Risotto seems to be a complicated recipe but not until you get to know its secrets. Dare to read these 5 tips on how to make the perfect risotto post!
If you have been cooking risotto for a while now, perhaps, you know the parts where you fail the most. Risotto is comfort food and should not be an intimidating recipe. But, a lot of people consider cooking this a hit or miss.
Worry no more, find out where you need to practice by checking out these 5 tips and be an expert real soon:
#5 Choose the Right Kind of Grain
Not every short-grain rice is good for risotto because this Italian recipe calls for high-starch, short-grain, white rice.
There are different kinds of short-grain white rice that are good for risotto such as Arborio, Carnaroli, and Vialone Nano.
Arborio is more popular and is widely used for this recipe. However, the kind of rice to use for risotto actually depends on where you are from.
So, people from Italy and other parts of Europe can debate over which type of grains to use but each of them has its own unique texture when cooked.
Carnaroli, on the other hand, is more preferred in most parts of Italy because of its creamiest texture. In fact, it was hailed as the “King” of all kinds of rice in Italy.
Vialone Nano comes next to Carnaroli when it comes to its resistance to overcooking.
This type of grain is more popular in the Veneto region. It’s also creamy in texture and can absorb more liquid and grows double its size.
#4 Keep an eye on your stock
There are plenty of risotto recipes you can try at home and in order to achieve the perfect recipe, you must consider the stock to use.
The broth you will be using will define your risotto so you have to be very careful in choosing the flavor. You can use chicken stock or porcini broth.
These will give you a nice flavor to your risotto without overpowering the entire dish. Another thing to consider when adding broth is to do it slowly and gradually.
Make sure your broth is not cold or too hot, just below simmering. A gentle simmer is a key to making the perfect broth to your risotto.
#3 Know your Texture
I want my risotto creamy but then, there are different kinds of risotto texture served elsewhere. Some are soupy while some are extra rich and creamy.
Some prefer the dry yet sticky texture. It all depends on what we like.
Before you start preparing for your risotto dish, you must have a clear picture in your mind of what kind of texture you want to achieve.
You can notice the texture changing as you go along cooking. With this, you should be careful of the temperature you will be using.
Cooking risotto should be done in a slow manner and low-simmering heat. You don’t want to overcook the grains and get a super-sticky risotto!
#2 Add the extra ingredients at the end
Risotto topped with greens, cheese and lots of other good stuff! This is what I imagine my risotto would be.
Some people prefer to add some proteins on their risotto. If you do, you should be keen on where to add them in cooking.
Famous Chefs suggest that you should add all the extras like chicken, lobsters, or mushrooms, at the end.
Doing so will not affect the original taste and texture of your risotto.
These extras will get their own spotlight when eaten. Adding them while cooking will actually overwhelm the overall risotto flavor.
Plus, adding the veggies and proteins while cooking will give you a hard time folding the rice thoroughly. This will result in either an overcooked or undercooked risotto.
#1 Don’t Keep on Stirring it
I guess this is where we all messed up! We usually tend to stir the rice every now and then, simply because we cannot help ourselves from staring at its beauty.
Some stir it in the hope to release more starch from the rice. However, stirring it occasionally will affect the texture and consistency of the risotto.
You only need to gently fold the rice back and forth and not overwork it by continuous stirring. Let the simmering heat do the job.
When it simmers, the grains create friction by rubbing against each other and release starch. The starch released by the grains will become the binder.
This is why cooking risotto on high temp will force the rice to release the starch right away and tend to be stickier. Adding butter at the end will also create a glazy texture. You can cut the butter into small, cold cubes and fold it gently.
Those 5 tips are the crucial parts you should consider. Below are the other bonus tips you can think about, the next time you plan on cooking risotto.
- Use a heavy duty pan when making your risotto so you have more room to cook and avoid sticking it at the bottom.
- Season as you go! Never put too much salt while cooking the rice, just add enough salt to taste and add a bit more when you reach the end part.
- Make small servings only.
- For adding wines, make sure to add the wine you are familiar with or you are mostly drinking. Remember, if you don’t drink the wine, then better not add it to your risotto!
You can also watch this video on how to master cooking risotto!
There you have it ladies and gents! We have finally deciphered the mystery of cooking risotto.
For a while, it has been a simple yet intricate and intimidating recipe to try. You need to bring a lot of patience when cooking this comfort food. I mean, after all, it will be worth the wait.
Considering all these 5 tips on how to make the perfect risotto, I bet you can’t go wrong now! So go ahead, try making one at home and impress everyone. Goodluck!