Today, we are going to put together several of the techniques I have already introduced and actually make something! Wahoo!
Risotto is an Italian term that is interchangeably used to describe both a cooking method and the dish that results from it. Using short grain, starchy rice like Arborio or Carnaroli is what gives risotto its creamy, delicate texture. The cooking method “risotto” means coating the rice grains in fat before adding liquid. It is also called “sofritto.” Any number of flavorful ingredients can be added, from mushrooms to peas to the classic finish of parmigiano reggiano (and butter of course, y’all.)
The slideshow below will detail the steps to making a yummy risotto. I want to first talk about mise en place. No kidding, this is probably the most important piece of cooking advice anyone can give, ever, so listen up. Mise en place is a French culinary term that basically means “get all your things out and prepped before you start cooking.” There is nothing worse than trying to cook and having to keep going back to the chopping board, or dig in the pantry or the fridge, and then when you get back to the stove your food is all burnt. No good. Go ahead and invest in some glass prep bowls, or ramekins, or whatever you want to put your ingredients in. I lucked out and date a ceramics artist, so he made me some little dishes. Yay! Anyway, subscribing to this method will save you time, and the headache of being disorganized.
My recipe tonight is super basic. I usually add a couple of cloves of minced garlic when I put the onion in, but I didn’t have any. If you want to make mushroom risotto, slice or dice about 8 oz of whatever kind of mushrooms you like and add them after the onions but before the rice. You can also use mushroom stock instead of chicken stock. Dried herbs should be added before or with the rice as well.
1 cup Arborio Rice
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (most people say to warm it – as long as it’s not cold, you’re fine.)
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1-2 tablespoons for finishing
1/2 cup white wine – whichever one is already open. Don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink.
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp basil, chiffonade-d
Clearly, that serving was enormous. That should be enough risotto to feed 4-6 people. Eat it relatively quickly,
or else I will because the heat will continue to cook the rice even after it has been plated, and it can get sort of dry if it sits too long.