Rice selection and preparation Rice
is the main and integral component of risotto. In Italy, strictly defined varieties are used to prepare this dish, which is distinguished by the high content of starch. Proper rice is responsible for the delicate, creamy texture of the finished risotto, and the grains themselves, when tasting, must retain a slight hardness — that is the same state of “aldente”. All these rules perfectly correspond to several varieties: arborio, maratelli, carnaroli, baldo, padano, vialone nano. They differ in size, the shape of grains, the content of starch, so in Italy are used for different variations of the basic recipe.
In Russia, it is easiest to find arborio rice in shops. It is well suited for making the risotto “Bianco” – a classic base that requires minimal effort and a set of products. By the way, rice for a given dish is never washed away, so as not to wash away valuable starch. In dry form, it will take approximately 70 g of cereal to prepare a single serving.
In the risotto recipe there is also an important preparatory stage to be performed in advance. It’s about chicken or vegetable broth. For a dish designed for 4-6 servings, you will need 1.5-2 liters of finished broth. During the cooking process, it is added to the risotto in hot form in several stages. On 2 litres of broth the following ingredients will be needed:
- 1 kg of chicken;
- 200 g of onion;
- 200 g of carrots;
- 2-3 pcs of bay leaf;
- 2 tbsp of dry herbs (thyme, parsley, marjoram);
- salt to taste.
Chicken pieces together with the large cut onions and carrots cook on low heat for an hour, periodically removing the scalp and foam. Then add the dry herbs, salt and leave the broth on the stove for another 30 minutes. 10 minutes before ready, put a bay leaf in the pan. The resulting broth strain and re-put on a small heat, so that during the preparation of the risotto it is constantly hot.
Basic recipe for risotto “Bianco”
For a classic recipe for risotto for 4-6 people, the following products will be required:
- 2 tbsp olive oil;
- 100 g butter; $
- 150g shallots;
- 300g rice;
- 150ml white dry wine;
- 100g parmesan.
In Italy, risotto is usually cooked in large pans with high skirts and thick bottoms. The right choice of dishes ensures a high rate of evaporation of the liquid and uniform warming of the rice. Since the dish in the cooking process requires constant stirring, a culinary spade with holes will be well suited for this purpose.
To start on the pan, melt half the butter and add 4 tablespoons olive to it. Add finely chopped shallots to this mixture. It must be fried until soft and transparent, preventing the appearance of brown crust. Then pour dry, unwashed rice into the pan, roast when stirring constantly for 1 minute.
Next step pour white dry wine. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is completely evaporation. In small portions of 100-150 ml add hot broth to the rice. Let it boil and only then stir the dish so that the gluten can stand out from the rice. Once the broth is fully absorbed, the following serving can be added. In total, rice should be spent on the stove for about 20 minutes.
The finished dish should have a creamy texture, and the rice, when biting, retain a slight hardness. At the end, add the remaining butter and grated on a fine parmesan grater. Due to the fact that cheese and chicken broth are salted, salt the rice is not necessary.
Risotto is served and eaten exclusively in freshly prepared form. Reheating has a negative effect on its appearance and taste qualities.
Variations of classic risotto
Even in Italy, each cook cooks risotto differently. Similar to pizza, pasta or lasagne this classic dish has hundreds of variations. It adds vegetables, mushrooms, bacon, meat, fish, seafood and even fruit. Vegetarian options are usually cooked on vegetable broth. Sometimes simple boiling water is used in recipes, although this deplets to some extent the taste of the finished dish.
One of the most popular supplements to the basic recipe are mushrooms. They are pre-fried in a separate pan and added 5 minutes before the dish is ready. If there is a meat component in the risotto, the preparation begins with the preroasting of meat or poultry, and in the subsequent stages fill rice, wine and broth.
If as a supplement to the risotto are fresh mushrooms, raw or frozen vegetables, which are quickly cooked, they are added in the middle of cooking. As with the base recipe, these ingredients are cooked together with rice in broth or water when stirred constantly. After about 10 minutes, the dish can be removed from the heat, added parmesan and butter and served on the table.