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Risotto advice

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hello, everyone! I´m going to try to make risotto for the first time ever. I´d like to know if there is any advice that I should follow so it won´t be a disappointment or, even worse, a disaster.

Thanks!
Rocio :chef:

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post #2 of 33
Perhaps a bit of heresy, but a pressure cooker makes good risotto quick and easy. No stirring, 6 minutes at 15 lbs pressure. Quick release, add cheese and correct liquid as needed.

Phil
post #3 of 33
If you're following a good recipe, follow it! Don't try to rush things (if you're not taking phatch's advice ;) ) -- be patient.

It's actually pretty difficult to mess up risotto, other than undercooking it so that the rice grains are totally crunchy (a little "bite" at the middle is what you want, though) -- but you can fix that by adding a little more liquid and cooking it a little longer. Underseasoning can always be remedied before serving. Even overcooking is not so terrible, but if it comes out waaaaay too mushy and rice-puddingish, just cook it a little less the next time. About the only thing you can't fix is oversalting :( so be careful there.

And, of course, if you are not commpletely happy with it, follow the same advice on any new recipe: Don't tell the people you're feeding that it's not perfect. :p They may think it's the best thing they ever ate! :D
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post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for your advice....About not telling people that the food is not perfect, is something I have to remind myself lots of time, since I tend to try and explain everything about how it went with the recipe.
Cheers!
Rocio
post #5 of 33
Rocio, there are usually straight forward recipes on retail packages of arborio rice. They give proportions and technique.....I do not continuously stir.

If you have leftovers make risotto cakes or arincini (breaded risotto balls filled with mozz and fried) the next day.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
MMMMMM!!!! those risotto cakes sound sooo good!!! I´ll try to have some leftovers to make them! Thanks for the tip!
Rocio
post #7 of 33

Risotto

Add your liquids a third at a time. it will help with the absorption.



kelly
Risotto is so versatile, you can add practically anything to it and it will taste great!
Good luck
post #8 of 33
Key things to remember when cooking risotto:

1. BE PATIENT- risotto takes approx 20 min to cook. Add stock and stir till absorbed. Repeat.

2. ADD WINE- After you sautee rice and onions, add wine. This adds the higher flavor notes and cuts through creaminess of the dish.

3. DONE WHEN TRANSLUCENT- Towards the end of cooking, you'll find little opaque dots in each grain. You're done when these dots disappear. Be careful not to break the rice.

4. FINISH WITH PARMESANO REGGIANO/BUTTER- At the end when liquid is somewhat absorbed, stir in some grated reggiano and butter to bring it together. No cheese with seafood risottos though... unless of course, your customers want it.

I worked in a restaurant that featured regional cooking from Northern Italy. We did every risotto dish a la minute (to order). Imagine cooking 8-12 assorted risotto dishes from scratch at the same time! It was totally crazy!

Well, I hope this helps.

Dave
post #9 of 33
Don't get too caught up with a set amount of time. As rice ages it continually loses moisture and becomes more dense/harder to penetrate with moisture (same thing with dried beans). I've used really old arborio rice that tooked 40 minutes before it stopped being crunchy. The only way of knowing is to watch it and continuously taste it. And, don't forget, it'll continue cooking a bit after you take it off the stove. It'll also continue to thicken a bit/absorb water as well, so make sure it's pretty loose when you remove it from the heat. Getting the right amount of liquid in the final plated dish is a little tricky. It's very easy to have it end up dry or soupy. And, as I'm sure you're aware, the timing is critical for serving it. The right creamy texture at the right eating temp, takes some work, but when you achieve it, it's a magical eating experience.

I'll second the Parmiaggano Reggiano endorsement. It makes the dish. Also, the chicken stock has to be homemade. Has to be.

If you can, have extra stock simmering. It's very easy to misjudge the liquid needed and run out. I don't have any hard evidence on this, but I believe that adding water at the end gives you an inferior product to diluting your stock at the beginning of the process. That's my theory.

And lastly, unless you live in a cold climate or have a phenomenal ventilation system, I'd wait a few months for risotto. I sweat like a pig when I make risotto, and that's during the fall/winter. I won't even try making it during the summer.
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your advices. I´m sure they´ll be very useful. I wouldn´t like to feel indoor summer now that the weather is finally getting so nice, so I´ll wait a little until I´m sure I´ll need the warmth inside (my home).
Thanks again!!
Rocio
post #11 of 33
I would just add to the other great replys

- make sure your stock/liquid is simmering at all times during the cooking process so its at boiling temp when you add it to the Risotto.

- Don't expect to be able to walk away or do other tasks during the process. So have everything organised and at hand , make sure you have plenty of stock available and if neccesary add water to your "stock pot" so you don't run dry before the rice is done.

- As with anything quality ingredients will be reflected in your results

- Experiment with various ingredients , especially textures.

- Experiment with viscosity and doness too , atm I am preferring mine a little runny and a little on the al dente side.
post #12 of 33

I have a question about risotto and its prep.

 

I watch Gordon Ramsey's shows (Hell's Kitchen etc) and he frequently has risotto as an app.

How do you prepare it half-way and hold it until it's ordered to finish it?

 

Thx,

 

Dan

post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by beefcheeks View Post

Key things to remember when cooking risotto:

1. BE PATIENT- risotto takes approx 20 min to cook. Add stock and stir till absorbed. Repeat.

2. ADD WINE- After you sautee rice and onions, add wine. This adds the higher flavor notes and cuts through creaminess of the dish.

3. DONE WHEN TRANSLUCENT- Towards the end of cooking, you'll find little opaque dots in each grain. You're done when these dots disappear. Be careful not to break the rice.

4. FINISH WITH PARMESANO REGGIANO/BUTTER- At the end when liquid is somewhat absorbed, stir in some grated reggiano and butter to bring it together. No cheese with seafood risottos though... unless of course, your customers want it.

I worked in a restaurant that featured regional cooking from Northern Italy. We did every risotto dish a la minute (to order). Imagine cooking 8-12 assorted risotto dishes from scratch at the same time! It was totally crazy!

Well, I hope this helps.

Dave

Oldarpanet,

 

I think Hell's Kitchen is not the best place to learn how to cook risotto. Dave's 4 points echo what a good dish should be. I have never cooked it half way, but thats me.

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post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldarpanet View Post

I have a question about risotto and its prep.

 

I watch Gordon Ramsey's shows (Hell's Kitchen etc) and he frequently has risotto as an app.

How do you prepare it half-way and hold it until it's ordered to finish it?

 

Thx,

 

Dan

 

Let it absorb the liquid twice and then put it in the cooler right away. Then once you need it, heat it up and let it absorb your stock, water, broth for the third time. 

post #15 of 33

Thanks! both of you!

 

The "4 points" are great.  I especially like the wine step.  That one is new to me.

 

Do it 2 thirds of the way and quickly cool till needed and do the last bit is brilliant.

 

(obviously I'm not a chef (or a Chef) by any stretch of the imagination...)

 

I don't look to Hell's K for how to cook, but was just curious as to how that particular dish was prepared.

 

In fact I watched it last night and as per usual, Beef Wellington was on the menu.  The problems (and, seemingly, necessary rant from Ramsey) about failed Wellington was on display.

But, following HK was Master Chef.  The second part was an "elimination challenge".  The earlier winner had an advantage.  Each judge had for the winner, one dish that they find most challenging for themselves. The winner got to choose which dish everyone had to prepare to see who was worst and, subsequently eliminated.  One was Risotto, one (surprising to me, was Clam Chowder!) the third, Ramsey's, was Beef Wellington.  According to him it takes "years to perfect." yet he screams at his "hopefulls" when they get it wrong.  Hmm.  Unrealistic much?

 

Dan

post #16 of 33

never watch cooking shows

i haven't had TV for 8 years 

listen to the radio if you need company

whatever is on TV will be told to you by staff or customers

as for the rice so many brands and ages of rice may affect your out come 

start with a brand and a recipe and a method and follow beefchheks' steps

adjust it to your technique and then when you've got it right buy a beer for those who got you there 

 

happy days

post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldarpanet View Post

 the third, Ramsey's, was Beef Wellington.  According to him it takes "years to perfect." yet he screams at his "hopefulls" when they get it wrong.  Hmm.  Unrealistic much?

 

#1 It's TV. It's about ratings.

#2 The "hopefulls" on HK aren't newbies and aren't going for an entry level position.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by beefcheeks View Post

BE PATIENT- risotto takes approx 20 min to cook. (...) Imagine cooking 8-12 assorted risotto dishes from scratch at the same time! It was totally crazy!

 

 

Sounds INSANE to a home cook like me. From the time the oil heats the pan to the time I serve the finished product, it takes me about 1 hour. And I can't imagine doing anything else while stirring my risotto. And everybody has to stop talking to me. If my wife asks me where I've put the car keys, the risotto is ruined. lol.gif

post #19 of 33

Hey there.  So it seems as though the other members here have answered your question pretty clearly and thoroughly.  But I'll add my two cents nonetheless.  The idea with Risotto is that by stirring it frequently, you are coaxing out the starch (and flavors) of the rice in order to produce a type of sauce, which is starch based of course, and which results in a creamy rice dish.  When the rice is finished cooking, the Italians like to rapidly stir butter into the rice and finish it with Romano cheese as well as an herb, such as parsley.  The steps to produce this rice and ratios involved are pretty general, but there is indeed a Risotto method, as there is a Pilaf method.  First, sweat some shallots or onions in a butter and olive oil mixture.  Then, add the uncooked rice and stir to coat the kernels with the fat.  It is said that doing so will help to prevent the individual rice kernels from sticking together, because the rice is very sticky by definition.  Now, deglaze your pan with a white wine.  So after 30 seconds or so, begin to ladle your simmering stock in, approximately a third of it each time, stirring frequently until the stock is nearly absorbed before adding another third of stock.  Repeat this process until the rice is just done or very nearly so, as after cooking should be factored into the equation.      

 

The ratio that I go by, generally speaking of course, is 1 cup of rice to approximately 3.5 cups of simmering stock.  Most of the time I end up with a bit left over--a far better scenario than running out of it altogether.  I would also caution against stirring too vigorously (or even too often) because doing so can cause the rice to take on a mushy or broken quality, which is not desirable.  So in other words, you don't want to beat this delicate rice up too much lol.  

 

Finally, Aborio rice is a short grain rice that is enormously starchy--and even very delicate.  As a result, the idea of cooking this type of rice "al dente" is somewhat of a confusing matter, if not misleading.  What I mean is that cooked aborio has a very different texture than traditional long grain, white rice that you have in your cabinets.  It tends to be softer and of course starchier when cooked and so therefore it will not, under any circumstances, have the same texture and firmness of long grain rice.  If the rice is crunchy at all it is under cooked; properly cooked, it should be creamy and soft, but have a degree of "chew" to it.  It should not be mushy in any way.  Those who over-stir this rice end up with disappointing results, in my view of course.

 

So here is a rough articulation of the Risotto method :)  I hope your results are awesome!!             


Edited by sarahg - 6/19/12 at 10:43am
post #20 of 33

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldarpanet View Post

 According to him it takes "years to perfect." yet he screams at his "hopefulls" when they get it wrong.  

 

Setting all the TV silliness aside there's a pretty wide gap between acceptable, good and perfect risotto.  Since Gordo uses boil in bag and freezer meals  prepared in a central commissary for many of his restaurants it's probably a moot point either way. My understanding is that his staff is pretty loyal and many have worked for him for years. Any one that's been to boot camp should recognize the method to Ramsey's HK madness in regard to ranting a bit.

Unless I missed it skimming through the thread I don't see any mention of toasting rice for risotto. To me this is an essential step.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #22 of 33

The key is STIR__STIR__And more STIRRING.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #23 of 33

But only while STIRRING!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

The key is STIR__STIR__And more STIRRING.

Both before and after STIRRING

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
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post #24 of 33

At work we use carnaroli rice which is a little more sturdy than arborio, Cooks up creamy due to it's somewhat higher starch content and ability to better to absorb liquid; but with less chance of overcooking than arborio.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #25 of 33

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #26 of 33

post #27 of 33

That was a nice vid.

 

It's interesting to notice the celebrity chefs that some we may follow and some we might not be able to stand. The different styles and/or personalities. LOL. That's why there are menus at restaurants. 


Edited by IceMan - 6/20/12 at 7:48pm

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #28 of 33
Hi. My advice is. Practice, practice, practice.
You can only get better with experience.
So risotto requires Patience.

Follow recipe. Quantities. Amount of liquid-rice is important.

Practice.

Let me know how it works.
post #29 of 33

I just did a risotto for the first time tonight as well, and I was nervous as hell because I too watch Ramsey scream and slam on chefs' risotto on HK and sometimes even on MasterChef.

 

But, I was surprised that it was honestly not difficult at all.  Was mine perfect?  Not even close, the rice was a bit overcooked, it didn't have quite the right consistency, and it was a bit too salty due to using canned broth.

 

However, despite not being perfect it still tasted great and was very filling.  It was a simple asparagus risotto from Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking.

 

 

The only thing that I don't understand about risotto is how it's considered an appetizer!  Filled me right up.
 

post #30 of 33

One of the best risotto's I've made was Lobster. I put chunks of lobster meat in it, and then mixed equal parts of orange juice and vanilla extract and put a little of that in. Also coconut and cherries are a good one. There's so many options for risotto. 

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