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  1. #1
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    Risotto Recipes - What you got?

    So I bought some Arborio rice today to make some risotto sometime this week. I have had trouble finding it at the supermarket I shopped at so when I switched back from Price Chopper to Shaws today I decided to look for it there. Sure enough I found some. The only problem is despite being a quite a good cook I have never cooked risotto myself.

    Previous reading here has proved that many of you know what you're doing in the kitchen just as much if not more than you do on the slopes so here I am, asking for your favorite risotto recipes and any tips/shortcuts/whathaveyous on the subject.

    Let the mouth-watering begin.

  2. #2
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    Rissotto tips.

    Use lots of broth either home made or the lowest sodium you can find. You'll end up boiling off most of the liquids so the salt will build up and you won't be able to control it yourself.

    Rissotto takes a fair amount of time so plan for it.

    Think of Rissotto as a pasta. Anything you can do with a pasta you can do with rissotto as long as the sauce doesn't add to much liquid.

    A favorite of mine is a homemade pesto with whole pine nuts. Fresh basil, olive oil, fresh parmesian, and some pine nuts to top it off. I like going heavy on the basil and a little light on the olive oil just because it brings out the basil a bit more.
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  3. #3
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    Blow your own mind with: scallop and white truffle risotto with cepes, topped off with a little truffle oil.

    And copy what nater said, the thing with risotto is you can not leave it like pasta it requires constant attention like your cheerleader girlfriend in high school. Keep stirring it every couple of minutes and you'll build up the creamy texture that makes rissoto so good.
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  4. #4
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    Another tip is to heat up olive oil in a saute pan (1 tbsp/ cup rice) and add the rice. let the rice heat up in said oil until it begins to take on a transluncent color around the tips of each grain. Next, before you hit it with any stock, hit the rice with a good sized splash of wine, and let that cook out. Theory is that this "softens" the rice, and adds a little more acidity to the dish. Also, it is important to season 3 times when making risotto, at the beginning, ten minutes in, and when the dish is finished.

    Oh, and ALWAYS use parmigiano reggiano cheese, everything else tastes really cheap and will generally not melt properly.

  5. #5
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    I wanted to point out a little-eaten alternative: barley.

    Last night my husband put chopped onion, pepper and carrot to saute in olive oil. He added this to boiling water w/ seasonings and chicken bouillion. Then he added barley. It made an awesome side dish...I told him he's gotta make it again! Very healthy too I'm assuming, as it is whole grain.

    /hijack

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  6. #6
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    My secret to risotto is to carmelize a bunch of onions before you add the rice. This requires patience and adds about a half hour to the whole process but it is so worth it. Once the onions are carmelized, add as many different varieties of mushrooms as you can find, chopped medium size, and saute them for a few minutes.

    You then have the basis for a damn good risotto.

  7. #7
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    Yes, Also, since it is the season, see if you can find some Chanterelle or Morel Mushrooms, they are expensive, but probably the tastiest things on earth. Saute them in olive oil, in batches, over high heat with no salt (you want to sear those bad boys, not steam 'em, if you use salt, they will release all of their water and get mushy). As rootskier mentioned, do the onions trick, adds a lot of flavor. Also if you are a garlic guy, add a few cloves when the onions are almost done carmelizing, and cook another 5 minutes before adding rice and more oil.

    Then add the mushrooms, parm cheese after the rice is close to being done.

  8. #8
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    pesto walnut risotto - recipie in New Basics Cookbook.

    soooo fuhriggin good
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  9. #9
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    I think sauteeing the rice in olive oil is the most key point on this thread, then I go basic with asparagus, mushroom and some parmagiano regiano. Earthy, good green taste from the asparagus, and a little parsley to garnish and it's money!
    "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms, their energy. Your cares and tensions will drop away like the leaves of Autumn." --John Muir

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  10. #10
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    Risotto pesto. Yummy. 18-22 minutes of foreplay required.

  11. #11
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    If you have never cooked risotto, I suggest you try a batch or two of just rice, butter and parmesan, before adding any other ingredients. Get a good Italian cookbook or recipe off the web and follow the directions. Heat the stock first, and keep warm to ladle in while cooking. Risotto needs constant stirring for as much as a half hour, so I always you make a batch of martinis first, that you can sip while stirring. I recommend beefeaters and noilly prat. I guarantee, you will be surprised how much liquid is absorbed (by the rice, not you). Also, taste as you go, to check on the consistency of the rice. If you want it very creamy, add more butter right at the end.

    Another hint...risotto at elevation defies all time estimates in cookbooks. Aslo, use a thick wooden or plastic spoon, metal will break the grains, and stir gently.

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    Last edited by irul&ublo; 03-28-2006 at 11:29 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Rissoto is labor-intensive, but worth it.

    a couple of tips:
    Save your money - use veg oil at the beginning, and add olive oil at the end (the cooking process removes a lot of flavor, so adding olive oil at the beginning is pointless)
    You need to mince your onions small enough to be as small or smaller than the grains of rice
    The onions need to be translucent, but not caramelized.
    Before you add any stock, stir the rice in the oil/onions for about a minute to make sure each grain is coated in oil.
    adding hot (boiling) stock, not cold
    Add 1 a cup of stock at a time, and don't add the next until the previous is almost completely absorbed
    Stir constantly

    Little known fact about rissoto:
    you can cook until about 5 minutes before completion ahead of time, and set it aside until you're ready to serve (don't do this the first couple of times you cook it, it'll just complicate the process while you're learning)

    If you're doing seafood rissoto (lobster is a personal favorite) remember, there's a reason italian restaurants don't put parmesean in the recipe. The harsh flavor overwhelmes the delicate seafood flavor. THis doesn't, however, extend to other dairy products. So go ahead and use the heavy cream.

    If you're doing non-seafood, use the cheese, but try not to go overboard, which is easier than you think.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    Rissoto is labor-intensive, but worth it.

    a couple of tips:
    Save your money - use veg oil at the beginning, and add olive oil at the end (the cooking process removes a lot of flavor, so adding olive oil at the beginning is pointless)
    You need to mince your onions small enough to be as small or smaller than the grains of rice
    The onions need to be translucent, but not caramelized.
    Wow. I couldn't disagree more with any of these ideas.

    I am going to try doing most of the cooking ahead of time this week, though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier
    Wow. I couldn't disagree more with any of these ideas.

    I am going to try doing most of the cooking ahead of time this week, though.
    What did you disagree with? I am speaking from experience, you know..

    Next time, try the following:

    Onion size is a function of texture, not flavor. It sucks to bite into a crunchy onion when eating rissoto. Yes, you've overcome it by fully caramelizing the onion, but that makes the finished product overly sweet. So unless you're making sugar rissoto (yech!) try chopping the onions very small.

    Olive oil. Believe me - it really does lose most of its flavor in the cooking process. If you really want to taste the olives, cook with veg oil at the onion stage. Then, when you add the cream, add about 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin.

    Trust me on this one.. you'll really be pleased with the result.

  15. #15
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    Pressure cooker: risotto in 15 minutes.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen
    Pressure cooker: risotto in 15 minutes.
    I have a recipe for cooking rissoto in the oven..
    Supposed to be not quite as good, but much lower-maintenance.

    Still haven't tried it though.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen
    Pressure cooker: risotto in 15 minutes.

    Heretic!!!!! You will be flogged with a giant salami...wait, you'd probably like that....I'll get back to you on punishment.
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  18. #18
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    The punitive measures cannot possibly atone for the pleasure of hereticism.

    But anyway, a pressure cooker works amazingly well. After years of doing it the hard way, the complications and busy dizziness of life focused an attempt on the pressure cooker approach and it works well.

    Do the basic risotto recipe found in Saveur's Authentic Italian but in a pressure cooker.
    Caveat: do the onion/shallot/garlic phase as usual, but you don't have to keep the broth hot and add incrementally. After browning the rice with the garlic/shallot/onions, just add the broth, mushrooms, cheese and cover and cook.

    After it's cooked try adding:
    smoked salmon and dill or basil
    or
    proscuitto and shaved truffle
    or
    veggies
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  19. #19
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    if you're going the canned broth route do yourself a favor and use College Inn.

  20. #20
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    I agree with the fine diced onions, but not with the vegetable oil. The restaurant I worked at, we tried to cut costs by subbing veg oil for evoo, and we could all taste the difference, so we reverted back to Olive Oil.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassLiberal
    I agree with the fine diced onions, but not with the vegetable oil. The restaurant I worked at, we tried to cut costs by subbing veg oil for evoo, and we could all taste the difference, so we reverted back to Olive Oil.
    Allow me to clarify. I didn't say remove the olive oil, I said don't bother adding it at the beginning - add it 5 minutes before the end.

  22. #22
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    may i humbly suggest....butter
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  23. #23
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    Good god, imagine adding 1/4 cup of veg oil to risotto? arg, narsty.

    No, I was talking about at the initial "softening" of the rice as well. However, this was in the kitchen of the Ritz. so who knows if we were just trying to impress the chef with our superior tasting abilities, were still recovering from the drugs and alcohol binge that occurs nightly in those kitchens or what. but there was definitely a difference.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassLiberal
    Good god, imagine adding 1/4 cup of veg oil to risotto? arg, narsty.
    ouch! naah, just enough to soften the aromatics..

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dblatto
    I think sauteeing the rice in olive oil is the most key point on this thread, then I go basic with asparagus, mushroom and some parmagiano regiano. Earthy, good green taste from the asparagus, and a little parsley to garnish and it's money!
    before adding any liquids, make sure you sautee the rice in whatever lubricant you decide to use until the rice begins to smell nutty but not brown

    edit: i guess i was smoking crack about the towel and over thing, but i could have sworn i remembered that from the show
    anyway, heres a link http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/reci..._30665,00.html
    search for risotto, youll find a shit ton
    Last edited by pechelman; 03-28-2006 at 03:28 PM.

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