How to Make Risotto

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There are a couple of key components to Risotto that you should have access to. Make Risotto with help from an executive chef in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Italian Cooking
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Camille Parker from Camillesdish.com, and today I'm going to show you how to make risotto. So there are a couple of key components to risotto. First, the rice and how we start it. This is our Bario risotto. It's a short grain rice. We're going to start it with a little bit of butter and sauteed onions and then the second important thing about risotto is the liquid. So the liquid that you're going to add whether it be stock or water needs to be hot when it goes into the pan and that is so that it won't bring down the temperature of the rice and it will continue to cook at the same temp, at the same speed. So we're going to start it off by just adding a little bit of butter to our pan here and I'm going to toss the onions in with it. In my world, everything starts with an onion including risotto. So, we're just going to let the onions sweat just a little bit. We don't want to brown them. We just want to give them a little bit of time in there on their own. Then we're going to add the risotto to that and we're going to let the risotto do the same thing. So, we want it to be a little bit translucent, the edges of the rice will turn translucent and that's when you want to add, start adding your liquid. You should, usually I will add a little bit of white wine first depending on what kind of risotto I'm making and then continue on with the stock or the water. Today since this is just the basic, how to make risotto recipe, we're just going to go straight in with the water. So, right now my onions are starting to sweat and so they're becoming a little bit lighter, a little bit translucent and they're releasing some of their deliciousness and so I'm going to go ahead and add the risotto. I'm just going to give this guy a stir also. The onions are going to continue to cook a little bit also and this will probably take just a couple of minutes. You're going to start to hear it crackle and that's sort of when you need to look to it. So it will start to crackle and the edges of the rice will be translucent and then that's when we're going to start in with the hot stock. So I have my water in the back simmering, getting ready to go and so when the rice is ready my water is going to be ready and I'm just going to go straight into the pan with that. Okay, so you can see how a couple of the grains of rice are starting to get a little bit toasty. Now others have a little translucent ring around them and that's what we want. So that is perfect. They have started to crackle a little bit in the bottom of the pan. They are starting to get a little bit toasty and now I'm just going to add a ladle of my hot water, in the back. Now the trick to risotto is to stir, stir, stir and you only want to add a little bit of liquid at a time, one or two ladles at a time and wait for the rice to absorb as much of it as possible, almost all the way before you add another ladle. So the reason you want to continue to stir the risotto is because it helps the starch and the rice come out and that's, well, essential what risotto is. It gives it that creaminess, that risotto is, it makes it stick together but it's that nice soft luscious sort of sauce within itself and that's what the starch from the risotto is from the rice itself. So this is what we're pulling out by doing all of the stirring. If you were to add a whole bunch of liquid at once and cover it and let the rice absorb it, you're just making rice pilaf and that's not risotto. So we've got to keep stirring, keep stirring. Of course there are a zillion different risottos you can make which is awesome. I really like to do mushroom risotto which I would saut? the mushrooms with the onions and then start to add the liquid. You can make it a very clean mushroom risotto by using just water. You can make it a very deep mushroom risotto by using a mushroom broth if you had mushroom broth in your pantry or if you wanted to make some by using the stems of the caps that you're using for the risotto itself, you could simmer them in some water and create your own mushroom broth and use that as the base of your risotto. There's always Risotto Milanese which is saffron risotto. It's finished with bone marrow, so melted bone marrow in there, a little extra meaty buttery love, or you know any other risotto you can come up with, shrimp risotto. The shrimp you would want to add at the end or saut? separate and toss them in at the end so that they're not continuing to cook for as long as the risotto cooks. The risotto will take, you know, 30 minutes or so maybe more and so by the time you're shrimp or your risotto was done your shrimp would be way over cooked and no good. I'm going to add another ladle and continue on with my tedious process of adding and stirring and adding and stirring. Don't worry, it's going to be worth it in the end. So now I can see that the rice is becoming very plump and so I want to see exactly how far we have to go. So I'm just going to take a couple little grains here and give it a taste. And it's almost there, very near. So now I want to season it up with a little bit of salt, of course, make it taste good. You can also salt the stock or the broth or the water but you want to make sure that it's not reducing and you're getting a lot of salt into your rice. So sometimes I like to just play it safe and add it at the end. So, also, you want the risotto when it's finished to be al dente, just like you want pasta to be al dente. You want there to be a little bit of that bite. So you don't want it to be mushy and soggy and full so that it's like, the rice has exploded. You want the rice to still have its individual shape and still be that sort of football shape but you want the sauce within it to be creamy. So when I'm about finished with it which I am right now. It's a nice al dente and it's holding it's shape. I'm just going to add one more ladle and then only cook it about halfway in or even just turn the pot to very very low and leave it so it has just that little extra bit of creaminess, that way it gives me a little bit more time to put it in a plate or get it to the table and for it to keep that creaminess that is, that is risotto. So the Italians say that risotto should be al ronda which means like a wave, so they don't want it to stand up. They want it to wave back in. When you drag your spoon through it in the pot they want it to come back into the center like a wave would come back in. So that's how loose risotto should really be. It should never stand up or be sticky. So I hope you enjoyed the lesson on how to make risotto. I'm Camille Parker from Camillesdish.com.

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