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And there's plenty of fond in a risotto pot to liberate.

Is there? This may be personal preference, but I've always understood the goal to be to avoid browning the onions, and avoid actually "toasting" the rice.

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I recently made risotto using the Modernist Cuisine pressure cooker method. It worked exceptionally well and made for a perfectly creamy risotto. You basically start by sweating finely minced onions and celery and then adding the rice and stirring it around for a minute. Next all the liquids are added including stock (vegetable in this case) and vermouth. Five minute or so on full pressure (15psi) and we're done. I stirred in a few pats of butter, let it sit for a few minutes and served. I will certainly be making my risotto like that again.

vegetable risotto.JPG

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  • 1 month later...

I recently used this technique to remove the starch from arborio and add it to a risotto nero using forbidden rice risotto. Since forbidden rice doesn't really have much starch, using the arborio rice starch to fortify the forbidden rice risotto offered a lot to the dish. The final results were rich, creamy and delicious. I didn't add any cream or anything else to the final product. Just starch rinsed stock and rice. I've also done similar things making "risotto" out of vegetables, such as cauliflower.

IMG_3778+edit.jpg

Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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avaserfirer@egstaff.org

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I believe there's a traditional saying in the Po area, which goes "Rice is born in water, and must die in wine". Good enough for me.

Although I've tried Gordon Ramsay's short cut recipe, which reduces the finishing time to about 8 minutes, I don't find it as good while demanding a load of preliminary fiddling. I just live with 18 minutes stirring. For me, never any cream, never brown either the soffrito or the rice, just soften the vegetables in butter, and then raise the heat before stirring in the rice. I want it to get hot enough to boil off the alcohol from the wine and reduce it quickly, without taking any colour. Then I start adding the boiling brodo (stock/broth).

I feel a risotto coming on! Butternut squash, I feel, with the squash from the garden. To accompany some wonderful farm pork chops.

All the best

Ian (yes in France)

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I recently purchased the Emile Henry Flame-Top Risotto 4 Qt pot. I used it Thanksgiving for a butternut squash risotto following the base risotto recipe in the new Heston Blumenthal At Home cookbook.

The pot worked very nicely. Yes, Blumenthal also made it an easy addition to the meal...he says either adding stock bit by bit or putting in half at the beginning and topping off result in equally good risotto. His book also offers a 'making in advance' risotto recipe.

"A cloud o' dust! Could be most anything. Even a whirling dervish.

That, gentlemen, is the whirlingest dervish of them all." - The Professionals by Richard Brooks

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I just made my first risotto (thanks for the help eG!) and I think it was as good or better than any I have had in restaurants. I found the traditional method gave me control over the result. I used a large skillet (ok maybe that's not traditional) and a flat edged wood spatula so it was easy to mix. Adding the broth as I went along meant that I knew how fast it was getting absorbed as I got to the critical end point where you want to have the right thickness when the rice is just cooked. I started tasting at 15 min and stopped when I liked what I had.

I can see how parboiling the rice could work but advance preparation wasn't an issue for me. Maybe I could have saved some stirring up front but I can see how there might be temptation to beat the crap out of the rice at the end to get the creaminess. A pressure cooker might work fine, but it seems to me that there would be some work to get the timing and the water content just right for a given type of rice and recipe.

Overall, I think the attraction to the traditional risotto is that it is easy. Heck you don't even have to measure the broth. I have trouble seeing a lot of saving in time and effort in the other methods for the home cook doing a single batch. What's 15 minutes in the grand scheme of things? Maybe a better cook could use that wisely to get another dish out but I would probably only be able to do a little cleaning or get the table set.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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  • 1 year later...

Time to revive this thread. I bought myself a Thermochef a while back (cheaper version of Thermomix) and used it for Risotto for the first time tonight. Because it's a food processor as well as a cooker, I first chopped the onions then added olive oil and cooked at 100C for a little while to soften them. Before cooking further I added the butterfly attachment, which makes it more of a stirrer than a chopper. All subsequent cooking was conducted with the stirrer on power setting one. I then added the rice and some chopped garlic and cooked it for a bit longer on 100C, then some white wine, continued cooking on 100C until it was mostly evaporated. I then added the stock all at once and turned the temperature down to 90C. Cooked for fifteen minutes then added some sous vide pre-cooked prawns. Cooked for a few minutes more then added salt, lemon juice, grated lemon rind, and some butter. Because I've made heaps of risotto, I then continued cooking until it was finished. Basically rather than keeping it on for a set time, I kept checking and stopped cooking when it looked (and tasted) appropriately cooked up the resting point. Rested for three minutes and then served with some chopped parsley as a garnish.

I'd like to think that the wholly hand made risotto is better but I'm not sure. I suppose the issue is that I was able to fiddle a recipe to mimic conventional risotto cooking processes because I'm very familiar with them. After a while, I'm sure I could write down a recipe and timings that others could use to get similar results.

It took no less time than a normal risotto but I wasn't tied to the pot stirring as I normally am.

Am going to do this again.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Hmmmmmmmm...

Tried it and am not a fan, I started documenting the procedure but stopped when I realized the end result was not going to be up to snuff..

I did not add any cream and I think that addition is what makes this version creamy. 3/4 a cup of cream whipped to stiff peaks? Yeah that would make anything creamy...

This was slightly creamy chicken stock with cooked short grain rice in it. I'll be sticking with my old school method which people are already very happy with every time.

I once had what was supposed to be Charleston she-crab bisque at the now closed Gage & Tollner here in NYC.

Well, it ended up being cream of cream soup with barely a hint of any sherry or crab flavor. There must have been at least a cup of heavy cream in the mix. :blink:

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Nick, sounds like you found a good compromise in the kitchen. The avoiding the stirring time certainly allows you freedom to pursue all else your meal might require. As with anything, doing this several times will have the process becoming second nature for you.

Have you ever substituted farro for rice? Nice flavor, good tooth feel and in ways a heartier meal.

"A cloud o' dust! Could be most anything. Even a whirling dervish.

That, gentlemen, is the whirlingest dervish of them all." - The Professionals by Richard Brooks

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