How To Series: Make a Great Risotto
The risotto. Yes, it is very intimidating. Whenever you watch television and see top chefs making something under pressure and having a hard time with it, you can tend to get a little nervous about it. Gordon Ramsey is often seen yelling at people for a mushy risotto. So what makes me think that any home cook can make this dish? I do it. I do it all the time. Grant it, I am not in a high pressure kitchen trying to get 10 dishes on the table in 20 minutes or less. But all it takes is a
little lot of patience and a little (well about 30 minutes) time.
The perfect risotto is creamy, but not mushy, a little bite, but not too hard. The great thing about risotto is that you can play around with the flavors and add lots of fillers to it – mushrooms, shrimp, pumpkin, the possibilities are endless, but you should master the basic recipe first.
The process starts with toasting the rice. Soften onions in olive oil and then add the rice. When you see a white spot appear in the center of the rice, it is time to add the liquid. Make sure your broth is warmed or you will shock the rice. You can do this in the microwave or keep it warm on the stovetop but have it nearby.
The process of adding the liquid and cooking it down will take about 30 minutes. During your last addition – just before the rice is al dente, and before all of the liquid is completely gone, remove from heat and add your parmesan and marscapone cheeses.
Stir until well blended and serve as a side dish or add meat or vegetables to feature as a main course.
If you need additional step by step instruction on the risotto method, check out this helpful introductory video from the Roube Cooking School. This amazing online cooking school has helped me re-learn and perfect some of my cooking technique, and they have about 1000 videos to keep you busy.