How To'sTips

How to Make Risotto

By Christopher Stewart | May 10, 2013

risotto, dinner, tips, how to

Photo: C. Hubs

Risotto is one of those dishes that bring amazing thoughts to mind. Risotto feels like luxury in a bowl, and each time a restaurant has risotto on the menu, I want to know all about it. Risotto is actually very flexible and works well with a lot of different flavors and combinations. Restaurants incorporate mushrooms, herbs, cheeses and  a lot of other delicacies into risotto and it’s hard not to  love every minute of it. Making risotto at home, may seem scary for some but it’s actually quite easy.  Follow these tips to creating the perfect risotto for dinner this week. 

Essential Components: 

There are key essentials that are needed when making risotto. Arborio rice, which is a short grain rice full of starch, is great for risotto. The starch in the arborio rice releases while cooking and provides that creamy silky smooth texture that we love. Next on the essentials is a large skillet to cook the risotto in. The space and width of the skillet provides the risotto to have a nice even surface to cook. Next, stock is perfect for cooking risotto. It provides the liquid you need for cooking and also is light enough in flavor for your other ingredients to shine through. Fat is also another element of perfecting risotto. Add butter or oil to your pan and slightly allow the risotto to toast.

Easy and tasty risotto recipes at the bottom of this post.

Stir – Pour – Stir – Pour: 

Constantly stirring risotto with a wooden spoon while cooking is what provides the texture of this classic rice dish. A wooden spoon is ideal, because the rounded edges of the spoon can get in all the corners of your pan. Ladling hot stock in your risotto will help achieve the creaminess when cooking. Adding cold stock to risotto will alter the temperature and cause the cooking risotto to become glue like. Keep a pot of warm stock by the side of your risotto pan, and add in one ladle at a time, while continuing to stir. The rice will begin to release its starch and the constant stirring and the hot stock will produce a nice al dente risotto that is ready to be devoured.

Extras: 

Once the basic base for your risotto is made, you can now add your personal touches to this dish. If you want to cook the risotto half way and finish it later, while risotto is still a little hard, pour out onto a greased cookie sheet, spread flat and place in the fridge. Placing the risotto in the fridge will stop the cooking, and when ready you can pick up later where you left off. Adding cold butter and shredded cheese (optional) at the end of  the cooking process will be the ending component for your finished risotto. Keep the butter cold and the cheese shredded finely so they melt into the risotto quickly, and you can begin to enjoy your restaurant worthy risotto.

Here are 5 risotto recipes that are perfect for dinner to keep up with your risotto making skills!

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