Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Great Risottos Made Easy

I have a bit of a reputation for making a good risotto. My husband, in fact, refuses to order risotto on the odd occasion we eat out, for fear it won't live up to his expectations :D A couple of people recently have asked me for the recipe, and I thought I might as well share it on here with you. Enjoy :)

1 onion (or half, if you don't feel like chopping lots of onion)
Garlic to taste (I usually use a good 5-6 cloves, but then again, I love garlic. 2 is probably okay too! :D)
1c arborio rice (MUST be arborio or it won't be nice and creamy at the end)
3.5 - 4c stock (I use chicken stock with orange veggies and vegetable stock with everything else. The amount you need will depend on the rice: stop once it's cooked through and don't worry about any excess stock, as you don't want a gluggy risotto)
1/3 - 1/2c parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Make up the stock and put it in a saucepan over a VERY low heat on the stove. You just want to keep it warm so it incorporates easier.

Finely dice then saute the garlic and onion in some oil (I like olive).

Add the rice, stir so it's coated in the oil, then add enough stock to just cover the rice. Give it a good stir. Bring it to the boil, then turn the heat down so it's just gently simmering. Keep a close eye on it, stirring a couple of times every minute so the rice cooks evenly and doesn't stick, and as soon as you can drag the spoon from one side of the pan to the other in about half a second and still see the bottom of the pan, add another ladle-ful of stock. Continue this until all the stock is gone.

Check to make sure the rice is cooked through (make sure it's not crunchy) but turn off the heat as soon as the last stock is absorbed so the risotto doesn't dry out (yuck). Stir through the parmesan until it's all melted, season to taste, and serve!! :)

If you want to add things to make it tastier, this is what you add when:
  • Vegetables that need sauteing to soften them go in with the onion at the beginning (eg capsicum, mushrooms).
  • Spices go in with the onion at the beginning (heat releases their smell and taste).
  • Green leafies go in at the very end, after the parmesan (this includes herbs).
  • Other vegetables are best pre-cooked (microwaved or baked) and added once the last stock is absorbed but before the parmesan. (I often microwave pumpkin or sweet potato then grill it with sea salt and olive oil). This is also when you would add any meat (pre-cooked).
  • Feta can be added either before the parmesan if you wanted it melted in a bit, or after if you want it chunkier.
  • You can also add flavours to the stock - try substituting some of it with red wine vinegar, or a splash of lemon juice, for example.
And that's it! Too easy :)

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