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How do you cook risoto in a restaurant?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I know they can't be starting from scratch on this, as it takes a good 25-30 mins to cook.  However, I've seen several errors in cooking on Hell's Kitchen and it would appear that they do at least some of the actual cooking during service (I see them add stock--though I swear I've seen them do the toasting of the rice during service as well).  Any tips would be appreciated. 

post #2 of 8

Many places have the risotto 1/2 cooked and kept cold on the line with a pan of simmering stock going on the stove top. When an order comes in, the line finishes it to order the rest of the way.

post #3 of 8

In addition to par cooking and holding the partially cooked rice cold, then finishing during service, theres another method that works if a restaurant is busy enough. And that is that you can start from scratch on the line, but you'll make batches of risotto- the cooked risotto will hold fairly well warm(just in the pan, not in the steam well or anything like that) for a little bit- just needing a drip or two of hot stock to freshen it up, and you can take a couple spoonfuls from the pot and add it to a small bowl or something and add some fresh herbs and cheese or whatever, just before plating. Not a whole lot of places are busy enough to be able to do it that way, though. Usually a venue that will have a cook responsible for only one dish is the type that it will work that way.

 

As for the hell's kitchen thing... Really not sure whats going on there. Theres absolutely a bunch of wankers on that show, and it is a tv show after all. I'm pretty well positive at least a certain amount of the drama on it is staged anymore.

post #4 of 8

On Hell's Kitchen, they use the par-cook before service, finish to order method. If you see them doing it from scratch during service, odds are they ran out of par-cooked rice.

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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

That makes sense.  Of course, it could be an editing job that made it appear as though they did it during service.  How far do you usually cook it before holding on the line?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg View Post

On Hell's Kitchen, they use the par-cook before service, finish to order method. If you see them doing it from scratch during service, odds are they ran out of par-cooked rice.


 

post #6 of 8


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gobblygook View Post

That makes sense.  Of course, it could be an editing job that made it appear as though they did it during service.  How far do you usually cook it before holding on the line?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg View Post

On Hell's Kitchen, they use the par-cook before service, finish to order method. If you see them doing it from scratch during service, odds are they ran out of par-cooked rice.


 


Roughly 1/2 to 2/3 of the way. Really depends on the venue, timing of service, etc.

post #7 of 8

Risotto 101, this is info to a class I teach, called Rice 101.First of all risotto is never toasted, this is usually kept for Persian and Indian cuisine; producing a nice nutty aroma to the dish. I worked for 7yrs. in an Italian restaurant and when risotto was ordered it was made to order "a la minute". Sauteing onions in olive oil, adding garlic, and then rice, stirring until grain is coated and shiny, but not browned, about a min. Add wine and reduce heat to med.low.Use a warm stock, adding slowly 1/2 cup -3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until almost completely absorbed.Stirring causes friction, removing starch from the surface of rice, making it creamy, not soupy. Add seasoning lightly, finishing at the end. Saute fast cooking ingredients, adding them near the end. Olive oil, grated Parmesan and Italian parsley are the last 3 ingredients to be added.

Risotto is considered, "considered" which could be deleted, is an "I Primi" meaning 1st.course, so like a soup it is served in a low sided soup bowl with a spoon.

You don't rinse risotto before using, to do so would remove starches, needed for achieving creamy product.

When par cooking risotto, usually cooked to the half way point, poured onto a marble slab and spread thin, for rapid cooling and drying, refrigerate to prevent bacterial growth.

To reheat use warm stock and a touch of butter, cooking it in the normal manner.

post #8 of 8

All answers seem pretty good, just make sure you get rice below 40 degrees quickly and don't keep too much heated on the line. We have it a little more than 1/2 cooked, and then finish it in small batches usually lasting no more than 30 minutes, just add a little stock to bring it back a little. Rice is one of the greatest causes of food poisoning, bacteria can grow like crazy on it, so don't do too much at once, and like I said before, make sure you get it cooled to temp quickly and put away with an airtight lid, and also try to bring it back up to temp quickly. I've seen some gross things done with rice.

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