5 Tips for Perfect Risotto
Creamy and a bit al dente—every time
Risotto is real Italian comfort-food, and despite its reputation, it’s actually quite easy to prepare. Whether it’s served as dinner for two or as a big family feast, it’s always satisfying. Risotto works as a side dish with fish or meat, or as a refined main dish with mushrooms and zucchini.
Maybe you’re intimidated by the supposedly complicated preparation of risotto and enjoy it exclusively at restaurants.
But with these 5 tips, your homemade risotto will be a big success. Promise!
High-quality ingredients are the foundation of good results. This is especially true for the rice, but but also for the Parmesan, stock, and white wine. The strong flavor of cheese that is not industrially produced, well-made fond (please don’t use instant stock), and decent wine will noticeably change the result.
The short-grain risotto rice stays al dente for longer and contains a lot of starch, which is partly responsible for risotto’s creamy texture. Suitable types are Arborio, Vialone, and Carnaroli. Other types of rice will not work as well. A deep, big pot with a heavy bottom is perfect for this kind of dish, since it needs to simmer for long periods of time without burning.
Before you start, you should heat the stock in another pot and keep it warm in the meantime. For the perfect consistency, it is important to add the stock step by step and only when the rice has totally absorbed the liquid of the last addition. With cold stock, you disrupt the cooking process and shock the rice. In this way, your risotto will not reach the desired texture.
Risotto should be stirred constantly. The constant stirring makes sure that the rice grains release their starch. Nevertheless, you can allow your arm a break, to prepare the desserts, take care of your guests, or just deal with more important stuff. The risotto will not be too upset with you if you remember to give it a stir now and then.
In the end, you should not be stingy with butter or Parmesan. Both of them add flavor and give the risotto the right texture and consistency.
Published on April 30, 2017