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Apr 13, 2014 10:42 AM

Risotto still too grainy….what do you suggest?

I love risotto and usually get it when I dine out but so want to make a good risotto at home. I keep trying and have cookbooks dedicated to the dish, but still not perfect.
I use the best ingredients. First coat the rice with hot oil/butter in hot pan. Then add wine until absorbed. Then slowly add 1/2 cup-1 cup at a time of hot stock (used homemade turkey stock this time) and stir constantly for 22+ minutes, reserving a bit of stock for the end to incorporate all final ingredients.
But the results are still too grainy. Should I stir longer? Use more stock?
How do you perfect this dish? Thanks.

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  1. I actually gave up on risotto recipes after the first couple times. It's really just very "stir, taste, add broth" until it's perfect. It sounds like you do what I do- just go by feel and taste and don't be tied to a recipe. I find I use more liquid than a recipe ever calls for.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Hobbert

      You're right, I need more stock than the recipe says. I don't want to give up. Besides the rice being undercooked it could be creamier too.
      While doing a search on the site to see if this topic was already discussed, I saw someone reference adding cream at the end. I've never done that but that might be a nice addition & probably why I love the creamy restaurant versions.
      I do add tons of fresh grated parm though so it comes out rich.

      1. re: foodcompletesme

        Interesting. I've never added cream but I typically add a hunk of butter at the end. I made Zuni's citrus risotto and added mascarpone at the end and it was tasty. I'll have to try cream.

        1. re: foodcompletesme

          It depends what you mean when you say "grainy" - but not that the rice is undercooked.

          Based on that alone - my guess is that it is actually your parm cheese that is making it taste grainy. Real parm cheese doesn't really melt well and adding a ton at the end could result in what could be described as a "grainy" texture - it can keep a crunchy component to it pretty easily.

          You can still try adding butter/cream at the end, which can add to the richness - but I'd try less parm for sure - and/or maybe trying a different cheese like a romano, which melts a little better than parm.

      2. Add more hot stock and continue to cook until al dente.

        What kind of rice are your using?

        7 Replies
          1. re: foodcompletesme

            I've never had luck with arborio and pretty much gave up on risotto at home until I used carnaroli.
            The results with carnaroli are far superior.

            1. re: monavano

              Restaurants aren't so good at it as well. Had my share of crunchy risottos and will rarely order it out.

              Will have to check out carnaroli

              1. re: monavano

                Thanks for the feedback. I will try carnaroli.
                My risotto book, by Ursula Ferrigno, also suggests vialone nano. It makes a "creamy, voluptuous risotto"…wow.
                I never thought the type of rice would make that much difference but will experiment.
                Too bad I have a two pound bag of arborio!

                1. re: foodcompletesme

                  I've worked with vialone also. It produces a nice risotto, but I've found carnaroli the best, with amazing creaminess that allows each grain to be individual.

                2. re: monavano

                  I agree. And wait until all the previous liquid is absorbed until adding more.

                3. re: foodcompletesme

                  It might also be the brand of Arborio too. I used Wegmans brand twice and it turned out chalky and terrible. I've also tried other brands that were incredibly disappointing.

                  I'm going carnaroli next time.

              2. From my experience, there's no need to give up on the arborio you already have. But I've never had it take only 22 minutes, or even close. Just keep going until you get to the texture you like.

                1. I just made this lovely spring risotto of lemon, asparagus and peas. You can see and "feel" the individual grains of rice, but they are surrounded by creamy goodness. You should still be able to make out each grain, it should not be mush. I take a tittle nibble every few minutes toward the end.

                  I used regular arborio (I prefer carnaroli) this time, because I needed to use it up. But, arborio should give you fine results.

                  Once the rice is al dente, perfect, you need to turn off the heat...throw in a pat of butter and parm and stir. Let sit about 5 minutes, let it rest, then plate. It should "shimmer" onto the plate (not clump or pour).

                  Good luck!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sedimental

                    You can really see the excellent result with the individual grains.
                    Good job!

                    1. re: monavano

                      Why...thank yew...thank yew very much!


                  2. Might I suggest this.

                    If after cooking (stirring, ladle stock, stirring, etc.) and you still find your rice a bit too granular in texture for your liking, then try parboiling your Arborio rice *before* you begin the whole risotto process of sauteing the rice in butter, adding wine, stock, stir, etc.