risotto …

June 4, 2010

To many, risotto is often though of as restaurant food because it is thought to be a difficult dish to make.  But, after making risotto at home you will quickly realize that it’s is a lot easier than most cookbooks make you think.
Risotto originated from Northern Italy where rice paddies are abundant.  The word risotto actually means, “little rice,” so buying the right rice is crucial to a successful dish.
Here are a few in’s and out’s you’ll want to know while making risotto.
  • Rice- Risotto needs to be made with a short grain rice that is able to absorb a lot of liquid without breaking up and getting mushy.  You’ll want to use a nice short grain rice like Arborio, Vialone Nano, or Carnaroli.
  • Risotto is usually started by mincing a small onion and cooking it in olive oil or unsalted butter.
  • Next, you add rice and sauté it as well for a few minutes.
  • Next, a nice white wine is added.  Some say it is best to heat up the wine before adding it to the rice or it will shock the rice and it will flake on the outside and stay hard in the core.
  • After the wine is absorbed, you continue cooking, stirring and adding warmed broth as the rice absorbs it until it reaches a nice al dente stage.
  • At the al dente stage, you typically add butter and grated cheese [if the recipe calls for it], you cover the risotto, turn off the stove, then let it sit covered for two or three minutes and serve.
If you are a risotto lover, you know just how amazing this dish is, and it is so versatile too.
I recently tried this lemony risotto with asparagus and shrimp dish {pictured above}, and it was amazing!  The lemon zest gave it a perfect lemon hint, but not over powering.  Highly recommended!

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