, cooking the pumpkin separately with some onions and (usually) a little nutmeg and a splash of wine or vermouth, then pureeing and stirring the puree into the near-finished risotto. We've also been having a lot of mushroom risotto, combining fresh mushrooms (usually just white button mushrooms), sauteed (often with thyme), and porcini (with their soaking liquor added to the broth). Can't wait to see what others do! One of the tastiest risottos I ever had was a savory strawberry one in Florence over ten years ago; I'd be curious to hear if anyone has ever given that a go!

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: Memorando
                                          HillJ RE: Memorando Feb 1, 2013 11:54 AM

                                          We have and we love squash risotto! I've seen pumpkin/winter squash risotto on a several restaurant menus recently.

                                          1. re: HillJ
                                            piccola RE: HillJ Feb 1, 2013 05:39 PM

                                            Oddly enough, I'm not a huge fan of squash risotto, even though I love both elements separately. It feels too starchy to me. Give me mushroom or greens any day.

                                            1. re: piccola
                                              HillJ RE: piccola Feb 1, 2013 05:50 PM

                                              Risotto is pretty starchy to begin with. I find it's the texture that can be hit or miss more than the flavor choices. I don't care for a toothy risotto.

                                              1. re: HillJ
                                                magiesmom RE: HillJ Feb 1, 2013 06:23 PM

                                                me either.

                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                  piccola RE: HillJ Feb 2, 2013 05:49 PM

                                                  I think it's because risotto is already starchy that I stay away from starchy add-ins -- just like I tend to avoid adding squash and starchy veg to pasta. It's just a personal preference, not an overall rule.

                                                  But I hear what you're saying about texture. Just like some people prefer it runnier vs. thicker. That's why it's always better to make it at home -- you can make it just the way you like!

                                            2. re: Memorando
                                              JoanN RE: Memorando Feb 9, 2013 10:41 AM

                                              There's a kabocha squash risotto in "Sunday Suppers at Lucques" that I adore. I reported on it here ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3970... ) when "Sunday Suppers" was first Cookbook of the Month.

                                              1. re: Memorando
                                                alepenazzi RE: Memorando Feb 20, 2013 07:26 PM

                                                The savory strawberry risotto is one of my favorite, we always used to make it with prosecco wine and strawberries.

                                                Very simple but the balance between the wine and the strawberries is crucial because it's pretty easy to end up with a sweet mess...

                                                I usually start with the usual onion/shallots soffritto, rice in, 1 minute to tast the rice, a glass of prosecco in and let it dry.
                                                Then I start with the broth and half way through I put half of the strawberries in and more prosecco. Towards the end the remaining strawberries and some more prosecco if it is too sweet.
                                                Let it cool down (mantecare) with butter, a little bit of Parmesan cheese and black pepper.

                                                1. re: alepenazzi
                                                  ttoommyy RE: alepenazzi Feb 21, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                  That sounds wonderful. I must try this sometime. Thanks.

                                              2. h
                                                HillJ RE: L.Nightshade Feb 1, 2013 12:19 PM


                                                I've been hanging on to this link for a bit and making my way through the top 10 very slowly; they all appeal to me. Especially the recipe that uses farro in place of Arborio and infusers like lemon & mint, tomato & ricotta. I'm going to start with the farro risotto recipe because I have a lb. on hand.

                                                Risotto cakes with eggs sounds very appealing too!

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                  mandymoo RE: HillJ Feb 1, 2013 12:48 PM

                                                  Thanks for the link! I added some of those to Pepperplate :)

                                                  1. re: mandymoo
                                                    HillJ RE: mandymoo Feb 1, 2013 02:10 PM

                                                    You are very welcome. If you try any from the list out I hope you will review your results here.

                                                  2. re: HillJ
                                                    angelsmom RE: HillJ Feb 1, 2013 04:46 PM

                                                    Wow, thanks...some new and great ones there

                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                      Dirtywextraolives RE: HillJ Feb 4, 2013 09:23 AM

                                                      I made a decent farro risotto a few months back, I ell have to dig that recipe out and share it, it was a keeper....

                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                        HillJ RE: Dirtywextraolives Feb 4, 2013 09:40 AM

                                                        Wonderful, thanks!

                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                          Dirtywextraolives RE: HillJ Feb 11, 2013 09:01 AM

                                                          Try this farro with artichoke &herb salad. The farro is cooked like a risotto, and it turns out delicious. I've served it even without the salad and it's a great side to any roast or with grilled meat. I'm making it again this week.


                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                            HillJ RE: Dirtywextraolives Feb 11, 2013 09:05 AM

                                                            Thanks Dirtywex, that looks right up my alley!

                                                      2. re: HillJ
                                                        TheCarrieWatson RE: HillJ Feb 7, 2013 08:48 AM

                                                        I've never made risotto cakes before but have always kind of wanted to - can't wait to try those out. I will definitely be making that, ahem, craB risotto you put up earlier, and I'd imagine the leftovers would be a wonderful candidate for risotto cakes later. Thanks for posting!

                                                        1. re: TheCarrieWatson
                                                          HillJ RE: TheCarrieWatson Feb 7, 2013 09:12 AM

                                                          happy to contribute. all this risotto speak has my husband raising the bar on dinner this month!

                                                      3. m
                                                        magiesmom RE: L.Nightshade Feb 1, 2013 12:33 PM

                                                        I make this lemon risotto as a bed for seared scallops or swordfish often. it is really really good. I always use homemade chicken or vegetable broth. It works with Mayer lemons too.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: magiesmom
                                                          HillJ RE: magiesmom Feb 1, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                          SK does it again!

                                                        2. ttoommyy RE: L.Nightshade Feb 1, 2013 12:44 PM

                                                          I usually do not use a recipe when making risotto (same with pasta sauces) since I like using what I have on hand. This recipe for asparagus risotto caught my eye a while back because it calls for pureeing the asparagus stalks with the broth before proceeding to cook the risotto. I found this technique very interesting and decided to try it. I've made this several times now and it is very good.


                                                          10 Replies
                                                          1. re: ttoommyy
                                                            pikawicca RE: ttoommyy Feb 1, 2013 12:59 PM

                                                            I really like that idea. Must try.

                                                            1. re: pikawicca
                                                              ttoommyy RE: pikawicca Feb 1, 2013 02:22 PM

                                                              It's such a no-brainer when you think about it. And it imparts so much asparagus flavor into the finished risotto. It's a very similar idea to steeping dried porcini in hot broth/water before making a mushroom risotto and then using that broth/water to make the risotto.

                                                            2. re: ttoommyy
                                                              Memorando RE: ttoommyy Feb 1, 2013 08:34 PM

                                                              I've simmered the fibrous asparagus ends in the broth for a risotto before, to good effect; I'll have to try this!

                                                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                Caitlin McGrath RE: ttoommyy Feb 1, 2013 10:17 PM

                                                                I made a beet risotto a few years ago that worked that way, with some roasted beets pureed with water for the cooking liquid, then more beets and beet greens added at the end. It was delicious. Recipe in the cookbook Gourmet Today. Dramatic looking, too.

                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                  ttoommyy RE: Caitlin McGrath Feb 2, 2013 04:57 AM

                                                                  Very interesting; I'll have to check it out. Thanks for posting.

                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                    HillJ RE: Caitlin McGrath Feb 2, 2013 05:09 AM

                                                                    Beets, that's interesting.

                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                      Robin Joy RE: Caitlin McGrath Feb 3, 2013 02:37 AM

                                                                      I was going to post a virtually identical suggestion Caitlin, but you beet me to it.

                                                                      I'm a big +1 on this dish. Its intense colour and rich flavour make it perfect to have with cold chicken or ham.

                                                                      Don't be alarmed when you visit the bathroom after eating this, but you may think you've suffered kidney failure!

                                                                      Edit: I posted in here:


                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                        Memorando RE: Caitlin McGrath Feb 3, 2013 08:57 AM

                                                                        Inspired by this, I made a beet risotto tonight! It was terrific. Please forgive my poor photography, but here's a picture.

                                                                        1. re: Memorando
                                                                          HillJ RE: Memorando Feb 3, 2013 09:21 AM

                                                                          Wow, that looks really tasty!

                                                                      2. re: ttoommyy
                                                                        abby d RE: ttoommyy Feb 5, 2013 05:02 AM

                                                                        I first came across this with a Dennis Cotter recipe for jerusalem artichoke risotto recipe and now use it with a lot of root vegetables. Jeruslaem artichoke is a particular favourite - garnished with scallops or crispy pancetta and wild mushrooms as extra contrast - but I also like it with parsnips (and pancetta). The method also works well if you are doing a farrotto as it really helps get the flavour packed in.

                                                                        I think i need to try a beetroot risotto as part of this challenge. I should also do a red wine risotto as that will also be new to me.

                                                                      3. LMAshton RE: L.Nightshade Feb 1, 2013 04:28 PM

                                                                        I've never had or made risotto before. What's a good recipe for someone totally new to it?

                                                                        50 Replies
                                                                        1. re: LMAshton
                                                                          HillJ RE: LMAshton Feb 1, 2013 05:04 PM


                                                                          LMA, this recipe has been kicking around CH for a while. Maybe it will appeal to you. It's rich and hearty risotto. The directions are clearly written and for a first time experience a nice recipe to consider trying.

                                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                                            LMAshton RE: HillJ Feb 1, 2013 05:10 PM

                                                                            Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check it out. :)

                                                                            1. re: LMAshton
                                                                              iL Divo RE: LMAshton Feb 5, 2013 06:36 AM

                                                                              I'll just mention a few of us in CH world got a little loopy making Joe's risotto. the stories are pretty funny and the recipe was very good.
                                                                              will add also my thoughts are make a few easy recipes first before attempting&have a bit of cash in hand. it has a laundry list of specific ingredients and not necessarily intended for beginners.

                                                                              1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                HillJ RE: iL Divo Feb 5, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                                                iLD, do you ever feel that way making cookies? You're such a cookie baker, really dive into so many recipes I'm curious if you ever hesitate to try a cookie recipe based soley on cash in hand and/or ingredient/technique.

                                                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                                                  iL Divo RE: HillJ Feb 5, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                                                  hi HillJ~ the biggest reason I shy away from recipes is because the end result doesn't grab me by the gills with excitement.

                                                                                  I get one go around in life. what something costs regarding an ingredient or a few plays no part. I'm a saver, meaning I stash a little here and a little there for times I want to splurge and splurge I do. so I buy the cheese one day and freeze it, weeks may go by before I locate the correct suggested rice and wine but getting it in pieces until I have the entire orchestra isn't a problem, I'll make it when I've gathered all the players.

                                                                                  Most may recall reading Joe's risotto recipe how important his specific ingredients were plus he gave a caveat something about don't make this recipe if you're not going to use stated ingredients. the specific Gorgonzola, the exact or closest to his suggestion for the wine, the name of the rice we were to get even down to (I'm remembering correctly) unsalted pistachios.

                                                                                  I like to tackle an adventure head on if something sounds good to me. the stories (again) reading that thread had me in hysterics and I wanted to join in.

                                                                                  Not trying to dissuade a person from having a go at making this, only trying to lend info that may be appreciated. plus, lets face it, there's a lot of steps.

                                                                                  all this said I think I'll do a risotto tonight with our roasted rosemary lemon lavender chicken tonight. now I'm in the mood.

                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                    HillJ RE: iL Divo Feb 5, 2013 05:23 PM

                                                                                    what a great reply, iLD!
                                                                                    so well said too!!

                                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                                      iL Divo RE: HillJ Feb 6, 2013 06:23 AM

                                                                                      thanks HillJ, here's our risotto from last night.
                                                                                      so contents you'll see are: barley, arborio, orzo, shallots, garlic, onion, tsp grated carrot for color, butter, olive oil, white wine, chicken stock with 2 bay leaves soaked in there for flave, my house seasoning, tiny bit red pepper flakes, fresh parm, toasted unsalted pistachios and shallot greens snipped on top for little sharp bite.

                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                        c oliver RE: iL Divo Feb 6, 2013 01:51 PM

                                                                                        Barley and arborio rice and orzo. Interesting. Do they all take the same amount of time to reach eating texture?

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                          iL Divo RE: c oliver Feb 7, 2013 12:03 PM

                                                                                          amount of arborio rice on hand was minimal.
                                                                                          but I knew the barley and orzo would work, the timing wasn't exact as risotto but I stood/watched/stirred/added, end result perfect.

                                                                                        2. re: iL Divo
                                                                                          boyzoma RE: iL Divo Feb 6, 2013 02:22 PM

                                                                                          Wow. That looks amazing. And I love all those flavors, just never thought of using them together. I'm with c oliver - would love to know how you put this together.

                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                            iL Divo RE: boyzoma Feb 7, 2013 12:19 PM

                                                                                            I've stated many times on CH that I'm a shoot from the hip girl.
                                                                                            how bad can it be if it simply doesn't work out perfectly? I'd dump it and go to plan 'b'. but no need as it did work.
                                                                                            here's what I did:
                                                                                            1.rolling pinned the pistachio's then put them in a dry silicone omelet pan to toast until just browned and set aside.
                                                                                            2. butter and olive oil in 3 qt LeCreuset, melted it, then added the orzo, barley, arborio rice and stirred until lightly or barely browned.
                                                                                            3. then added the shallot, garlic, onions, carrot, house seasoning, stirred to soften.
                                                                                            4. got stock out of frig, into saucepan with a large pierced garlic clove and bay leaves, heated up to simmer.
                                                                                            5. wine into the saucepan, stirred, lid on simmer 5 min.
                                                                                            6. wine almost disappeared now, start with the hot stock, *ladel by ladel (1/2 cup ladel size) until it's gone, then more until it's gone, then more. In between I'd put the lid on while making the salad but only for about 1-3 mins. *when I say it's gone I mean, the wooden spoon across the bottom of the saucepan containing the rice mix doesn't fold back on itself, it stays clean bottom of pan for a brief moment.
                                                                                            7. tiny bit red pepper flake in now, along with crushed and toasted nuts, stir, nice handful of parm cheese, stir.
                                                                                            8. check risotto for doneness, walk onto front porch, snip shallot greens for on top of risotto, hurry it's cooling off, dress risotto,eat.
                                                                                            EDIT: FORGOT 1 ingred.
                                                                                            step 7 before the parm addition 1/2 Myer lemon (juice) stir then continue on.
                                                                                            driving to Von's and thought "I forgot to mention moms lemons playing a big part" at end-for bright flavor.

                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                              c oliver RE: iL Divo Feb 7, 2013 12:53 PM

                                                                                              So what ARE "shallot greens"? Is it the top of the shallot and, if so, will they still ripen into shallots?

                                                                                          2. re: iL Divo
                                                                                            HillJ RE: iL Divo Feb 6, 2013 02:26 PM

                                                                                            You never disappoint, iLD! Yes, details pls!

                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                              pikawicca RE: iL Divo Feb 6, 2013 04:36 PM

                                                                                              What are "shallot greens?"

                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                c oliver RE: pikawicca Feb 6, 2013 05:17 PM

                                                                                                Good question. I'm guessing if you cut off the tops, then the shallots themselves wouldn't mature into, well, shallots. And can you buy these greens or do you have to grow them?

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                  HillJ RE: c oliver Feb 6, 2013 05:23 PM

                                                                                                  unless iLD meant scallions...which can also be called green shallots.


                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                    c oliver RE: HillJ Feb 6, 2013 05:59 PM

                                                                                                    In Australia. Certainly a total misnomer in the US.

                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                      HillJ RE: c oliver Feb 6, 2013 08:26 PM

                                                                                                      I'm not entirely sure. Examples were aplenty online. But I'd rather know what iLD meant.

                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                        iL Divo RE: HillJ Feb 7, 2013 12:56 PM

                                                                                                        ...and soon you shall, it's on it's way HILLJ :)

                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                          iL Divo RE: HillJ Feb 7, 2013 12:57 PM

                                                                                                          wait! HILLJ did you make those pickles? sorry OT, but I'm just now noticing your avatar............ok, see photo's just posted?

                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                            HillJ RE: iL Divo Feb 7, 2013 02:02 PM

                                                                                                            LOL, photo is mine; pickles made by a buddy.
                                                                                                            love your garden pots, yum!

                                                                                                      2. re: HillJ
                                                                                                        iL Divo RE: HillJ Feb 7, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                                                                        nope, they're purple and they're shallots.
                                                                                                        in the photo I'm showing a larger developed one that I grew in different pot but you may be able to see the tiny baby shallots just starting to mature under the soil.
                                                                                                        if not~you'll just have to have faith ;-p

                                                                                                    2. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                      iL Divo RE: pikawicca Feb 7, 2013 12:45 PM

                                                                                                      I grow shallots, onions, chives, garlic, scallions etc. all over the yard. the skinny green stem/shoot things may be called something specific but I don't know what that is.
                                                                                                      I don't know about anyone else but I always snip the greens from all of these and use them for fresh brightness and flavor on baked potatoes, the ham and bean soup I just made, in the doughs of my breads, toppers for salads. I'll shoot a pix, easier than explaining.

                                                                                        3. re: HillJ
                                                                                          pikawicca RE: HillJ Feb 1, 2013 05:20 PM

                                                                                          I would NOT recommend Joe's risotto recipe for a beginner -- keep it simple: shallot, rice, white wine, stock, butter, Parm. Period.

                                                                                          In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook 1 minced shallot in a bit of butter/olive oil until soft. Add 1 cup Arborio rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine and cook until absorbed. Have ready over a low flame 4 cups lightly salted chicken stock diluted with 2 cups water. (You probably won't use the full amount of liquid, but it's best to have too much rather than too little.) Add this by the ladle-full to the rice, stirring for about 30 seconds after each addition. When liquid is nearly absorbed, add more. After about 15 minutes, start checking for seasoning and texture. You'll probably want to add pinches of salt gradually. Stop adding liquid when the rice is creamy and just tender.

                                                                                          Turn off heat and add 2 T. softened butter and 1/2 cup grated Parm (have more on hand to serve at table). I like to cover the risotto and let it set 5 minutes before serving. Gets easier every time you make it, and once you have the technique down, you can branch out, adding different ingredients, etc.

                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                            LMAshton RE: pikawicca Feb 1, 2013 05:34 PM

                                                                                            What would you suggest I use instead of wine? And yes, after checking out that linked recipe, I can't get all of the ingredients here, so I'd rather do something more basic. :)

                                                                                            1. re: LMAshton
                                                                                              pikawicca RE: LMAshton Feb 1, 2013 05:40 PM

                                                                                              If you like, just skip the wine and use a tad more stock. (Although a couple of tablespoons of good balsamic thinned with water might be interesting.)

                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                HillJ RE: pikawicca Feb 1, 2013 05:47 PM

                                                                                                I am a risotto beginner as well and I just took Joe's recipe step by step. I didn't have trouble shopping for the ingredients in my area but I can understand hesitating if the ingredients are hard to source. Joe is pretty clear about sticking to the recipe as written.

                                                                                                LMA, however you dive into risotto, have fun with it and be sure to come hungry!

                                                                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                  LMAshton RE: HillJ Feb 1, 2013 06:48 PM

                                                                                                  See, I still don't know for sure if I can even find a suitable rice here. I haven't looked, but this is Asia, so... But specialty cheeses? Doubtful. Extremely. That I know of. :)

                                                                                                  1. re: LMAshton
                                                                                                    HillJ RE: LMAshton Feb 1, 2013 08:17 PM


                                                                                                    Asian risotto balls. I've made this recipe many times for parties. Maybe you'll have better luck sourcing these ingredients.

                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                      LMAshton RE: HillJ Feb 2, 2013 03:41 AM

                                                                                                      Ooooh, that sticky mango rice looks delightful! I'm tempted. Really really tempted. :D Thanks, HillJ. :)

                                                                                                    2. re: LMAshton
                                                                                                      Memorando RE: LMAshton Feb 1, 2013 08:46 PM

                                                                                                      Where in Asia? I'm in Bahrain and can find arborio rice here, but I've also made risotto with the short-grain Egyptian rice you can get easily in this area.

                                                                                                      I think a touch of acid really helps the dish, so if you can't use wine, I'd use a little vinegar or lemon juice (even just at the end).

                                                                                                      As for the rest of the ingredients in that first recipe ... forget about it ; ) If I could find dolce gorgonzola, it would probably be out of my price range. Imports are outrageously priced here!

                                                                                                      1. re: Memorando
                                                                                                        LMAshton RE: Memorando Feb 2, 2013 03:43 AM

                                                                                                        I'm in Singapore. I've found arborio on an online shopping site, but with the delivery charges, I'll see if I can find something at one of the stores close to me.

                                                                                                        Yeah, I've been thinking about the acidity. I read elsewhere that a good sub for white wine in risotto would be a half & half of white grape juice and a vinegar so you get the sweetness and the acidity. That sounds reasonable to me. :)

                                                                                                        1. re: LMAshton
                                                                                                          Frizzle RE: LMAshton Feb 2, 2013 06:10 PM

                                                                                                          Try the Carrefour supermarket in plaza singapura for aborio. You can get there in the mrt - dhoby ghaut station. You should be able to find it there. I think I've even picked some up in the Japanese supermarket in Liang court (close to clark quay) before.

                                                                                                          ETA - there used to be an Italian store next to the Japanese supermarket too. I think they had aborio plus a good selection of specialty cheese. It's been a couple of years since I lived in Singapore so hopefully it's still there.

                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle
                                                                                                            LMAshton RE: Frizzle Feb 2, 2013 07:55 PM

                                                                                                            Carrefour shut down in Singapore. Thanks for the info on the Japanese and Italian markets. I'll keep them in mind and hopefully check them out soon. :) I'm planning to check at Mustafas next time I'm there since I'm within walking distance and we go there fairly frequently.

                                                                                                            1. re: LMAshton
                                                                                                              Frizzle RE: LMAshton Feb 2, 2013 09:14 PM

                                                                                                              Oh dear, that's a shame. Carrefour was one of the better supermarkets for western ingredients. Jones the Grocer may have it if you can't find it at Mustafa's, they have a few different branches so google them for your closest. They tend to be pricey though. The Japanese supermarket in Liang Court (basement) is called meidi-ya, the Italian shop was to the left of the entrance to the Japanese supermarket. It sold hot food but there was a deli counter and a few pantry items for sale there too, I remember buying taleggio cheese there a couple of times. Good luck, I hope you find some aborio rice.

                                                                                                    3. re: HillJ
                                                                                                      piccola RE: HillJ Feb 2, 2013 05:54 PM

                                                                                                      It's not the complexity of the recipe that makes me think it's not the best for beginners. I feel like it would be better to start with a more traditional version, just to get a feel for what it's like and how the flavours work. Then experiment.

                                                                                                      1. re: piccola
                                                                                                        LMAshton RE: piccola Feb 2, 2013 07:55 PM

                                                                                                        Yep, I agree. :)

                                                                                                        1. re: piccola
                                                                                                          HillJ RE: piccola Feb 2, 2013 09:33 PM

                                                                                                          Point taken and I always defer to the person actually doing the cooking, beginner or more experienced. I'm an experimenter by nature even when I'm learning how. I guess that was showing thru in my enthusiasm and encouragement.

                                                                                                  2. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                    ItalianNana RE: pikawicca Feb 6, 2013 03:20 PM

                                                                                                    I just joined the site and Joe's recipe is intimidating to me. HillJ assured me somewhat, but I'm really thrilled with your straightforward, no nonsense post. I will be making this tomorrow! Thank you so much!!

                                                                                                    1. re: ItalianNana
                                                                                                      HillJ RE: ItalianNana Feb 6, 2013 03:59 PM

                                                                                                      Oh I hope you didn't misunderstand my enthusiasm. There is room for every which way to make risotto, isn't there?!

                                                                                                      I'm still a newbie risotto maker (as I said) but perhaps less hesitant to dive in.

                                                                                                      Gotta crawl before you walk...no problem.

                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                        ItalianNana RE: HillJ Feb 6, 2013 05:25 PM


                                                                                                        I've been bopping all over reading your posts and they are witty and informative. I love your enthusiasm and appreciate your encouragement!

                                                                                                        1. re: ItalianNana
                                                                                                          HillJ RE: ItalianNana Feb 6, 2013 05:28 PM

                                                                                                          Right back atcha, ItalN!

                                                                                                  3. re: HillJ
                                                                                                    c oliver RE: HillJ Feb 5, 2013 07:59 AM

                                                                                                    I noticed recently that Joe H is no longer posting. I hope it's just that he tired of CH. I made tihs recipe a few years ago and it was great. But I made it as a main and thought it was WAY too rich for that.

                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                      HillJ RE: c oliver Feb 5, 2013 01:45 PM

                                                                                                      Very rich risotto indeed. Truth be told, it was Joe's passion that motivated me to give it a try. I miss his posts and travel log rich stories!

                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                        pikawicca RE: HillJ Feb 9, 2013 04:24 PM

                                                                                                        Maybe that risotto did him in.

                                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                          HillJ RE: pikawicca Feb 9, 2013 04:33 PM


                                                                                                          or this recipe!

                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                            pikawicca RE: HillJ Feb 10, 2013 04:56 PM

                                                                                                            If served together, those two dishes would very likely put you a step closer to your Maker.

                                                                                                    2. re: HillJ
                                                                                                      ItalianNana RE: HillJ Feb 6, 2013 02:44 PM

                                                                                                      Seriously? For a novice? That recipe sounds really delicious and utterly terrifying.

                                                                                                      1. re: ItalianNana
                                                                                                        HillJ RE: ItalianNana Feb 6, 2013 02:50 PM

                                                                                                        It really isn't terrifying. Don't let Joe's passion throw your risotto game. Embrace it!

                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                          ItalianNana RE: HillJ Feb 6, 2013 03:01 PM

                                                                                                          Hee hee. Thanks, I'll take a deep breath and throw my arms around it.

                                                                                                  4. m
                                                                                                    Memorando RE: L.Nightshade Feb 1, 2013 08:50 PM

                                                                                                    Also, arancini! One of the best leftover applications around, and worth the extra planning to make sure you *have* leftovers.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Memorando
                                                                                                      HillJ RE: Memorando Feb 2, 2013 05:11 AM

                                                                                                      Another arancini lover. I've posted four recipes so far for leftovers or to make instead. Hope you find those recipes in the links above.

                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                        Memorando RE: HillJ Feb 2, 2013 09:49 PM

                                                                                                        Thanks, HillJ, I'll click through and check them out!

                                                                                                      2. re: Memorando
                                                                                                        herby RE: Memorando Feb 16, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                                                                        Memorando, have you made aranchini with mushroom risotto? What cheese do you use?

                                                                                                      3. L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Feb 4, 2013 08:48 AM

                                                                                                        Red Wine Risotto with Speck and Porcini.

                                                                                                        I made this last night, just because all of the ingredients were in my kitchen.

                                                                                                        It started, as usual, with chopped onions cooked in butter. Once the onions were softened, I added a bit of garlic, and the arborio rice. When that mixture was well combined, I added red wine (a merlot, in this case). When the wine had absorbed I added the warm mushroomy water in which the dried porcini had been bathing. I then added the mushrooms and the chopped speck. Stirring all the while, I added duck stock, ladle by ladle. The risotto was finished by stirring in a bit more butter and parmesan.

                                                                                                        Along with a greens and grapefruit salad, this was a lovely dinner. And I greatly enjoyed stirring and thinking for long stretches at the stove, while the Super Bowl was on at the other end of the house!

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                          HillJ RE: L.Nightshade Feb 4, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                                                                          LN, that really looks delicious. How much liquid in total do you think was used?

                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                            L.Nightshade RE: HillJ Feb 4, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                                            Thanks HillJ! I'm not exactly sure...
                                                                                                            For two cups of rice, I know I used one cup of wine, about a cup and a half of the porcini liquid. I heated 8 cups of duck stock, but I think I only used five or six cups. I just kept adding until the texture was to my taste, then I refrigerated the remainder of the stock.

                                                                                                          2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                            Dirtywextraolives RE: L.Nightshade Feb 4, 2013 09:26 AM

                                                                                                            Looks great, LN! I love the sound of your salad too.

                                                                                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                                                              L.Nightshade RE: Dirtywextraolives Feb 4, 2013 10:29 AM

                                                                                                              Thanks DWEO! It was nice to have something crisp and tart to go with the richness of the risotto.

                                                                                                          3. c oliver RE: L.Nightshade Feb 4, 2013 08:58 AM

                                                                                                            Just stumbled across this and will read thoroughly. I've never been as satisfied with my risotto as some restaurants. I like mine "wet." Thanks for this thread.

                                                                                                            1. w
                                                                                                              wyogal RE: L.Nightshade Feb 4, 2013 05:05 PM

                                                                                                              I'll post a picture later, but made risotto tonight. I followed the directions on the package, sort of. I didn't have wine, so skipped it.
                                                                                                              I had leftover crudites from yesterday, celery, carrots, green onion, yellow pepper. I sauteed them, deglazed the pan, and threw it into the slowcooker, along with more water, cut up yellow onion, some peppercorns, a couple of cloves, and a bay leaf. That simmered all afternoon while I was at work.
                                                                                                              Then, I made the risotto, sauteed some diced onion in olive oil, added the rice, then started to add the hot broth, stirring.
                                                                                                              Took it off the heat when done, added a knob of butter and freshly grated parmesan.
                                                                                                              I served it with leftover bacon-wrapped shrimp, and baby back ribs, (not really sauced), and egg rolls (my husband ate those), all leftover from Super Bowl dinner last night.
                                                                                                              It was great!

                                                                                                              1. w
                                                                                                                wyogal RE: L.Nightshade Feb 4, 2013 05:55 PM

                                                                                                                Here is the pic, and like I said, it's not runny enough, should have taken it off heat a little earlier, but it was really tasty!

                                                                                                                1. ttoommyy RE: L.Nightshade Feb 6, 2013 05:30 AM

                                                                                                                  Made a risotto with bacon, peas and scallions last night. Forgot to take a picture though. It was lovely. Diced two pieces of good thick bacon and sauteed it in my risotto pot. Removed the bacon and sauteed diced onion in fat. Tossed in carnaroli rice, sauteed a minute or so and proceeded to make a basic risotto using chicken broth. When done, mixed in peas, scallions and reserved bacon, then finished with a bit of butter and parmigiano reggiano. Delicious.

                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                    mariacarmen RE: ttoommyy Feb 6, 2013 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                    that sounds perfect.

                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                      ttoommyy RE: mariacarmen Feb 6, 2013 11:50 AM

                                                                                                                      Thanks mariacarmen. My key to a good risotto is less is best. No more than three add ins.

                                                                                                                    2. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                      ItalianNana RE: ttoommyy Feb 6, 2013 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                      That sounds lovely. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I do t know what a risotto pot is. Can you elaborate?

                                                                                                                      1. re: ItalianNana
                                                                                                                        ttoommyy RE: ItalianNana Feb 6, 2013 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                        lol Sorry ItalianNana. It's just a nonstick enameled pan I use to make risotto. Nothing special!

                                                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                          ItalianNana RE: ttoommyy Feb 6, 2013 05:13 PM


                                                                                                                          And a right smart looking pot it is too. I did feel a little better when I looked for "risotto pan" on Amazon and it showed everything from sauciers and Dutch ovens to rice cookers! :-)

                                                                                                                          1. re: ItalianNana
                                                                                                                            juliejulez RE: ItalianNana Feb 6, 2013 10:02 PM

                                                                                                                            I actually use a cheapo non-stick 5 quart pot that my BF had when I moved in. Works fine for me!

                                                                                                                        2. re: ItalianNana
                                                                                                                          ttoommyy RE: ItalianNana Feb 6, 2013 03:46 PM

                                                                                                                          Here's a picture of it.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                            HillJ RE: ttoommyy Feb 6, 2013 04:00 PM

                                                                                                                            That's a thing of beauty! I assure you risotto coming out of my kitchen is not prepared in a stunning pot...put is served in one hand thrown by me.

                                                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                              c oliver RE: ttoommyy Feb 6, 2013 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                              Wouldn't that be called a saucier? Which is what I make mine in cause the inside bottom is curved making it easier to stir.

                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                ttoommyy RE: c oliver Feb 6, 2013 04:29 PM

                                                                                                                                I'm memory challenged on specific names; I just call it a pot. The inside bottom is flat.

                                                                                                                              2. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                blue room RE: ttoommyy Feb 7, 2013 05:22 PM

                                                                                                                                We should all have such a risotto potto!

                                                                                                                                1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                  ttoommyy RE: blue room Feb 8, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                  It's a Mario Batali brand made by Dansk. Nothing very special.


                                                                                                                          2. boyzoma RE: L.Nightshade Feb 6, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                                                                            On my menu later this month is Osso Bucco & Risotto Milanese. I can't wait.


                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                                              abby d RE: boyzoma Feb 6, 2013 09:14 PM

                                                                                                                              Good call boyzoma, I've never made risotto Milanese either, so will add that to my list too.

                                                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                                                mariacarmen RE: boyzoma Feb 7, 2013 12:24 AM

                                                                                                                                mmmm.. risotto milanese was my first ever attempt at risotto, taught to me by a milanesan home chef! in Italy! (tho outside of milan.) and then the next day we made arancini.... good stuff! your menu sounds amazing.

                                                                                                                              2. c
                                                                                                                                ChiliDude RE: L.Nightshade Feb 6, 2013 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                Always made with Arborio rice and aromatic vegetables including shredded carrot. Wine, chicken stock for liquids. Butter and olive oil for fats and creaminess. Usually with leftover roast chicken (we have an empty nest). Leftover vegetables like broccoli florets or peas are included. Finish with more butter and lots of Parmigiano Reggiano (not just plain parmesan cheese).

                                                                                                                                Did I mention that my wife is of Italian heritage. Be that as it may, I'm the risotto cook. "Sono italiano per matrimonio."

                                                                                                                                Vivi, ama, ridi e specialmente mangia bene,

                                                                                                                                Buon appetito!

                                                                                                                                1. h
                                                                                                                                  Heatherb RE: L.Nightshade Feb 6, 2013 02:57 PM

                                                                                                                                  I'm all about the whole grains these days, so I make barley risotto rather than using arborio rice. And - though some of you may be scandalized - I do it in the slow cooker. I got the basic proportions in terms of broth/wine to barley and monitor the moisture/liquid level while it cooks. I've made it so far with butternut squash, shallots and garlic and with mushrooms, asparagus and thyme. Both were pretty yummy. I'm looking to mix the cheeses up beyond just regular parm next time.

                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Heatherb
                                                                                                                                    HillJ RE: Heatherb Feb 6, 2013 03:15 PM

                                                                                                                                    Sounds delicious and I haven't tried the slow cooker method yet but if it saves time with great results-more power to ya!

                                                                                                                                    What other cheeses did you consider?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                      Heatherb RE: HillJ Feb 6, 2013 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                      I believe Mark Bittman suggests gouda as a possible alternative, but I was thinking an asiago or a hard goat cheese might work too. I dunno - I have no clue what I'm doing - I'm just delighted when it turns out good. Before I left Jersey, I had a beet and butternut squash risotto at Under The Moon. OMG - now THAT was amazing.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Heatherb
                                                                                                                                        HillJ RE: Heatherb Feb 6, 2013 05:15 PM

                                                                                                                                        No kidding, beet & butternut sounds really delicious. Hard goat cheese works for me. I'm going to make a farro risotto style on Sunday with portobello mushrooms and blue cheese to go with a roast.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                          cleopatra999 RE: HillJ Feb 16, 2013 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                          How long does it take you to make farro risotto? I made several brown rice risottos in the spring (with asparagus) and found it took a long time (like 2 hours). Well worth the effort, but very time consuming.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: cleopatra999
                                                                                                                                            HillJ RE: cleopatra999 Feb 16, 2013 03:26 PM

                                                                                                                                            Funny you should ask because I was told by a friend to soak the farro in cool water overnight, drain, shake off the excess water and then start the risotto. This did make a difference in the overall cooking time. Total cook time was: 45 mins and that includes roasting the vegetables.

                                                                                                                                            The farro risotto with roasted root vegetables wasn't super creamy but it made excellent rice balls two days later from the leftovers.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                              grayelf RE: HillJ Feb 18, 2013 06:55 PM

                                                                                                                                              Cook time can also be reduced by using the semi-pearled farro (I think that's the right terminology, not at home so can't look at the bag).

                                                                                                                                  2. f
                                                                                                                                    Frizzle RE: L.Nightshade Feb 6, 2013 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                                    My first crab risotto is complete. It was a tad overcooked as far as texture goes (my fault, not the recipes) but lovely and rich and crabby despite not having as much crab meat as I would have liked through it.

                                                                                                                                    I ended up using two recipes. One for the stock (http://honest-food.net/fish-and-seafo... ) from the link HillJ shared ( http://honest-food.net/2012/01/30/cra... ) and for the risotto I used a River Cafe 2 recipe - there's an un-formatted version of it down page ( http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ent...


                                                                                                                                    I chose the River Cafe version over the one HillJ recommended purely based on the fact it had chilli in it and I'm going through a bit of a chilli craze currently. Both recipes are fairly similar in fact, the River Cafe one uses fennel as an extra flavour and the Honest food one has fennel in the stock.

                                                                                                                                    I have to admit I was a bit loose when it came to following the instructions of both recipes. My crabs were blue swimmer crabs, I had three and the initial weight was just under a kilo. I didn't weigh how much picked meat I had partly because I'm embarrassed of my abysmal picking skills. No matter - the unpicked meat gave the stock loads of flavour. For the stock I used all the ingredients mentioned (onion, garlic, carrot, celery, fennel, parsley, tomato paste, wine, bay leaves) except the mushrooms. I let it simmer for about 90 mins before letting it cool and then picking out the solids and straining. I was very happy with the flavour but did add some salt at the end.

                                                                                                                                    I rushed making the risotto so I didn't bother checking I had ratios of ingredients right to match the amount of crab meat I had. I wish I had stopped and got this right as it was a bit of a hunt for crab meat on the plate in the end. Anyway, onion and sliced fennel is fried. Garlic is added, then chilli flakes and TEN fennel seeds (the ten fennel seeds specified in the recipe made me giggle and think of the wonderful Joe H recipe thread), rice (I used aborio) went in and then drained tomatoes from a tin. Wine is added and then the stock goes in ladle by ladle.

                                                                                                                                    Here despite my earlier rushing I made another error caused by the side effect of making risotto. The partially used bottle of wine (I was naughty and used chilled wine in the risotto) was begging to be drunk so while I was stirring the rice I was helping empty the bottle. This eventuated in me overcooking the rice. The crab meat goes in right at the end with lemon juice, fresh parsley and fennel fronds. The pasta is served with a glug of olive oil.

                                                                                                                                    Verdict: It was nice, not mind blowing but very rich and satisfying for a recipe without dairy. Would I make it again? Probably not. It was a lot of effort to go to. I like crab so much and it's a rare treat so I think I would rather just eat them as is and not have to hunt for the meat in a dish.

                                                                                                                                    Leftovers are being turned into patties for pre-dinner (bbq tonight) eats.

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Frizzle
                                                                                                                                      HillJ RE: Frizzle Feb 6, 2013 05:44 PM

                                                                                                                                      Whoa! What a lovely write up. Excellent read too and the recipe comparisons will benefit my efforts in making this dish later in the month. Bonus on the pattie from leftovers. I have not made the Honest recipe myself, it was made for me so I don't recall a crab -hunt but it was a loose risotto, but maybe my friend added more crab. Any other suggestions and substitutes you'd consider? Thanks, Frizzle.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                        Frizzle RE: HillJ Feb 6, 2013 06:04 PM

                                                                                                                                        The hunt for crab meat was mainly due to using too much rice for the amount of crab meat I had - not the fault of the recipe I'm sure. I wish I had weighed it so I could report properly but it was pitiful. I initially thought I should just use half a cup of rice but when I came to cook it that felt so miserly I threw caution to the wind and put a whole cup up in. I should have stuck with the miserly approach.

                                                                                                                                        I did like the sauteed sliced fennel that the river cafe recipe had. As you use the fronds in the stock for your recipe you could do this with the bulb for the Honest recipe perhaps. It just gives a nice undertone of fennely-anniseed but isn't overpowering at all. It also lightens up the dish and makes it less dense.

                                                                                                                                        One other thing I was wondering about the Honest recipe is the Marsala. The only marsala I know is very sweet and while I do have a bottle in the cupboard I was thinking that sweetness might overpower the crab flavour. Apologies for my ignorance here but are there different types of marsala?

                                                                                                                                        ETA: I used a mandoline on a really fine setting to slice the fennel, so by the time it was getting some colour from frying it was almost breaking down into a gorgeous, gooey mess too.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Frizzle
                                                                                                                                          HillJ RE: Frizzle Feb 6, 2013 08:44 PM

                                                                                                                                          On the Marsala, I have dry & sweet in the chill box. Good tip on using the mandoline. When I get my act together, I'll refer to your notes alongside the recipe and see where it take me. Thanks for your support and generosity!

                                                                                                                                    2. aching RE: L.Nightshade Feb 7, 2013 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                                      I LOVE a good mushroom risotto - I think I'm going to make this one:


                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                        c oliver RE: aching Feb 7, 2013 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                                        Mushroom risotto is my hands-down favorite. I really like to taste the risotto rather than a lot of other ingredients. I just save this one. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                          boyzoma RE: aching Feb 8, 2013 07:03 AM

                                                                                                                                          I love a good mushroom one as well. I use this as my base: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/gourmet-...

                                                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                                                          Sal Vanilla RE: L.Nightshade Feb 7, 2013 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                          Fantastic idea.

                                                                                                                                          I am making a quasi porchetta this coming week. I may use the leftovers to fashion my own version of porchetta risotto. Is that wrong sounding? I am making it with a green sauce along side and may or may not include it. If not, I may add jale or mustard greens. If loving that idea is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

                                                                                                                                          1. blue room RE: L.Nightshade Feb 7, 2013 05:49 PM

                                                                                                                                            Curried Zucchini Risotto
                                                                                                                                            (from "Bistro Cooking at Home" by G. Hamsersley)

                                                                                                                                            This is my first risotto (both eating and making.) It's made with vegetable stock (from my freezer) and dry sherry. Also onion and garlic cooked in butter and oil, curry powder, a pinch of saffron, salt & pepper. Chopped zucchini, Parmesan.
                                                                                                                                            I left out the mint and cilantro, didn't have it, didn't want it.
                                                                                                                                            First I watched a risotto Youtube (NOT for this recipe, just risotto.)
                                                                                                                                            and then tried this recipe. It IS delicious, but I just don't like the texture of risotto, I'm afraid. (Rice, I love! Rice pudding I love! Sticky sushi rice I love!) Can't explain it, but there it is.
                                                                                                                                            I do think I should have tried plain risotto before curry risotto, though the texture is the problem, not the flavor.
                                                                                                                                            The picture in the book looks drier, but is also sitting in a liquid/sauce.

                                                                                                                                            18 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                              grayelf RE: blue room Feb 7, 2013 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                                              Congrats on your first risott, blue room! Texture is a weird thing, isn't it? My SO is the most omnivorous person I know but he really can't abide anything custardy. Whereas I cannot bear to eat bananas. All because of texture, so your preference doesn't strike me as strange at all.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                blue room RE: grayelf Feb 9, 2013 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                Just curious -- does your aversion to banana texture keep you from eating avocados too?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                                  grayelf RE: blue room Feb 14, 2013 07:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                  It did for years -- I'd only eat guacamole :-). I've gotten over that mostly, though I still get the screamin' willies if an avocado has those little strings in it. Eep.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                    c oliver RE: grayelf Feb 14, 2013 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Avocado and "little strings"?????? Never seen such a thing. Gotta examine the avocado we're getting ready to have on our salad :)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                      grayelf RE: c oliver Feb 14, 2013 07:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Oh, they're there. You've likely never noticed them because you DON'T have a texture aversion.

                                                                                                                                                      Sort of on topic: I made baked trahanas tonight and it occurs to me that this Greek wheat based "pasta" would work very nicely in a risotto-style dish. Traharotto, anyone? I just wish that the brand we can get here came with cooking instructions. The recipe I use says "cook as directed" but alas no directions, so I just guess.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                        c oliver RE: grayelf Feb 14, 2013 08:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                        The avocados I eat can be spread like butter. No strings.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen RE: grayelf Feb 14, 2013 11:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                          grayelf, i associate those strings only with not-good avos. when i lived in So. Cal. (grew up there), i don't think i ever had a stringy avocado. (i'm talking Haas avos.) they were all beautiful velvety goodness. since i moved to the Bay Area (17 years this Dec.), i've encountered many a stringy, sad, easily bruised and mostly flavorless avocado. it's a marked difference. and i don't know if we get them from somewhere else here than we did in So. Cal., or they're just giving us the bad ones here, but i'm not making it up. oh sure, every now and then you get a beauty but most of the time it's a crap shoot.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                            c oliver RE: mariacarmen Feb 15, 2013 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I do agree that I get a lot of subpar. Paid $1.50 for ONE yesterday and made the comment that if it was crappy I was taking it back. I'll have to keep an eye out for strings :(

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                              walker RE: mariacarmen Feb 15, 2013 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I know about the strings..usually come on avocados that are very inexpensive.

                                                                                                                                                              The ones I buy from Costco do not have strings; very rarely, they are watery, not like the nice butter type ones. But, the majority of the time, the ones from Costco are great. You do have to buy a bag of 5 or 6. When they get ripe, I put them in the fridge to make them last longer.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: walker
                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen RE: walker Feb 15, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                yes, the stringy ones often come from one of my local mexi-marts, where the produce is cheap, so i can totally see that.

                                                                                                                                                                my sister gets Costco avocados... i do think they're better....

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                  grayelf RE: mariacarmen Feb 18, 2013 06:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  We get avocs from Mexico most of the time and they are picked rock hard. No wonder we get strings. Had a stringy one today (blorg) on my rock salt and rosemary bagel. Which has nothing whatever to do with risotto :-).

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                                    c oliver RE: grayelf Feb 19, 2013 07:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    I too have the problem at my Latino market. Gotta keep an eye out for those strings :(

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                                    L.Nightshade RE: blue room Feb 8, 2013 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Well, it certainly looks delicious, blue room! Sorry it's not to your taste. Or not to your texture? It's funny that you like rice pudding and not risotto, as the texture can be similar.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                      blue room RE: L.Nightshade Feb 8, 2013 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                      It IS delicious --! But muddy textured, or something...
                                                                                                                                                      I *most probably* made it wrong. I won't give up, I'll make another plainer one, not curry and zucchini.

                                                                                                                                                      Rice pudding seems slippery, the risotto ... clay-ey.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                                        juliejulez RE: blue room Feb 8, 2013 03:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                        blue room, my first risotto turned out how you described... clay-ey. This was the recipe I used: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ty... I think maybe I waited too long between finishing it and serving it, but otherwise I don't know what I did wrong. My second one (using a different recipe) turned out much better. I would say try it a few more times with different recipes.

                                                                                                                                                        BTW this is the recipe I used the second time, although I ignored their instructions for the broth, and did it the more traditional route of adding it in little by little, and didn't add the chicken sausage or vegetables in until the end. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/italian-...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                          juliejulez RE: juliejulez Feb 8, 2013 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                          BTW, this was my write up in my notes from when I made the first one, it was well over a year ago (before I started hanging out around here!)

                                                                                                                                                          "This flavor was not bad at all, but it required a lot of work and attention which isn't my way of cooking :) Also you have to serve it right away after it's done otherwise it starts to get "doughy". Probably won't make again."

                                                                                                                                                          Just funny because by nature risotto needs attention, and I love making it now, I find it soothing. CH has really helped me to appreciate cooking a lot more.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                            blue room RE: juliejulez Feb 8, 2013 03:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Thank you, juliejulez! So many people love this stuff -- I know it is my problem, not a risotto problem.
                                                                                                                                                            Actually, I'll bet I could read some instructions in some of the cookbooks I have, by classic proper esteemed revered cookbook authors.
                                                                                                                                                            My own lowdown opinion might be lacking, duh.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                                          grayelf RE: blue room Feb 9, 2013 12:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I made a sweet risotto a few months ago that I was prepared to love, and actually really hated, though I adore savoury risotto and sweet rice pudding. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                                    2. inaplasticcup RE: L.Nightshade Feb 8, 2013 11:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                      As February includes both The Man's and my birthdays, our anniversary, and Valentine's Day we've made it an annual tradition to indulge in a full lobe of foie gras each February.

                                                                                                                                                      To kick off our annual Foie Fest, I made this Pea & Parmesan Risotto and topped it with a fried egg and a lil sliver of seared foie.

                                                                                                                                                      Since I had to tend to our 7 month old monster while making my risotto today, I didn't quite get to babysit it as I would have liked, and shape and texture were not as rounded and creamy as desired, but it was still a creamydelicious and decadent lunch.

                                                                                                                                                      Hope everyone's 2013 is off to a delicious start! :)

                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                                                                        juliejulez RE: inaplasticcup Feb 8, 2013 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                        That is lunch? *looks down at my container with a piece of chicken and lukewarm rice*. Wow.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                          inaplasticcup RE: juliejulez Feb 8, 2013 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                          :) February is a splurgy month for us.

                                                                                                                                                          (And I'm pleasantly surprised the pictures loaded! I was uploading for over 30 minutes without the pictures appearing, and I just gave up and clicked over to another page.)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen RE: inaplasticcup Feb 8, 2013 02:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                            don't let her fool you jj - ALL her meals look like that. even on non-splurgy months!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                                                                          c oliver RE: inaplasticcup Feb 8, 2013 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                          That's a gorgeous dish and I love the creaminess of the risotto. Interesting the shape of the foie - did you get it from Hudson Valley. My ones from Sonoma (boohoo!) are MUCH more irregularly shaped than that. Not that it matters.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen RE: inaplasticcup Feb 8, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                            it looks absolutely creamalicious, Ina! genius on the addition of the egg.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                                                                              L.Nightshade RE: inaplasticcup Feb 8, 2013 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Sounds wonderful ina! Seared foie and risotto go so well together; I'm anticipating that combination some time this month also.

                                                                                                                                                            2. L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Feb 8, 2013 04:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Braised Wild Mushroom with Red Wine Risotto
                                                                                                                                                              From Hamersley's Bistro Cooking at Home

                                                                                                                                                              I used fresh oyster mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms, and dried porcini, all sautéed in a mix of butter and olive oil. Once they released their liquid and began to brown, garlic, shallots, and thyme were added. The Arborio rice was stirred in until it was well coated. I used the porcini soaking water, mixed with merlot (and heated), for the first additions of liquid. For additional liquid I used up small containers of stock I had frozen, a combination of beef stock and duck stock (Hamersley's recipe calls for mushroom or chicken stock). Once the rice was done, I stirred in additional butter, and some asiago cheese. A little more cheese and some chopped parsley complete the dish. Not in the recipe, but I had a small amount of truffle paste, so a little dollop went onto each serving.

                                                                                                                                                              I'm not sure I like the look of red wine risottos, this being the second one I've made this month. I think they look a bit like a bowl of cooked pinto beans. But the flavor was excellent!

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                blue room RE: L.Nightshade Feb 8, 2013 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                This does sound excellent -- mushrooms and onions browned in butter -- woo woo. I know what you mean about the color though. Red wine looks lovely in .. crystal!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                  inaplasticcup RE: L.Nightshade Feb 9, 2013 07:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  This looks and sounds delicious, LN! I love the combination of shrooms, and I would imagine the duck stock made it extra rich.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                    c oliver RE: L.Nightshade Feb 9, 2013 08:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Linda, I'm now betting that's why I've shied away from red risotto. My head knows it would have to taste good but the aesthetics just don't work for me, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 8, 2013 10:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    i made a butternut squash and sage risotto tonight, actually following a skinnytaste recipe (although, ok, hell, i used way more butter.) it turned out very well, but i wanted more squash taste, less parmigiano reggiano, and i used less than the recipe called for. i also used more stock/butternut squash puree and wine (Macon-Village Chardonnay) than the recipe said, as it was still too al dente after i'd gone through 3 cups of liquid. i'd also have liked more of a sage flavor. still, we loved it. i wish i could say there was enough to make some arancini tomorrow, but, um, we're pigs.

                                                                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                      inaplasticcup RE: mariacarmen Feb 9, 2013 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I love butternut squash anything, and this looks right up my alley, mc.

                                                                                                                                                                      Curious - How much rice did the recipe call for for 3 cups of liquid?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen RE: inaplasticcup Feb 10, 2013 12:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        one cup of rice to 3 cups of blended stock and squash puree, and i think 2 oz of dry white wine. i used more of everything. it may have to do with the fact i use a skillet to make risotto, so the liquid dissipates faster?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                          L.Nightshade RE: mariacarmen Feb 10, 2013 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I use a skillet too, but I think I use more liquid to rice. I start with a half or 3/4 cup of wine for that amount of rice.

                                                                                                                                                                          Of course, now I'm eyeing risotto pots.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                            inaplasticcup RE: mariacarmen Feb 11, 2013 11:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            That does seem kind of dry. I don't think I've ever used less than 4 to 5 cups of liquid per cup of arborio... But I also use a shallow saute most of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                          c oliver RE: mariacarmen Feb 9, 2013 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I had that problem a few months ago. Kept adding and adding stock and it never was right. Wondered later if the arborio was too old (a couple of years?). Could that have effected it?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen RE: c oliver Feb 10, 2013 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            it came out fine, just needed a lot more liquid. my arborio was new.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                              c oliver RE: mariacarmen Feb 10, 2013 12:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks. I'm going to buy new. It was a special meal with the foie and it made me sad to have an inferior portion.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                            Sal Vanilla RE: mariacarmen Feb 9, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Ah I was hoping you had posted what laid so prettily along side your risotto. Pork? With leeks atop? I can stare and wonder no longer.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen RE: Sal Vanilla Feb 10, 2013 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              braised pork tenderloin with fennel, actually!

                                                                                                                                                                          3. JoanN RE: L.Nightshade Feb 9, 2013 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            I recently made Jasper White's Risotto with Lobster from "Lobster at Home" using his recipe for Savory Lobster Broth and reported on it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8566...

                                                                                                                                                                            Although it was too al dente (don't know if it was a problem with TJs arborio or if the recipe calls for too little broth, although every other recipe I've made from the book has been absolutely spot-on), the flavor was superb. I've made a note in the book that it might require more liquid, but I'll definitely be making this again.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                                                              L.Nightshade RE: JoanN Feb 9, 2013 12:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              That sounds wonderful JoanN! I'm always jealous of east-coasters and their lobsters.

                                                                                                                                                                              I actually never use the recipe amounts of liquid. I just start with the wine, and heat up a big pot of stock and ladle it in until the risotto is the right texture. I think the amount it takes probably varies with different rice, ingredients, type of pan, maybe even the weather!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                c oliver RE: L.Nightshade Feb 9, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                My less than stellar one a few months ago - also served with seared foie - drank up SEVEN cups of stock/broth (I had to switch to canned when I ran out of homemade) and still wasn't alright. I'm still wondering if the rice was too old.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. h
                                                                                                                                                                              HillJ RE: L.Nightshade Feb 9, 2013 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Risotto Style Mac & Cheese

                                                                                                                                                                              This off the beaten track risotto styled recipe caught my eye. Not quite the risotto you might be looking for but the technique was there, the ingredients were handy and the girls wanted comfort food!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 10, 2013 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                goat cheese & asparagus risotto tonight (with a roasted chicken). because i was out of homemade stock, i made a quick one using the chicken back and innards and the leftover woody parts of the asparagus. i added more water and some Maggi bouillon cubes to the water, as i learned from yesterday's risotto that i would need more liquid than i thought. steamed asparagus, and added them at the end with the goat cheese and parm regg.

                                                                                                                                                                                this was even better than last night's risotto. i used a deep pot instead of a skillet, and not only did it cook faster (although that was not my goal) it did seem to use less stock to get to the desired consistency. the pic looks like it's less creamy than it was when i first spooned it out. it was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                  juliejulez RE: mariacarmen Feb 10, 2013 07:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yum. I make a pasta dish with goat cheese and asparagus that I got from Smitten Kitchen, so I'm sure this risotto was excellent too :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                    inaplasticcup RE: mariacarmen Feb 11, 2013 11:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Good to know the deeper pot retains more moisture, mc. I'm going to try that next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                    jujuthomas RE: L.Nightshade Feb 11, 2013 06:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I made my first semi-successful risotto last night. It was my second-ever batch of risotto and the first was an epic fail! Anyway, I used the skinnytaste.com butternut squash risotto recipe mentioned by JulieJulez earlier in this thread. the flavor is fantastic, IMO. my failure came in timing. usually I'm really good at timing everything to finish cooking at about the same time. last night I started the risotto too early, not knowing how long it would take me to perform all the steps... then the pork roast took about 30 minutes longer than expected. SO my risotto turned kind of glue-y, at the same time some pieces of rice had a bit more bite than I expected. For my second attempt, I'm pretty happy. I learned some lessons, and tackled one of my kitchen "dragons". yay me. :) (the maple mustard pork loin was FANTASTIC!)

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                                                                                                                                      L.Nightshade RE: jujuthomas Feb 11, 2013 08:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay you, indeed! I think risotto is always hard to time. I've heard horror stories from friends about dinner parties that were delayed for long periods due to risotto not being done on schedule.

                                                                                                                                                                                      That maple mustard pork loin sounds wonderful!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                        jujuthomas RE: L.Nightshade Feb 12, 2013 04:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        glad it isn't just me. :) I'll have a better idea next time.
                                                                                                                                                                                        the pork loin is a rachel ray recipe... I liked the flavor with the butternut risotto.


                                                                                                                                                                                    2. f
                                                                                                                                                                                      Frizzle RE: L.Nightshade Feb 14, 2013 05:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Cauliflower and taleggio risotto with roasted almonds and crispy sage - Cuisine magazine (not sure what issue, it's a NZ magazine and the lovely folks there actually emailed me the recipe as it disappeared from their website and my original magazine is in storage in another country).

                                                                                                                                                                                      I've made this recipe about three times now and it never fails to be delicious. It just varies in levels on pungency depending on the age of the taleggio cheese. Also be warned your house may smell of it the next day. It's quite a rich risotto so not one you want to have often. For us it was our Valentine's meal last night. I did one accidental omission from the ingredients (I forgot the two cloves of garlic) and I cut the amount of rice in half and used one cup instead of two. I left the other ingredients as is. I think I like it best with less rice but then I'm not a huge rice fan, for me it's a vehicle for other flavours. For the record with the two cups it's supposed to serve six.

                                                                                                                                                                                      So, the process. Heat butter and oil in a pan and crisp up 1/4 cup full of fresh sage leaves (I probably used more as I have a plant that needed a good cut back). Put these aside on paper to drain. Fry two cups of cauliflower florets. I cut them bite sized. You want to get a nice bit of browning happening but not overcook them as they get another 10 mins in the pan at the end of cooking. Pop these aside on paper towels also.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Now fry up a finely diced onion and a finely diced leek. I had to add more butter and oil here. If I had remembered the garlic it should have been in here too. You want to get these soft but not quite golden. Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes to get the grains coated with oil. Add a cup of room temp white wine (I used a pinot grigio but I'm sure there would be better matches). Stir and start adding warm chicken stock ladle-by-ladle.

                                                                                                                                                                                      After about ten mins add your cauliflower back in and carry on with the ladles of stock until your rice is almost done. Stir in 200 grams of taleggio cheese. Cutting it up into 1cm cubes means it melts and disperses easier. Stir, taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Pour onto plates and top with coarsely chopped roasted almonds and the crispy sage leaves. The recipe says to add a drizzle of olive oil as well but we didn't as with double the amount of cheese to rice that the recipe called for it was plenty rich enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I had planned to serve this with a simple rocket (argula) salad alongside but completely forgot. It was fine, even just using one cup of rice there was more than we could eat. Leftovers will be fried as risotto cakes for Saturday lunch. Hopefully I will remember the salad this time. Photo to come...

                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Frizzle
                                                                                                                                                                                        Frizzle RE: Frizzle Feb 14, 2013 05:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        And here it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Frizzle
                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen RE: Frizzle Feb 14, 2013 11:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Frizzle - that is stunning, and it sounds delicious. what a wonderful dish! i love a stinky cheese dish, and love fried cauliflower.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle
                                                                                                                                                                                            boyzoma RE: Frizzle Feb 16, 2013 11:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree with mc. That does look amazing and sounds delicious! (wiping the drool from the side of the mouth)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Frizzle
                                                                                                                                                                                              Frizzle RE: Frizzle Feb 16, 2013 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you! It was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I tried to make risotto cakes with the leftovers yesterday. They didn't hold together and I'm thinking it may have been due to the extra cheese to rice ratio. No matter, we just fried it up and it was still very good. Especially as I let it sit in the frypan enough to get some lovely crunchy bits of rice and cheese going on. Now to go for a long walk to work off the decadence.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. herby RE: L.Nightshade Feb 16, 2013 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Mushroom and Leek Risotto
                                                                                                                                                                                            Finally I made a risotto! Didn't have a recipe to follow but was inspired by a few mushrooms and a leek that had to be used up and quickly. So, I soaked some dry mushrooms to supplement, used a bit of vermouth leftover in the bottle, mushroom soaking liquid, chicken stock, lots of black pepper and lovely home-grated pecorino romano. Cooked a few shrimp Ina Garten style (in the hot oven) to serve on the side and that was WFD. Pretty delicious with lots of leftovers. Now I am wondering if I could make arancini from the leftover risotto....

                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: herby
                                                                                                                                                                                              HillJ RE: herby Feb 16, 2013 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I kept looking for you and your risotto adventure. Sounds delicious; great idea re the shrimp. You can definately make arancini from the leftovers. I used the recipe from the magazine link upthread. I pan fried in grapeseed oil. Then served with a leek dip.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                herby RE: HillJ Feb 16, 2013 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I had good intentions :) but had a surgery in late January and it took all my energy away. Just starting to come back - very slowly and tire very quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Made the worst ever white bean and swiss chard soup today and blame CI for it! The beans never cooked to the creamy goodness that I was expecting because per CI I soaked the beans in the salted water ("brine") and that did the trick, I am sure of it. The whole crunchy mess will have to be thown out :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                On the possitive note, leftover risotto is looking nice and sticky in the fridge and tastes a bit of vermouth in a good way :) Will have to get some mozzarella and make arancini to fortify a couple friends and I as we get ready for huge book sale on Thursday.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Do you think I need a dip for arancini? Maybe lemon-olive salsa would be nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: herby
                                                                                                                                                                                                  HillJ RE: herby Feb 16, 2013 05:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Continued strength and good health, herby!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bummer about the soup. It's always disappointing when good ingredients just doesn't come together. But, I love dishes like risotto that rewards us twice! Arancini is one of my husbands favorite finger foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Book sale you say? All types of books?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                    herby RE: HillJ Feb 16, 2013 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Many thank for your good wishes, HillJ!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh yes, all types of books :) I love many kind of books: cookbooks, good fiction and non-fiction, craft books, mysteries, traveloques, and on! This is new to me book sale - it is large and annual and highly recommended. I'll post in Buttertart's thread if I buy any cookbooks. I am very proud of myself for abstaining from buying cookbooks so far this year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: herby
                                                                                                                                                                                                      HillJ RE: herby Feb 17, 2013 04:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh wow, have fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: herby
                                                                                                                                                                                                    grayelf RE: herby Feb 18, 2013 07:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I often see arancini in North America served with a tomato based dipping sauce (not ketchup, thank the gods!) which I am not a fan of. If they are tasty already, I don't think they need sauce, but I'd go for something a bit creamy or even (gasp) aioli-ish over tomato. I've never had lemon-olive salsa though...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                                                                      wyogal RE: grayelf Feb 18, 2013 07:52 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                      (yes, I know, but it's good)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                                                                        piccola RE: grayelf Feb 19, 2013 02:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        We almost always eat them plain, but if there's going to be a dipping sauce, I like the tomato because it cuts through some of the starch and richness of the arancini.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: piccola
                                                                                                                                                                                                          cleopatra999 RE: piccola Feb 19, 2013 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          started with Giada's mushroom and pea risotto the other night, which turned out great! You soak porcini mushrooms, then use the liquid in your broth. The recipe is huge, I wound up with tons of leftovers, guess that means arancini!


                                                                                                                                                                                                          A couple nights later I attempted my first ever deep frying. The arancini were finicky to make, rolling and breading, but I had a good sou chef. I was shocked by the amount of oil it takes to make 3" deep in a pot! Anyway, they turned out fantastic, served to guests who had only had arancini in Rome, they loved them too. We had a marinara sauce on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Feb 16, 2013 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Green Apple and Speck Risotto with Seared Foie Gras

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had checked a Scott Conant book out the the library some time ago, just reading his recipe for green apple risotto with foie gras motivated me to buy the book. This is the second time I've made it, and this time I added speck, and I used duck stock. The chopped green apple goes in near the end, and maintains a little of its texture. In the last few minutes, slices of foie gras are quickly seared with shallots and thyme, and are placed on the risotto. The plate is then drizzled with caramelized balsamic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is my all-time favorite risotto. I mean, if I had to chose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                    blue room RE: L.Nightshade Feb 16, 2013 02:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, the most elle-uh-ghent thing I've ever seen! (Didn't you make a pasta dish just recently ALSO containing foie gras?)
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is the speck the pink bits (about 2 o'clock edge of food?)
                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's beautiful, I'm curious now to figure out who Scott Conant is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I finally had a modest success with risotto, will post here soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                                                                                      L.Nightshade RE: blue room Feb 17, 2013 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks blue room!
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do believe that is speck that you see at two o'clock. There are quite a few small pieces throughout, a couple more visible around 10 and 11 o'clock. It was a nice addition, a little smoke, a little salt. In fact it was the only salt added to the dish, the stock was made with no salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Scott Conant's book that I have is "New Italian Cooking."

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And yes, I did recently do pasta with foie gras, from the COTM. I used all the little bits that were left after slicing. February is Foie Gras month, as it comes with free shipping!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Frizzle RE: L.Nightshade Feb 16, 2013 03:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Another wow from me. It looks and sounds incredible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dirtywextraolives RE: L.Nightshade Feb 16, 2013 03:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That sounds divine! Now, an excuse to splurge and buy some foie gras!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                          herby RE: L.Nightshade Feb 16, 2013 05:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is truly decadent, LN! And your plating as well as the plate are so artistic and welcoming :) I am packing my bag as we speak - a small overnight kind with things that could be hand washed just in case :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 16, 2013 07:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            always a star showing, LN. always a wow from you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                              L.Nightshade RE: mariacarmen Feb 17, 2013 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Aw, thanks to Dirtywithextraolives, herby, and mariacarmen, for your kind comments. And I'll happily repeat the dish for any drop-in guests, herby!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                              c oliver RE: L.Nightshade Feb 16, 2013 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              L, that looks and sounds wonderful. Do you think the apple added? I have one final hunk of foie in the freezer - this may be the way, the truth and the life :) BTW, are you getting foie locally?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              BTW, my soon-to-be pork burgers were sounding might fine til I read this :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                L.Nightshade RE: c oliver Feb 17, 2013 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                c oliver - The apple is a huge addition, and it works beautifully with the foie, and with the cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I get foie from D'Artagnan, no local suppliers here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  c oliver RE: L.Nightshade Feb 17, 2013 05:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gotta try this! Our 25th anniversary --- of our first marriage!!! - is April Fools Day. Maybe your risotto with foie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I see that D'Artangnan's foie comes from Hudson Valley. If you weren't getting free shipping, would it be a better deal to go direct? Once my stash is gone, I really must replace it :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    L.Nightshade RE: c oliver Feb 17, 2013 09:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nope, c oliver. It's still more expensive to order from Hudson Valley. 11 months out of the year, it might work out better. But DA's free shipping in February is still a better deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I highly recommend this recipe. If you can't get the book, just let me know, and I'll paraphrase it for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      c oliver RE: L.Nightshade Feb 18, 2013 08:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just did a little search. Is that from Bold Italian? If so, Amazon show new starting at $150!!! and used at over $40. If that's the source, then I'd love a paraphrase...at your convenience always. Thanks, L.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        L.Nightshade RE: c oliver Feb 18, 2013 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No, as I said above, it's from "New Italian Cooking," the price of which also seems to have become extremely inflated. It was perfectly reasonable when I bought it. I can paraphrase it for you, but not off the top of my head. I'm away from home now, and don't have the book with me. If you plan to make it right away, you might check a library.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          c oliver RE: L.Nightshade Feb 18, 2013 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Whew, you're right, pretty steep. Sorry I missed your source. I'll check the libraries. No immediate plans. Thanks, L.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            blue room RE: c oliver Feb 18, 2013 07:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            c oliver, this is a link to Scott Conant's website --
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            it looks like you can purchase an autographed book directly from him, at a non-inflated price.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              c oliver RE: blue room Feb 19, 2013 08:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              blue room, thank you SO much for this. I haven't bought a cookbook - for myself anyway - in a few months. I think this has to be it. I've wanted to go to Scarpetta in NYC for several years. Buying a book will certainly cost less than dinner :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                blue room RE: c oliver Feb 19, 2013 08:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Glad you saw this!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. blue room RE: L.Nightshade Feb 16, 2013 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Risotto Milanese
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ah, I think I managed risotto today. I found the recipe in "The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook" (That fact is not as bad as it sounds) and both of us think it's delicious and we both like the texture!
                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's made by softening onions in half butter, half olive oil. (My rice cooker has temp settings, this first part is done with the lid open, just like in a pot. Add white wine, cook for a minute to evaporate alcohol. Arborio is added, and cooked and stirred once in while until it becomes *almost* transparent -- a white dot should remain on each grain. Then 3 cups of chicken stock (one has been heated to steep a pinch of saffron) are added. (I absolutely used boxed chicken stock, fearing failure with homemade.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Then cover the cooker and cook. Book says 20 minutes, I checked at 20 and it was too hard, so I left it 10 more minutes. Book says stirring is optional, and I didn't stir.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              I wonder now, if you don't stir, is it risotto? But if it's that kind of starch-coated rice, won't the creaminess occur naturally, just by coming in contact with/slightly simmering in the liquid?
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Anyway, now I get it -- what a lovely flavor! Just chickeny enough, you'd swear there was cream or milk in it. I added very little extra butter, Mr. blue room used lots more cheese than I did.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              And I love the bright yellow from the saffron!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                                                                                                herby RE: blue room Feb 16, 2013 06:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well done BR! I think if you did stir, the rice would've shared its starch with the liquid more and the dish would be creamier - try it next time. Personally, I like stiring and watchich the liquid part become creamier as risotto cooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                You did not say what you served it with - Risotto Milanese (this is what you made) is amasingly good with Osso Bucco :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: herby
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  blue room RE: herby Feb 16, 2013 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Served it with a chicken that had been rubbed with salt and pepper, roasted uncovered 250F for exactly 5 hours. Tender and juicy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    herby RE: blue room Feb 16, 2013 07:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've never roasted chicken "low & slow" - my favourite method is high heat. Did "five-hour duck' and it was delicious + tons of rendered fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  L.Nightshade RE: blue room Feb 17, 2013 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nice job blue room! I love the color the saffron added.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can we count you as a risotto convert now?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. ChrisOfStumptown RE: L.Nightshade Feb 16, 2013 08:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'd like to talk about technique. I can cook this well enough to enjoy it but certainly haven't mastered it. I will mention what I have learned and maybe other can add their own observations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One of the smartest things I ever read was at the beginning of one of Escoffier's books. It read "it may seem odd to begin with a discussion of stocks and broths, but if you have a good stock you are halfway there, but if you have a bad or mediocre stock nothing can help you." He wasn't talking about risotto but he could have been.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My other main advice is to keep the stock piping hot. I had read this, but it was still a revelation when I got the technique right (I think). The risotto is almost done when the liquid it is in turns creamy. It happens very quickly, I would say in 30 seconds maybe. You stir and the liquid is broth like. You can tell something is happening and the next time you stir, the liquid is taking on a cream like thickness. My experience is that if your broth is not hot enough you don't get to this point, and the final outcome is more gooey and gummy. I don't always do risotto equally well but when I do, the risotto reaches the creamy state while the rice is still al dente - very crunchy inside. At that point cook however long you like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My hypothesis is that you need a certain temperature to activate the starch. If the broth is not hot enough the rice doesn't achieve the proper temperature. So keep the broth hot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The question on my mind is for those that like the more brothy risotto. What is the technique? What I have always seen is add a small amount of liquid at a time and wait until only a little liquid is lef before adding more. How does one get such a brothy version as some of the ones above?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Any other technique hints appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChrisOfStumptown
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    HillJ RE: ChrisOfStumptown Feb 17, 2013 04:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Great tips! The only one I have to offer so far includes:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If using farro, soak the farro overnight before using a risotto technique/recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dirtywextraolives RE: HillJ Feb 17, 2013 09:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Are you using semi pearled farro? I have not soaked it overnight and had success with the recipe I linked below. I was planning on making it today, I'll let you know how it turns out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HillJ RE: Dirtywextraolives Feb 17, 2013 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No, in my pantry I had Trader Joe's 10 minute precooked farro and a bag of whole farro. I used the whole farro and if I hadn't soaked it first the risotto would have taken much longer to prepare with far more liquid. Good to know about the semi pearled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          grayelf RE: HillJ Feb 18, 2013 07:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Following on from my comment above, I'd say you don't need to soak with semi-pearled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            HillJ RE: grayelf Feb 18, 2013 07:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Right that is my understanding too. Unfortunately I have not come across semi pearled in any markets (I'm still looking) so for now I use whole and I soak beforehand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tomorrow I'm going to give a lamb risotto a go for dinner. A bit of onion and some mint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              grayelf RE: HillJ Feb 18, 2013 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You can console yourself with all the money you are saving -- the semi-pearled variety is much more expensive :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                HillJ RE: grayelf Feb 18, 2013 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No kidding I didn't even consider that it might be. At the rate I'm going in risotto preparations, soaking is starting to sound better & better. I really do prefer the taste of farro over the traditional rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: ChrisOfStumptown
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      blue room RE: ChrisOfStumptown Feb 19, 2013 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The successful risotto I made was from "The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook", but for whatever it gains us, this was said there about risotto:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 steps -- cooking the onion and rice,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      adding stock and other ingredients,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "creaming" -- the finish of cheese & butter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The cooking of the onion and rice cooks the outer coating of the rice to keep the grains separate, and releases amylopectin (starch stuff) to absorb flavor when stock etc. is added.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So, it seems to me if you get this first part right, you'll be okay texturewise. Then you need to be sure your liquid is delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      wyogal RE: L.Nightshade Feb 17, 2013 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ale-braised chuck boneless short ribs with champagne risotto. I had leftover champagne from Valentines, and I used the leftover ribeye bones and bits to make a beef stock/broth in the slowcooker (overnight), along with some vegetables.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It was yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: wyogal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen RE: wyogal Feb 17, 2013 10:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ooooh wyogal, that looks scrumptious. i made a champagne risotto years ago and it did not turn out well. yours looks like it's supposed to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          wyogal RE: mariacarmen Feb 18, 2013 06:34 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: wyogal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Frizzle RE: wyogal Feb 20, 2013 07:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I keep coming back to this photo and thinking how wonderful it looks. Your risotto looks so creamy. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            wyogal RE: Frizzle Feb 24, 2013 01:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, I appreciate the feedback!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dirtywextraolives RE: L.Nightshade Feb 19, 2013 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Last night I made this Farro with artichokes and herb salad, though I did not make the herb salad. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fa...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It cooks up just like a risotto, only adding the liquids in three steps, stirring occasionally. Using the semi pearled could not be easier. Following the directions to the letter, but it did take more time than the 12 minutes to completely absorb the liquid. It is worth it to be patient. Once the second addition of broth was almost fully absorbed, I turned the heat off and covered it while I cooked my veal cutlets. It came out perfectly, tender and creamy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I cannot say enough about the flavor, almost sweet, perhaps from the celery root. I used freshly gr Parmesan since i didn't have grada padano. It makes a lot, but I can't wait to heat up a bowl for lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            c oliver RE: Dirtywextraolives Feb 19, 2013 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A little fyi. I've been finding grana padano at Costco for quite a while now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Feb 20, 2013 09:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FYI, the nomination thread for March Home Cooking Dish of the Month is now up here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Keep stirring up those risottos, this is a great thread!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ItalianNana RE: L.Nightshade Feb 22, 2013 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This thread and all you wonderful posters have been an absolute joy for me. I never did gather the courage to try Joe H's exacting recipe but I have made 4 risottos this month, 3 were outstanding. They were all pretty simple with limited additions but the technique is feeling comfortable now. (The one dish that I deemed les than delish was due to a dull broth.) I usually used a deeply flavored homemade chicken stock. I can't believe all the years I wasted cooking dishes with store bought or hastily prepared broth (especially in soups). Making stock is so satisfying. Therapeutic really. I'd love to do a thread just on stocks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Anyhoo, special thanks to HillJ for outstanding contributions here. I'm going to be much more adventurous in preparing risotto. Can't wait to see what we cook in March!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh one question. Do any of you have brand preferences for Arborio? I use Delallo.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ItalianNana
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                HillJ RE: ItalianNana Feb 22, 2013 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ItalNana, what a kind, unexpected acknowledgement. You are most welcome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I continue to fine tune my own risotto techniques thanks in part to the CH's contributing to this month's topic. There's a thread on rice going on now that I'm going to link here because some interesting suggestions are raised for risotto preparation:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Feb 24, 2013 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Butternut Squash and Sausage Risotto.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I cannot believe how much rice I've gone through this month! I still have one more waiting in the wings if I can get a whole crab. If not, this will be the last one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I chopped and oven-roasted the squash while I was starting the risotto. The sausage (Italian chicken) went in first, and the small amount of fat it released was used to cook the onions and garlic. Arborio was added, and when it was coated I added white wine. Then, as usual, I started ladling in the homemade duck stock. I tried to keep track of the amount this time, but I kept having to add more to the stock pot. So I estimate that I used about 5 cups of stock (plus the wine), for about 1 1/4 cup of rice. When the rice was close to done, I added in the roasted squash. A bit later, I folded in the cooked sausage, then Grana Padano, and a pat of butter. I finished each plate with a chiffonade of basil, and a handful of toasted pine nuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We had a simple green salad alongside, and it was a great meal for a cold day. The rice looks a little dry in the photo for some reason, but it was actually quite creamy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 25, 2013 10:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  holy risotto, that's amazing-looking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. juliejulez RE: L.Nightshade Feb 24, 2013 08:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chicken "Cacciatore" Risotto

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is the recipe I used: http://ellysaysopa.com/2011/12/14/chi... And, this is my first contribution to DOTM!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This isn't the prettiest dish, and I don't know how cacciatore-esque this is, other than the chicken and the red peppers in it. But I don't care, it was GOOD... I kind of ran my finger through the extra leftover sauce in the bowl and licked it. TMI? The red wine and using the diced tomatoes and red pepper flakes with the broth really gave a good flavor to it. I did not use mushrooms because the ones at my store looked really bad, and I forgot to buy parsley for the garnish, that would have helped it look prettier. Also in the photos I think I see capers but it wasn't in the ingredient list so I didn't use them. Next time I make it I will use the mushrooms and more chicken. I had 9.5oz of chicken and I was wanting more. Also I like a thicker risotto, but if you like a more liquidy one, you'll probably want to use more broth than the 3 cups in the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm looking forward to having the leftovers 3 more times this week. And, if anybody cares, it's about 475 calories per serving, 4 servings :)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    juliejulez RE: juliejulez Feb 27, 2013 12:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just wanted to report back that the leftovers of this were even more delicious than the original. The flavors got better and better each day... I just ate the last serving of it for lunch :( I reheated covered in a paper towel so it didn't dry out at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      boyzoma RE: juliejulez Feb 27, 2013 02:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, Juliejulez, it certainly looks good to me. I'd make that! Great job and good photo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. boyzoma RE: L.Nightshade Feb 25, 2013 03:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was going to make Osso Bucco to go with my Risotto Milanese, but alas, the store had none. So I went with short ribs. Everything turned out excellent. DH was thrilled with the risotto and the short ribs! Both had such great flavor. I'm anxious to try other versions!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen RE: boyzoma Feb 25, 2013 11:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      wonderful BZ! i was going to make risotto this weekend with our short ribs, but ended up doing something lighter. i love a risotto milanese

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. nomadchowwoman RE: L.Nightshade Feb 25, 2013 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yellow Pepper Risotto

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I made this earlier in the month, but am just getting around to posting--and reading this mouth-watering thread. What lovely riffs on risotto! I wish I had a taste of each.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We love risotto, and I make it fairly often, almost always mushroom or basic milanese. But another favorite is the yellow pepper risotto first served to us by my SIL. I'm not generally fond of sweet peppers, but I love the mildly sweet flavor and the vibrant color (not captured so well in my photo) of this finished dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is a basic risotto recipe, with pureed roasted yellow bell pepper stirred in near the end. I started by sauteeing about 3/4 c finely chopped onion in olive oil and butter (maybe 2-3 T total) and when that was soft I, added 1 c. rice (vialone nano this time) and cooked it for a couple of minutes. Then came about 1/2 c white wine. Once that was absorbed, I started ladling in hot stock (poultry in this case although I often use veggie stock) and stirring. I started out with about 5 c, but wish I'd had more because I like a looser risotto, one that runs all over the plate. Just as the risotto is getting to the "al dente" stage, I add the pureed pepper (about a cup this time). After removing the pot (a small LC DO) from the heat, I add grated cheese (and liberal gratings of pepper). With the yellow pepper risotto, I like the pungency of pecorino romano, which seems to balance the sweetness. If salt is needed, I add it when serving. I also like to add chopped chives or parsley for color contrast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't remember exactly what I served this with this time, but it pairs well with meat, poultry, or shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And although the texture is altogether different, I love the nuked leftovers for breakfast (preferably w/ a runny fried egg).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        boyzoma RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 25, 2013 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That looks amazing. I would really love to eat that! It looks like you could eat it out of the picture! OMG. I want that.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          nomadchowwoman RE: boyzoma Feb 26, 2013 05:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You are very kind, boyzoma. Believe me, it looks a lot prettier than that photo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (But I have to say, my favorite way to eat risotto is a la milanese w/osso buco as you were planning--but short ribs would be an excellent alternative.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            herby RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 26, 2013 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would love risotto milanese with the short ribs from The 150 Best American Recipes. I am due to make these ribs some time soon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              grayelf RE: herby Feb 28, 2013 07:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Getting in just under the wire here with a brown mushroom, spinach and gorgonzola risotto cooked and ingested last night. I combined three different recipes to come up with:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1.5 cups carnaroli rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 small onion, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 large cloves garlic, minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 cups chicken stock
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 large brown mushrooms, chopped coarsely and woody stalks removed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 oz baby spinach leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 oz gorgonzola dolcelatte

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would have liked it a wee bit looser but the rice really sucked up the stock this time (maybe getting a bit old?). I'd also put in even more spinach next time -- I love spinach or arugula in risotto. Flavour was spot on and rice was nicely al dente. Enough left over for two lunch sized servings today, woot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                walker RE: grayelf Feb 28, 2013 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lovely, grayelf, looks delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: walker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  boyzoma RE: walker Feb 28, 2013 11:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  +1 on that. Looks yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. nomadchowwoman RE: L.Nightshade Feb 25, 2013 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wild Mushroom "Farrotto"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Only my third or fourth try using farro for risotto, and I definitely haven't perfected it--especially the looseness factor--but I do love subbing farro, with its nutty taste, into mushroom risotto. (I had fabulous, runny mushroom "farrotto" in a restaurant, but I'd bet my serving that they added cream.) For those wondering about cooking times, I don't think farro risotto takes much more time than risotto with arborio (et al), but I use pearled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I use the same technique here as I do for any other risotto--saute onion (or shallots or leeks), then rice, stir in wine, then stock--but it does take more stock. In this case, I think I used 5 1/2-6 c (of mushroom soaking liquid and poultry stock) liquid to 1 c farro, and it was still pretty tight after about 40 minutes. I sauteed my mushrooms (chopped chanterelle and reconstituted dried porcini) while making the risotto and added them to the almost-ready risotto. Grated pepper, salt, and grated parmigiano finish the dish.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cinnamonster RE: L.Nightshade Feb 28, 2013 03:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Made a risotto last night, wanted to try something different, so I decided to use some bulgur.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Used this recipe as a base: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ended up replacing the asparagus with broccoli (didn't have asparagus and didn't feel like going out to get some), also replaced the butter with some EVOO (just because I felt like it). Final change was removing the last 1/2 cup of stock and replacing it with some vermouth (wanted to finish off the last bit I had). Cut down on the cheese a bit as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Overall it came out pretty nice, should've stuck with the asparagus, the broccoli and peas ended up being milder than the cheese than I would've liked.

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