Risotto is a creamy, gooey and delicious Italian rice recipe prepared on special occasions. Risotto is made in different ways by adding various ingredients by the chefs and cooks across the globe. Nevertheless, the basic ingredients and the way of preparing the rice remain the same in any risotto recipe.
However, risotto requires great attention while cooking. Stirring is one of the key actions in making the dish.
Commonly, Arborio rice is used for making risotto dishes. The rice produces a creamy and starchy sauce while it is being cooked. Hence this Italian short-grain Arborio rice becomes one of the essential ingredients in the recipe.
When preparing risotto, Arborio rice should be toasted or sautéed in little oil. This step is important to give the risotto its authentic flavour and the consistency. Sautéing of the rice should be done constantly, albeit, it may require a little time to see the translucent grains.
Rice should be stirred constantly until it becomes translucent. If the rice is not stirred, it will be burnt and spoil the taste of the risotto. Hence, constant stirring is the secret to a perfect risotto.
The way of cooking Arborio rice is different to the cooking method of many other types of rice. In order to obtain the desired creamy and mushy texture to risotto, stock or the broth should be added gradually.
The stock for risotto should be prepared immediately prior to making the risotto for better results. If, refrigerated stock is to be used, heat the stock prior to using.
Four cups of stock to one cup of rice is the common ration for preparing risotto. Too much or too little liquid can also disturb the cooking process of the rice. Special attention should be paid not to overcook the Arborio rice.
The rice appears firm and hard when it is cooked. Although, the appearance of the cooked rice can give an impression that it is partially-cooked, the grains are soft and fluffy to eat.
The dish should be served immediately after preparing since the liquid might get evaporated if it is left for a long time.
However, making perfect risotto may not be odds-on for a beginner. The right consistency comes with practice. Once the basic recipe of risotto is learned, there are endless recipes of risotto to try your hands on.
Shrimps- 10 (shells on)
Chicken bones- 100g
Spring onions- 5
Cinnamon stick- a medium sized one
Carrots-2 medium sized
Peppercorn powder- ½ tsp
Curry powder- 1 tsp
Apply olive oil on the chicken bones and roast them until aroma emanates. Place the roasted bones in a stockpot filled with water. Add all the ingredients in the stockpot and simmer for 45 minutes until the stock is ¾ reduced.
Remove the bones from the stockpot and strain the stock into a large bowl mashing the vegetables in the strainer using a wooden spoon.
Arborio rice- 250g
Shrimp stock- 6 cups
White wine- ½ cup
Tomato puree- 1 tablsp
Butter- 3 tblsps
Olive oil- 2 tblsps
Ginger-garlic paste-1 tsp
Onion- 1 (large)
Clean the shrimp and let the water drain.
Heat olive oil in a large bottomed pan. Add ½ teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute. Add shrimp and sauté for two minutes without letting shrimp burn. Once the shrimp are cooked (shrimp should be partially cooked at this stage) transfer them to a plate.
Add butter in the pan and let it mix with the remaining olive oil. When the butter is becoming heated, add remaining ginger-garlic paste and chopped spring onions. Sauté until the frying alliums emanate fine aroma. Add salt and tomato puree. Add Arborio rice and keep sautéing. .
When the rice starts becoming translucent, add white wine and stir constantly until the alcohol evaporates.
Then add stock, one ladle at a time. When the first ladle of stock is completely absorbed by the Arborio rice, add another ladle. Similarly, add the stock gradually while constantly stirring.
Add sautéed shrimp (leave some for garnishing) and add the final cup of stock. Keep stirring.
The rice should be cooked for about 15-20 minutes stirring constantly and adding a ladle of stock after the previous stock is completely absorbed by the rice.
If the stock is not sufficient to cook the rice, you can add water to get the consistency.
You can also observe that the rice starts releasing its creamy starch and form its own (rice) sauce.
Cook the rise until it becomes al-dente. Arborio rice should not be over-cooked when making risotto. The consistency should be gooey and moist.
Remove the pan from the heat and squeeze a lemon over it. Give it a gentle mix. Garnish with parsley, sautéed shrimp and slices of lemon and serve warm!