I got the bug watching “Hell’s Kitchen.” What is Risotto and why is it so infuriating to chefs? Is it good? A little while back I discovered that main ingredient is a special Italian rice called Arborio Rice. So following the basic directions on the back of my rice package, improvising a bit and with the aide of my lovely wife Meghan, I set out.
Now normally, I don’t really show my process for cooking. This is because I get carried away, I forget to document my steps, and because, my kitchen isn’t always the, err, neatest. Heck, I’m lucky to keep the cats off of my prep table long enough to….
So anyways, we toss some olive oil and butter in a big pan and heat it up. We then add diced onions and button mushrooms. After these get soft, I add a cup and a half of the arborio rice, two strips of crumbled bacon and two smashed garlic cloves, ideally, (Ok, sue me, we used chopped garlic from a jar) and let it all cook up a bit. At the same time, I’ve got a big can of chicken broth on another burner heating up. It shouldn’t boil, but keep it warm. Give a ladle or two of this to the rice mixture and begin to stir gently and constantly.
Stir, stir, stir.
Stir, stir, stir.
Eventually this slow process will yield the rice sucking up the moisture. You can tell when it needs more broth when you stir the rice off the bottom and the liquid doesn’t fill back in right away.
Another ladle or two, never too much, then more stir, stir, stir.
You just keep repeating this process and as above, the rice will start to absorb it and puff up ever so slightly. I had to use pretty much my whole can of broth.
There now it’s puffing up.
I let the stiff absorb until it looked about like cooked rice should, then I started tasting it. And I realized it needed some more broth and stirring. I kept going like this, tasting, broth, stirring, until the rice was tender. Then, it was! So then I got the excess liquid soaked up, and then added a bunch of heavy cream and shredded Parmesan cheese. I did mention the heavy cream and parm, right?
So then I topped with some fresh parsley and plated it as I showed at the top of the post.
Parsley-licious? Whatever, it looks pretty.
Final thoughts? I had it the night of making it and damn it was rich. I had it as my main dish for dinner and it was a bit much. This would be better as a side or appetizer. I also thought, for all that work, I could put the other stuff on noodles and enjoy it greatly with less work. Am I missing something? So anyways, I tupperwared the stuff up and had it the next day. Let me tell you, as leftovers, I cannot put this stuff down. So there’s that. Anyway, pretty awesome and I mostly glad I tried doing it. I still would like to have some risotto made by someone who knows what one is supposed to taste like.