For around 20 minutes, your only job will be to stir the rice until it absorbs the liquid – which will be added a ladleful at a time. This technique, named the risotto method, enables the rice’s starches to release, finishing in a creamy, velvety yet hearty dish. Here’s how to make risotto.
How to make risotto
To make an authentic Italian risotto, the use of specialist rice is of upmost importance.
Risotto rice comes in various forms and is usually pale in colour, short and stubby, and smooth in texture.
The most commonly used risotto rice in the UK is arborio, although you can also use carnaroli or vialone nano for higher quality.
Other varieties of the rice include roma, ribe and baldo. If making a risotto, other forms of long grain rice should be avoided at all costs.
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The risotto rice’s semi round and smooth texture allows the rice to absorb the liquids and flavours – giving risotto its unique texture.
Risotto rice is a farmed all year round and imported regularly, meaning it never goes out of season and should always be available.
Keep the rice in a cool, dry, dark place until ready for use, ensuring it is covered with a lid or kept in a sealed box.
Unlike some other varieties of rice which require rinsing or washing, risotto rice does not need to be cleaned.
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For this recipe from online forum the spruce eats, you will need:
• 1-1.5 cups (354g) arborio rice (or any other suitable risotto rice)
• 4 cups (1l) chicken stock
• 1/2 cup (120ml) vermouth or dry white wine
• 1 medium shallot or onion, chopped
• 3 tablespoons butter divided
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• Grated parmesan (optional)
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
• Salt (to taste)
First step is to gather all your ingredients together, so they are ready to use. Next, heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stocks stays hot.
In a large heavy-based frying pan, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped shallot or onion.
Sauté for two to three minutes or until the onions or shallots are slightly translucent.
Add the rice to the pot and stir it roughly with a wooden spoon so that all the rice grains are coated in the butter and oil mixture.
Sauté for another minute or so, until there is a fragrant and slightly nutty aroma being let off. Take special care not to let the rice turn brown.
Add the wine and cook while stirring, until the grains of rice have fully absorbed the liquid. Add a lade of hot chicken stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed.
When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process. Continue adding stock, one ladle at a time, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite.
The grains should not be crunchy. Next, stir in the remaining two tablespoons of butter, parmesan cheese if using, and the parsley.
Season with salt and serve immediately with some extra grated parmesan on top.
If you want to expand on the risotto, try adding some additional ingredients like cooked prawns, mushrooms, grilled chicken, asparagus or substituting one or two ladles of broth with white wine.
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