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Risotto-Sticky

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So, I cooked Risotto for the 1st time tonight, I would say generally it was a success, but I'm not quite sure if I did it right.

It definitly was al dente, but it was quite sticky, especially after throwing in some parmeasan. Could I have added too little broth? I feel like it could have cooked just a little longer, but was afraid it would turn into a mushy mess.

It also turned REALLY sticky REALLY fast after I was finished....what is the pan life of Risotto? 2 minuets seemed to be mine!

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post #2 of 17
Risotto should not be "loose" like soup nor should the individual grains be just that like pilaf. It should have the consistancy of firm, al dente rice grains in a velvety sauce. Basically the starch from the Arborio or other short grain rice (Vialone, Carnaroli, and Baldo) is what helps to create the sauce. If the grain has not over cooked just add some hot stock (what you cooked it with) to loosen things up a bit. Again not too loose like soup.
post #3 of 17
By no means an "expert" here, but I make risotto pretty often. I'm thinking you might not have cooked it long enough -- the stickiness suggests that maybe it was still absorbing liquid. And, possibly, you may have cooked it too quickly (e.g., over too much heat)? Not positive, but that's what it sounds like.

You definitely don't want it soupy, but the starch should develop a nice "creamy sauce" to the finished product. As long as it's still absorbing a lot of liquid, that's not really going to happen.

At least, that's my guess. I may be using the wrong terminology. Just speaking from my "feel" for the stuff.
Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.
-M.F.K. Fisher
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Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.
-M.F.K. Fisher
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post #4 of 17
I agree with both replies and think that it sounds like you were using too high heat and maybe not letting all your liquid absorb before adding the next ladle of liquid because as it absorbs you should definitely began to see the creamy ness of the sauce begin to build and should just then taste your rice for doneness. Also make sure you were actually using arborio, carnoli, etc.
post #5 of 17
I would add more stock/broth to your risotto if it's sticky (presumably plates like gruel or thick oatmeal) in the way I think you're describing it, the cheese definitely has the effect of thickening it further, although risotto really should be plated as soon as it's ready (adding stock can avert the stickiness, but only for so long). I personally feel that risotto shouldn't be soupy, but be thin enough to flow on a tilted plate like warm lava.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #6 of 17
A bit of some kind of oil stirred with the cooked risotto would keep it from sticking after draining. I'd use some really light oil if I were to do that. Doesn't take much.
post #7 of 17
Or if butter goes with the dish, definitely melt it on the drained risotto and stir.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
yes, I did use the aborio....

I like the lava description, that is what I will try to achieve on my next attempt.

Good call on the olive oil, I thought of that, but just followed my recipe closely since it was my 1st time.

After reading you replies, I think the heat was my problem. The directions called for medium high heat (in CAPS) and I really was wondering if this was too intense, as I had to stir constantly or else it would really get boling.
post #9 of 17
Stiring constantly is one of the applied methods in cooking risotto properly. The heat is another. As you probably noticed already, Risotto is not cooked like rice normally is. Instead of adding the rice to the full amount of liquid the liquid is added to the rice is incriments. The strirring action helps to create the saucy consistancy. Risitto os also not cooked and drained like other rice. Although I never cook and drain rice to begin with I have seen people use this method, but never for risotto.

Adding butter and or oils to risotto is part of the finishing technique. It should never be done with additional cooking in mind. This will help to add more to the sauce. But like I tried to say in my first post when I described Pilaf. Risotto should not have the appearance of cooked Uncle Ben's. Someone described "Lava" here and that about sums it up.

I'm not sure what source you used for your recipe with the Risotto but if you want to get a good recipe for Risotto and one that if you follow exactly will probably yield the dish as it should be served....Maybe one of Mario Batalli's books might help. He's really very thorough on the execution of things, translates well to the home cook and most of his dishes are rather good. In spite of what some would think he is very talented. :D
post #10 of 17
I would also suggest getting yourdelf a copy of The Joy of cooking. I love that book. Once you master the basics, it's really easy to play with those recipes and add to them and make them more of your own. I think after a while you begin to trust yourself in the kitchen, wich makes your dishes better and better!:chef:

Also- Anything by Giada De Laurentis is going to be fairly easy and looks really elegant.
post #11 of 17
I've found that the problem with a high heat while cooking risotto is that the liquid evaporates far too quickly in relation to the rice cooking. Rice cooking in constantly boiling liquid will really cook no faster (or marginally faster) than one on a slower simmer. Unfortunately by boiling the liquid too quickly you run the risk of evaporating all of the liquid before the rice can absorb it and you end up adding excessive liquid in the dish.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #12 of 17
I had always believed that the rapid reduction of the liquid was what helped in making the characteristics of the dish possible. Especially when and/or if you use a flavored liquid, when it evaporates you are left with the flavor since in reality only the water is removed. More liquid+ more evaporation = more flavor.;)

Look I'm no Risotto expert, yet I have cooked my fair share of the dish throughout my 30+ years of cooking. I may be totally off base here I don't know. Yet there is one thing that will remain true no matter what is there will always be variations in technique that differ from the tried and true methods of preparing any dish. Why? I'm not positive but it might have to do with putting one's own signature to the dish. If the end result yields an equal or better result than what the original would then more power to ya and congratulations.:cool:
post #13 of 17
Not exactly.

If it was only the water evaporating, there would be no aroma to what was cooking. So some flavor is driven off depending on the vapor points and pressures of the various flavor compounds. This is why fresh basil is most often added at the end of cooking because its flavor is easily cooked out.

But you're talking liquid. I have fairly hard water so a lot of reduction of water means I'm concentrating minerals. This may affect flavor. I remember a time as a youth I was staying with a family in Chula Vista area of California. The tap water was AWFUL. It tainted everything cooked in it.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #14 of 17
Yes Phil…… You are correct in the fact that fat molecules, among other things, do get trapped in the water that is evaporated hence the aroma. But we're talking about a reduction here. Basically the Risotto dish is made up of the rice, maybe a couple other ingredients to lend to the mix, the starch in the rice and a flavor medium in a liquid that when reduced and combined with the starch in the rice creates the characteristics of the dish. What is lost in the way of evaporation in the flavor is not as measurable as the amount of water removed from the dish to cook the rice and create a sauce.

I have no control over the water that people here use and if it's that hard then I would have to suggest investing in a filtration system and/or softening system. We don't have near the issue you have explained with our water yet I typically cook with filtered water only. That is unless I'm submersing one of my Foodsaver sealed bags of food to reheat.

At the same time I do not know the person to whom I am giving advice to on the other end. I don’t know what their background is other than the fact that they have made the dish for the very fist time. The idea behind my reply(s) was to offer in it’s shortest and most understandable form a solution and also a professionals view point to other opinions given. I believe it’s sometimes more important to provide information in that manner than cloud it with a bunch of deeper scientific explanations as to who, what, how, when or why. If every post here was meant to be dissected in that manner then there would be no fun in continuing on. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the opportunity to challenge myself and draw back on things that were taught to me close to 3 decades ago.
post #15 of 17
The only oil that should be used in Risotto is used to saute the onion, garlic and rice before adding the stock. It should never be added at the end.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Who doesn't own that cookbook:smiles:? I use it often, but never thought to check out the risotto recipe. Currently I'm trying the Saurbraten from JOY(marinating now for this weekend) we'll see how that goes. I'll see what they say about Risotto techniques. I got my recipe from a combo of off the box and a recipe a friend shared.

I've put a temporary moratorium on buying anymore cookbooks...its getting out of control!
post #17 of 17


Draining?  Do you mean riso instead of risotto?

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