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Risotto - Make ahead?

I would like to make some traditional mushroom risotto tonight for a party tomorrow since I won't have time to ladle and serve real time. Do you think it will be just as good if I reheat stovetop and add more stock along with fresh parm? I should know this, but never have any leftover to know... :)

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  1. I haven't paid attention to the details, but apparently many restaurants cook it part way before hand, and finish it at serving time.

    5 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      I can confirm that this is true.
      Cook about 75% of done. Do not add Cheese or other finishing ingredients.
      Spread out on a sheet pan to cool quickly.
      To finish add Risotto to some of the hot stock stirring do one more addition of stock
      Then add Butter, Cheese etc... to finish
      Though not traditional, I like a little Lemon Juice at the end to brighten up the flavor.

        1. re: chefj

          Did you mean to write 'add risotto to the stock' or did you mean the other way around? TIA.

          1. re: c oliver

            So as not to break the grains it is best to have some stock in the pan and simmering when you start the cooking again.

          2. re: chefj

            @chefj has it right - it needs to be spread out on a sheet tray otherwise it get's all mushy...

        2. Restaurants do it. Purists say 'that's not real risotto.' This is the sort of last minute, labor intensive dish that *I* would not make for company, even the partially cooked version---you will see from chefj's instructions that you will still be spending many minutes at the stove.

          1. It will not be "as good". It just won't. If that's acceptable to you, go ahead.

            I strongly, strongly recommend that you use carnaroli rice, rather than arborio rice, as carnaroli is more forgiving when using the par-cooking method restaurants often employ. Arborio less so. If you don't have carnaroli, the odds against quality increase.

              1. if you use a pressure cooker, it will take 6 minutes.....

                1. If you are looking to prepare a true Risotto, do not cook ahead, you cannot achieve "L'onda" with reheated rice. One rice dish that does not suffer when reheated and finished is a Cuban Chicken and Yellow Rice.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: ospreycove


                    "L'onda" ? Never heard of that, though I did find this video that illustrates it (it's a way of 'stirring the rice right at the end). I've also seen (on No Reservations?) a Venetian version that looks like a fountain.

                    I suspect that if the OP was skilled in this method, or even thought it important, he wouldn't have asked about cooking the rice ahead of time.

                    By the way, how do you know it can't be done with precooked rice? Have you tried it and failed? Or is this just common knowledge among the Italian cooking pros?

                    1. re: paulj

                      Thanks everyone for the responses. I couldn't bring myself to do it ahead of time. ;) so I added 45 minutes to my schedule. It was lovely.

                      Now... for future reference...How do you achieve a nice, creamy, somewhat golden color finished dish when using mushrooms? It always seems to turn out muddy looking. I use a combination of mushrooms ~ shitakes, ports, baby ports, etc. and rich homemade chicken stock (with a nice golden color). I suppose I could switch out the ports for something else like oyster, but I love the taste of portabella.

                      1. re: Scoutmaster

                        Only use the mushrooms (cooked separately and drained) as a garnish....

                        1. re: Karl S

                          or stir in directly before serving. don't cook them together.

                        2. re: Scoutmaster

                          I too find that the portabellas turn sauces grey--made for a nasty looking tuna noodle a few weeks ago. For the risotto, I would brown mushrooms very well (skip portabellas) and fold them in right before serving.

                          1. re: escondido123

                            Portabellas would need to be completely cleaned of their gills to keep the Risotto from turning grey.
                            For me I use what ever wild Mushroom is in season or Dried Porchini, Morel and/or Chanterelle (No Trump du Mort same problem as the Portabella).
                            Finishing with some Truffle Butter always ups the Game.

                            1. re: letsindulge

                              Not if you cook it with portobello mushrooms.

                              1. re: Karl S

                                More often then not I tend to scrape out the gills on the bellos. Especially in an instance such as this.

                      2. I've never had good luck with reheating risotto, but leftovers can be made into something called Arancini.

                        I generally don't like fried food but these are freakin' DELICIOUS! They're not at all greasy and the texture is out of this world.

                        You can also get creative and stuff them with all kinds of things (goat cheese, etc).

                        To make traditional arancini, put your leftover risotto into the fridge overnight. The next day, roll a table spoon of it into a ball, coat with bread crumbs and fry just long enough to crip up the bread crumbs.

                        If you want to stuff them, put a table spoon of the risotto into the palm of your hand and flatten into a thick disc. Put goat cheese (or whatever you want) in the middle and form it back into a ball. Roll in bread crumbs and fry just long enough to crip the bread crumbs.

                        They're great warm or at room temp and make amazing appetizers.