Archive for Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tips for getting creamy risotto just right

February 11, 2009

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Not just any rice will suffice for risotto. Short-grain Arborio rice, medium-grain Carnaroli rice or the slightly more obscure vialone nano rice are best because of their high starch content.

The quality of the liquid is key to the flavor of the dish, so skip the bargain canned broth. Also pass on cheap wines or cooking wines for flavor — use something you’d actually drink. This recipe’s secret is the vermouth.

Best Risotto

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry vermouth

4 cups chicken broth, simmering

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt, to taste

In a wide, heavy saucepan over medium, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and lightly toast it for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula. Do not brown the rice.

Add the vermouth and cook, stirring constantly, until all the wine is absorbed and the rice begins to stick.

Ladle in enough warm broth to just cover the rice. Cook, stirring vigorously every 1 to 2 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 to 7 minutes. Continue adding the broth a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and waiting until the broth is entirely absorbed before adding the next ladleful. Do this until the rice is soft, but not mushy, about 20 minutes. You may not need all of the broth. Turn off the heat. Add the Parmesan cheese and butter and stir vigorously until the risotto is creamy. Stir in the parsley, then season with salt. Serves 4.

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