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Risotto


sadistick
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carnaroli rice is actually cooked more by Italians then Arborio and is IMO the better rice for risotto,Although the window to "just right" is shorter,its more plump then Arborio,Always use a wooden spoon for stirring.

"Food is our common ground,a universal experience"

James Beard

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I dont know if you can say that carnaroli is cooked more by italians, and if so, i would love to see the source of that info :raz:

Arborio rice from what I know is what a lot of italians use, many friends, here, and in italy, and from my experience, is easier to attain than the forementioned.

Risotto is the kind of dish you can experiment with...

Believe it or not, Beet Risotto is one of the best ones that I have made...you need to basically make a beet soup, with roasted beets, but make sure that its not thick...then you can add some wood oven roasted, or oven roasted beats at the end for the fresh kick...If you can get your hands on some Truffle Pecorino, that cheese goes amazingly well with the beat risotto...

I only wish that I could get heirloom beets up in Toronto...seems I can only get my hands on plain old red ones...oh well, maybe grow some this summer!

Artichoke risotto coming up, stay tuned!

:biggrin:

Cheers,

-JJ

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I had a business lunch at Poste in D.C. awhile ago and had a Meyer lemon and rock shrimp risotto that was really nice. I've tried to recreate it, but haven't quite gotten it right yet.

What liquid are you using? How are you attempting to achieve the lemon flavour, is it too sour, not enough flavour?

Need more info in order to assist.

-J

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I love risotto and make it a lot. IMHO it's not worth doing unless you have Arborio or its equivalent. I've tried US organic Arborio from California, I think, which was fine, as were various Spanish short-grained rice varieties, at least one of which was advertised as 'paella' rice. You can get a variety of short-grained Italian rices (& lots of good advice) through mail order via outfits like Citteria or my favorite, the Salumeria Italiana in Boston's North End. I do think Carnarolli is a little better than Arborio, but I've never had them side by side.

The one thing I think I can add to the great recipes and advice in this thread is a technique I got from the River Cafe cookbook, which is to make an asparagus risotto using an asparagus puree as a base. I cook asparagus very briefly in an asparagus cooker till just the tips are done, then I slice off the tips and put the stems back in for a good 10 minutes, till they are quite soft. Then I puree the stems in a food processor with their little bit of steaming water, adding cream or chicken broth if the mixture needs thinning. Add to the risotto as it cooks; the result is a very brightly-colored and tasty risotto. I often add ham, bacon, etc., and usually finish with parmesan and, of course, the reserved cooked tips.

--L. Rap

Edited by elrap (log)

Blog and recipes at: Eating Away

Let the lamp affix its beam.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

--Wallace Stevens

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I love making risotto. I have played with all the major italian rices, they are actually all fairly easily available in the UK. Haven't really detected huge differences, I tend to use Carnaroli, but can't really explain why.

I'm fairly traditional when it comes to risotto making, no cream, no separate making of 'sauces' - just hitting it a lot with a wooden spoon, and PLENTY of butter!

Favourite types

Mushroom - everyones favourite - I use a mix of chesnut mushrooms and dried - occasionally wild if I can get them.

Butternut squash and pancetta - Lovely this one - Some fresh sage is good here too. Nice addition is to roast the squash seeds as a crunchy garnish.

Smoked haddock - bit non trad this one - I poach the haddock in milk (With some sliced onion and balck peppercorns) for a few minutes and use this poashing liqour along with some fish stock to make the risotto, stirring the flaked haddock in right at the end. No cheese for this one. I could probably live with people adding cream to this one - but I don't. Poached egg on top is good though.

Sorrel - if you can get hold of sorrel (And you need quite a lot!) it makes a great light risotto.

Sausage and red wine - A hearty one, use a full flavoured course italian sausage, and a good hearty red wine.

Pea (And pancetta?) Probably the one I make most - either just peas (Fresh in summer sometimes, but usually frozen) or with diced pancetta. I make mine more risotto like than a traditional risi e bisi.

Think I'm going to have to have one tonight now!

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I normally do either a mushroom risotto finished off with truffle oil or a parmesean rissoto finished with balsamic reduction.

Also risotto balls made of left overs, some meat and then fried are great :rolleyes: making me hungry ...

Never trust a skinny chef

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I prefer carnaroli to arborio, also, and have read it's preferred by many Italians. I can't remember the sources of that, but will look.

I make all kinds of risottos and try different recipes -- sometimes use cream, sometimes don't, sometimes Parm-Reg, sometimes don't. To ask me my favorite would be one of those "which of your children do you love the most" questions. :smile: But one of my favorites is definitely Alberto Donna's recipe for white truffle risotto. :wub: I've had it at Galileo a few times, and we made it at home on the rare occasions when we were fortunate enough to afford a white truffle.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Next up i am going to work at a Gihanduya (sp) chocolate risotto...with whip cream...yummy

I just made a chocolate risotto a couple of nights ago! Delia Smith's recipe. It was lovely, very, very rich and indulgent. Where's your recipe from?

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Next up i am going to work at a Gihanduya (sp) chocolate risotto...with whip cream...yummy

I just made a chocolate risotto a couple of nights ago! Delia Smith's recipe. It was lovely, very, very rich and indulgent. Where's your recipe from?

Heh, I rarely use recipes, i just do it from my head...so I guess thats where this one is going to come from too :raz:

Trial and error!

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I dont know if you can say that carnaroli is cooked more by italians, and if so, i would love to see the source of that info  :raz:

Arborio rice from what I know is what a lot of italians use, many friends, here, and in italy, and from my experience, is easier to attain than the forementioned.

Risotto is the kind of dish you can experiment with...

Believe it or not, Beet Risotto is one of the best ones that I have made...you need to basically make a beet soup, with roasted beets, but make sure that its not thick...then you can add some wood oven roasted, or oven roasted beats at the end for the fresh kick...If you can get your hands on some Truffle Pecorino, that cheese goes amazingly well with the beat risotto...

I only wish that I could get heirloom beets up in Toronto...seems I can only get my hands on plain old red ones...oh well, maybe grow some this summer!

Artichoke risotto coming up, stay tuned!

  :biggrin:

Cheers,

-JJ

Although not my initial source of information,this will substantiate my claim that carnaroli is the preferred rice for risotto

http://www.jamesbeard.org/events/words/carnaroli_rice.shtml

"Food is our common ground,a universal experience"

James Beard

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This is still one woman's CLAIMS - Not based on fact...

Truth be told, this is purely one's preference, and saying that most italians love this or that, is a waste of time, because it can NOT be proven.

Unless of course they do a national vote, and I dont see that happening anytime soon.

Edited by sadistick (log)
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Thank you, Phifly! Carol Field is certainly a trusted authority on Italian food. I love many of her recipes. However, I'm sure you agree... It's not a point worth arguing with Sadistic. :biggrin:

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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[snip!]

We also have never even thought of using pomegranate seeds ...

Small update to this. I made a "straight" risotto (Arborio, onion, wine, stock, cheese, butter) and actually had half of a pomegranate sitting in the refrigerator so I took a bit aside and finished it with some of the seeds to mimic what Head Chef Richard does at the Glass House.

In a word, eww…

It looks weird. Apart from the odd acidic taste that simply clashes with the cheese in the risotto, there's an odd mouth feel as one bites into the pomegranate. The image that popped into my head at the first forkful was "this would be the same sensation as biting into a pimple."

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In a word, eww…

It looks weird. Apart from the odd acidic taste that simply clashes with the cheese in the risotto, there's an odd mouth feel as one bites into the pomegranate. The image that popped into my head at the first forkful was "this would be the same sensation as biting into a pimple."

Thank you for that evocative yet disgusting mental image. Now I'm absolutely certain that I'll never, ever try that. Ick. :wink:

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Thank you, Phifly!  Carol Field is certainly a trusted authority on Italian food.  I love many of her recipes.  However, I'm sure you agree...  It's not a point worth arguing with Sadistic.   :biggrin:

sorry, double post...plz delete this one :wacko:

Edited by sadistick (log)
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Thank you, Phifly!  Carol Field is certainly a trusted authority on Italian food.  I love many of her recipes.  However, I'm sure you agree...  It's not a point worth arguing with Sadistic.  :biggrin:

Hahaha, my Mom always said I would of been a great lawyer! But we both know that im right, so its all good :raz:

Oh, and I cant say that pomogranet seeds in a risotto would appeal to me...however, this artichoke risotto that I am making will!

Little tidbit...

I make an artichoke stock, yes, thats right....I like to buy medium sized chokes, and take off some outer 'leaves' i guess you call them - trim them up, and put all that in to a veg stock...works nicely as the liquid...

Then what I will do is sautee some onions till get golden a bit, add garlic, cilantro seeds, sautee...then I will add the artichokes, give them a BIT of color, then deglaze with white wine, add stock, reduce by 1/2 - 2/3rds, add butter some herbs...I like garlic chives, and some taragon at the end...as you are cooking your risotto at the same time, you are tasting for doneness, obviously, right as you are about to add your last liquid, add the artichoke+sauce instead, butter, and thats it.

I like to garnish with some freshly steamed baby artichokes and a PINCH of lemon juice.

-Justin

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I can recommend a couple, patterned after dishes I have found in restaurants.

One is shrimp. Poach or saute bay shrimp, and then liquify them with the stock or olive oil using a stick blender. Add the prawns toward the end. I sometimes add 1 tsp good tomato paste for color and a little flavor. Top with two grilled prawns.

Second, is risi e bisi. It is a pretty basic pea risotto, but very moist -- almost a soup. It depends on great stock, and can be great. Really soupy.

Third, just saffron, with a vegetable stock, and only topped with cheese. It's bright yellow, and also needs great stock.

I'm sure you've heard this, but mix dried porcini with regular mushrooms to get a nice porcini risotte, without all of the expense. The other mushrooms seem to absorb the flavor.

Or, pancetta and pea. I'm not sure this is the right way, but I saute pancetta, pour off the fat, add olive oil, diced onion and garlic, then add the rice. Our kids like that one.

Eat risotto at least once a week!

FB

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Some good ideas Forno, unfortunetly, I have tried all other than the shrimp one, which sounds interesting!

One of my next ventures is to try to make a roasted Beet risotto, which I had a at North 44 here in Toronto which was very nice...I am thinking of just making a beet pure stock, and strain it, and use that liquid...still contemplating!

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I had the privilage of making risotto at work 5 nights a week for a few years. We made wild mushroom and duck risotto finished with white truffle oil.

The duck was duck confit- changed between butternut squash, corn and baby leeks depending on season. I've noticed that the additions at the end are really to make a 'sauce' for the rice. You do want to get as much creaminess as possible from the rice. Then add loads of butter/parm/flavored oil to emulsify in. Add them off the heat - beat together - put back on gentle heat to heat through, you'd be amazed how these additions cool it down.

I used to have a couple spoonfulls before the long ride home on cold nights to keep me warm.

Lately I've made red wine risottos to go with braised short ribs.

Lisa K

Lavender Sky

"No one wants black olives, sliced 2 years ago, on a sandwich, you savages!" - Jim Norton, referring to the Subway chain.

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This is still one woman's CLAIMS - Not based on fact...

Truth be told, this is purely one's preference, and saying that most italians love this or that, is a waste of time, because it can NOT be proven.

Unless of course they do a national vote, and I dont see that happening anytime soon.

Let me try to bring at least an Italian perspective on rice sorts used for risotto. . . and maybe to soften the argument a bit. As sadistick says, arguing what we Italians love to use for risotto is not possible. We have plenty of political elections but I doubt anyone will ever call one for the rice sort to be used in risotto. The big mistake here is to consider that we Italians can agree on something that has to do with food. That would take away one of our national pastimes, arguing about who's recipe is better!

That said, there are a few things to be considered. The rice most people use is not necessarily the best: people buy a lot of wine in boxes in Italy, but that does not make Tavernello (the most popular brand of this wine type) the best wine in Italy. People choose rice according to availability, personal preference, cost and cooking time. Everything influences the final choice. What a home cook will pick is not necessarily what a restaurant would choose. Here the question is often not so much which rice sort is better but rather the way the rice is treated that makes the difference. Rice which is still treated with "pestelli", a traditional machine which imitates the manual method used to clean rice, is darker, cooks longer but tastes better. And is clearly more expensive.

Food fashions and regional differences play a role too. I had hardly heard about Baldo rice before six-five years back, and never tried it myself, but it seems to be THE rice to use for the up-to-date gourmet. Arborio is more popular in Lombardia and Piemonte while Vialone Nano is more typical of Veneto, Carnaroli being a relatively new sort mostly grown in Piemonte , if I remember correctly.

I like Vialone Nano best. Like MsMelkor I appreciate the smaller rice grains and find the end result creamier than what I get with Carnaroli or especially Arborio.

Washing rice is a real no-no, you want the starch to be there from the start. When you toast the rice grains before adding the broth some of this will gel, forming a sheath around the grain which protects the grain from overcooking. This is important as the rice in risotto should be slightly al dente at the end.

And cream... yikes! :laugh:

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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This is still one woman's CLAIMS - Not based on fact...

Truth be told, this is purely one's preference, and saying that most italians love this or that, is a waste of time, because it can NOT be proven.

Unless of course they do a national vote, and I dont see that happening anytime soon.

Let me try to bring at least an Italian perspective on rice sorts used for risotto. . . and maybe to soften the argument a bit. As sadistick says, arguing what we Italians love to use for risotto is not possible. We have plenty of political elections but I doubt anyone will ever call one for the rice sort to be used in risotto. The big mistake here is to consider that we Italians can agree on something that has to do with food. That would take away one of our national pastimes, arguing about who's recipe is better!

That said, there are a few things to be considered. The rice most people use is not necessarily the best: people buy a lot of wine in boxes in Italy, but that does not make Tavernello (the most popular brand of this wine type) the best wine in Italy. People choose rice according to availability, personal preference, cost and cooking time. Everything influences the final choice. What a home cook will pick is not necessarily what a restaurant would choose. Here the question is often not so much which rice sort is better but rather the way the rice is treated that makes the difference. Rice which is still treated with "pestelli", a traditional machine which imitates the manual method used to clean rice, is darker, cooks longer but tastes better. And is clearly more expensive.

Food fashions and regional differences play a role too. I had hardly heard about Baldo rice before six-five years back, and never tried it myself, but it seems to be THE rice to use for the up-to-date gourmet. Arborio is more popular in Lombardia and Piemonte while Vialone Nano is more typical of Veneto, Carnaroli being a relatively new sort mostly grown in Piemonte , if I remember correctly.

I like Vialone Nano best. Like MsMelkor I appreciate the smaller rice grains and find the end result creamier than what I get with Carnaroli or especially Arborio.

Washing rice is a real no-no, you want the starch to be there from the start. When you toast the rice grains before adding the broth some of this will gel, forming a sheath around the grain which protects the grain from overcooking. This is important as the rice in risotto should be slightly al dente at the end.

And cream... yikes! :laugh:

Great Post...And I agree with the cream part...eeeeeK! :wacko:

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