Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Fat Guy

Vegan risotto

Recommended Posts

Any thoughts on making risotto without any actual stock, butter, cream, or cheese? I figure stock can be replaced with all wine, or perhaps one of those powdered stock products. Making a vegetable stock seems a bit much, though I'd do it if told it made a big difference. Olive oil should be able to pinch hit for most of the dairy fats, but is there some other product that should be added to lend lusciousness to the finished product? Ditto for the cheese.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've made it vegan before. I think all-wine would be a little too fruity, personally. If you don't feel up for making a stock, the Imagine vegetarian stocks in shelf-stable boxes work pretty well. I like to use dried mushrooms in my risotto, and usually add the soaking water to the stock bath. Good olive oil works well in lieu of butter, and you really don't need cheese to make it a good dish.

I've never used cream in my risotto. What do you do with it? Use it to finish the dish?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cream, butter, olive oil, and parmesan together make for very sikly risotto indeed. It's the standard French restaurant procedure for making the dish. I don't think the Italians do it.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have learned the Italian technique independently, but we have not yet gotten to the French technique in school. I suggest the Italian technique may be more vegan-appropriate. :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve seems to be hanging around with the wrong crowd lately. Veggie burgers and vegan risotto.

Anyway. Carnaroli rice, use beer or wine or the soaking liquor from porcini, lots of EVOO. No problem. You just have to stir harder.

I also always have several kinds of vegetabke stocks on hand.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tofu butter ? Soak some Porcinis for the water and white truffle oil ?

I never put cream in risotto....what's the point ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fat Guy introduced me to the concept of cream in risotto, and although it works well in some dishes, it's inappropriate in others. For instance, when you want to get a sharp flavor to come through the risotto, such as sun dried tomatoes, the cream deadens the flavor somewhat. I don't use as much cheese, either. I guess one way to look at it is to compare pasta sauces -- some are creamy and some are not. There's many instances when the dish would have been better if the chef got rid of the cream.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's correct. It's particularly unhelpful in seafood risottos. But in, for example, a mushroom risotto, you could line up a million people for a side-by-side blind taste test and I'd be surprised if you could get one vote for the non-cream version.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's correct. It's particularly unhelpful in seafood risottos. But in, for example, a mushroom risotto, you could line up a million people for a side-by-side blind taste test and I'd be surprised if you could get one vote for the non-cream version.

Rather than talking about what's "better", might we not talk about preference based on experience and ethnicity or nationality, for example. Granted, in the case of Americans with no other experience, an enrichment of cream will taste "better". And a million French people would probably vote the same way. But would a million Italians say that a mushroom risotto, inauthentically prepared with cream would taste "better"? Could you shift the taste paradigm of a people with this idea? If you think you could, I would suggest to you that you have the makings of a very newsworthy stunt you could perform in Tuscany one day.


Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm trying to work up a repertoire of recipes that can be prepared in both omnivorous and vegetarian/vegan (or both) versions, cooked side by side, so as to allow me to serve the "same" food to everybody.

Lucky be the picky ones invited to your house for dinner.


Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've tried cream but find that I usually just monte au beurre (what is that in Italian? "Manchetta"?) and add fresh parmigiano and stir like a dervish to emulsify. Cream is particularly nice in an asparagus risotto though. Or for mushrooms other than porcini.

Robert, a report on Roxanne's would be fascinating. Please PM me if you do post one so I don't miss it.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Or for mushrooms other than porcini.

I could see that, Jin. In my foolishly narrow mind, mushroom risotto and porcini risotto are the same thing. Must choose my words more carefully.


Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When Michael Romano did his chef column in the NYT (it's in the book Chefs of Our Times) he did a veggie risotto using cucumber juice, I believe. Yeah, I'm skeptical too, but if Romano says it's good, it's at least worth a try.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Porcini risotto is splendid. But a nice mix of morels, chanterelles, oyster, and black trumpets with cream is a wonderful wonderful thing as well.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robert, remember that risotto is supposed to be creamy. Cream makes it creamier. Even Bugialli calls for cream in spinach risotto. Although my understanding is that Italian home cooks rarely use cream in risotto -- and when they do it's often to make a risotto where cream is the main event -- I bet you'll find a lot more cream than you'd suspect in the better modern Italian restaurants in Italy. There are also Italian risotto recipes calling for mascarpone. As I mentioned on the butter-and-cream thread, restaurants overuse butter and cream while home cooks underuse them. This is true in Europe as well as here. Next time you're making risotto, set a little aside and finish it with a tablespoon of cream. I think you'll agree that the newsworthy stunt would be a success.

Jin, I don't see why you'd exclude porcinis from the cream-with-mushrooms rule. With more delicately flavored mushrooms you want to use less cream, but I still think a little is going to improve the risotto.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Porcini risotto is splendid. But a nice mix of morels, chanterelles, oyster, and black trumpets with cream is a wonderful wonderful thing as well.

Egullet member I'd most like to have cook for me: Jinmyo.


Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jin, I don't see why you'd exclude porcinis from the cream-with-mushrooms rule. With more delicately flavored mushrooms you want to use less cream, but I still think a little is going to improve the risotto.

There is a peppery flavour to porcini that I find is dulled by cream. Unless we're speaking of so little cream it was not really worth getting it out of the refrigerator. I truly truly love that peppery flavour.

Robert, that's very kind.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Robert, remember that risotto is supposed to be creamy. Cream makes it creamier. Even Bugialli calls for cream in spinach risotto. Although my understanding is that Italian home cooks rarely use cream in risotto -- and when they do it's often to make a risotto where cream is the main event -- I bet you'll find a lot more cream than you'd suspect in the better modern Italian restaurants in Italy. There are also Italian risotto recipes calling for mascarpone. As I mentioned on the butter-and-cream thread, restaurants overuse butter and cream while home cooks underuse them. This is true in Europe as well as here. Next time you're making risotto, set a little aside and finish it with a tablespoon of cream. I think you'll agree that the newsworthy stunt would be a success.

Jin, I don't see why you'd exclude porcinis from the cream-with-mushrooms rule. With more delicately flavored mushrooms you want to use less cream, but I still think a little is going to improve the risotto.

So now it's Robert, eh?

I don't doubt anything you say about cream; I agree with most of it. Asparagus, spinach, they ask for it. Italy ranges from French and Swiss influences in the north to African influences in the south, so many things are possible and appropriate. Still, tradition has its place, especially when it's justified in terms of quality. Also, and I'm sure you appreciate this, I have problems with the Plotnickist use of the term "better". (Advance note: I have no wish to be drawn into this black hole again. Fool me once, etc...)


Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, Steve. The "creaminess" of risotto is of course really emulsified starch. Quite a different thing from cream. Cream is nice in a risotto. Very nice. But I like risotto without it as well.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The creaminess of risotto comes from the starch as well as from whatever fats you finish the risotto with, be they olive oil, butter, cheese, cream, or other stuff (I've seen supposedly authentic recipes with mascarpone as well, and I suppose animal fats might work -- schmaltz risotto, anyone?). I believe this is called the "condimenti" stage in the risotto texts. You can try to make risotto edible without any condimenti, but it's an uphill battle. I agree that you have to look at your ingredients in order to decide the appropriate condimenti. But the Italian rigidity in this matter -- for example the blanket prohibition against cheese with seafood -- is in my opinion limiting and unnecessary.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, anything kept under a blanket too long will smell stale.

But I find that the "creaminess" of the rice starch with butter or sometimes even olive oil is often exquisite just as it is. But then I'm one of those people who like dipping vegetables into different olive oils and tasting. And also one who simply adores rice in all of its forms, especially good gohan. So sometimes cream just seems deadening instead of lifting. I like to monte (lift or mount) with lipids that seem lucent in that context.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't the essence of risotto the creaminess without the use of cream?

I'm just saying one CAN put cream in their risotto for some umph!

But - If one HAS to cream his risotto to achieve the correct texture - maybe one needs more stove time. I like to master the technique before I put my spin on it.

When Mario Batali uses cream a la mantecare - I'll do the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By haresfur
      I found this article about arancino/arancina really interesting
       

    • By David Ross
      Ah, the avocado! For many of us, this humble little fruit inspires only one dish. Yet the avocado has a culinary history that is deeper than we may understand.
       
      The avocado (Persea Americana) is a tree thought to have originated in South Central Mexico.  It’s a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae.  The fruit of the plant - yes, it's a fruit and not a vegetable - is also called avocado.
       
      Avocados grow in tropical and warm climates throughout the world.  The season in California typically runs from February through September, but avocados from Mexico are now available year-round.
       
      The avocado has a higher fat content than other fruits, and as such serves as an important staple in the diet of consumers who are seeking other sources of protein than meats and fatty foods.  Avocado oil has found a new customer base due to its flavor in dressings and sauces and the high smoke point is favorable when sautéing meat and seafood. 
       
      In recent years, due in part to catchy television commercials and the influence of Pinterest, the avocado has seen a resurgence in popularity with home cooks and professionals.  Walk into your local casual spot and the menu will undoubtedly have some derivation of avocado toast, typically topped with bacon.  Avocados have found a rightful place back on fine dining menus, but unfortunately all too often over-worked dishes with too many ingredients and garnishes erase the pure taste and silky texture of an avocado. 
       
      When I think of an avocado it’s the Hass variety.  However, a friend who lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, can buy Choquette, Hall and Lulu avocados in the local markets.  This link provides good information about the different varieties of avocados, when they’re in season and the differences in taste and texture. https://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/10/18/know-your-avocado-varieties-and-when-theyre-in-season/
       
      I for one must challenge myself to start eating and cooking more avocados.  I think my recipe for guacamole served with chicharrones is superb, and the cobb salad with large chunks of ripe avocado is delicious, but as a close friend recently said, “one person’s ‘not especially new’ is another’s “eureka moment.” Well said and as history tells us, we’ll find plenty of eureka moments as we discuss and share our tales and dishes of avocado during eG Cook-Off #81: The Avocado.
       
      Fun fact: The name avocado derives from the Nahuatl word “ahuacatl,” which was also slang for “testicle.”
      See the complete eG Cook-Off Index here https://forums.egullet.org/topic/143994-egullet-recipe-cook-off-index/
    • By jennyandthejets
      I'll be in Naples for a few days next month and I wanted to try something traditional, and my friend recommended trying parmigiana. She said she loved it, but the problem is that she ate it at her Italian friend's house, and I won't be able to have that exact parmigiana. So, I did some research online and found a few restaurants that have good ratings and are serving allegedly great eggplant casserole. This place is 4 stars rated, but people seem not to agree whether the parmigiana is good or not.... On the other hand, this place has a great rating, appears when searching for the parmigiana, but nobody seems to write about it in their reviews. Finally, this one is said to have the best parmigiana in Naples (or in the world, for that matter), and I wanted to know if anyone had the so-called world's best?
      I would really appreciate if you could help me make the decision. Looking forward to your advice!

    • By liuzhou
      Perhaps the food-related question I get asked most through my blog is “What's it like for vegetarians and vegans in China. The same question came up recently on another thread, so I put this together. Hope it's useful. It would also, be great to hear other people's experience and solutions.
       
      For the sake of typing convenience I’m going to conflate 'vegetarians and vegan' into just 'vegetarian' except where strictly relevant.
      First a declaration of non-interest. I am very carnivorous, but I have known vegetarians who have passed through China, some staying only a few weeks, others staying for years.
       
      Being vegetarian in China is a complicated issue. In some ways, China is probably one of the best countries in which to be vegetarian. In other ways, it is one of the worst.
       
      I spent a couple of years in Gorbachev-era Russia and saw the empty supermarkets and markets. I saw people line up for hours to buy a bit of bread.. So, when I first came to China, I kind of expected the same. Instead, the first market I visited astounded me. The place was piled high with food, including around 30 different types of tofu, countless varieties of steamed buns and flat breads and scores of different vegetables, both fresh and preserved, most of which I didn't recognise. And so cheap I could hardly convert into any western currency.
      If you are able to self-cater then China is heaven for vegetarians. For short term visitors dependent on restaurants or street food, the story is very different.
       
      Despite the perception of a Buddhist tradition (not that strong, actually), very few Chinese are vegetarian and many just do not understand the concept. Explaining in a restaurant that you don't eat meat is no guarantee that you won't be served meat.
       
      Meat is seen in China as a status symbol. If you are rich, you eat more meat.And everyone knows all foreigners are rich, so of course they eat meat! Meat eating is very much on the rise as China gets more rich - even to the extent of worrying many economists, food scientists etc. who fear the demand is pushing up prices and is environmentally dangerous. But that's another issue. Obesity is also more and more of a problem.
      Banquet meals as served in large hotels and banquet dedicated restaurants will typically have a lot more meat dishes than a smaller family restaurant. Also the amount of meat in any dish will be greater in the banquet style places.
       
      Traditional Chinese cooking is/was very vegetable orientated. I still see my neighbours come home from the market with their catch of greenery every morning. However, whereas meat wasn't the central component of dinner, it was used almost as a condiment or seasoning. Your stir fried tofu dish may come with a scattering of ground pork on top, for example. This will not usually be mentioned on the menu.
      Simple stir fried vegetables are often cooked in lard (pig fat) to 'improve' the flavour.
       
      Another problem is that the Chinese word for meat (肉), when used on its own refers to pork. Other meats are specified, eg (beef) is 牛肉, literally cattle meat. What this means is that when you say you don't eat meat, they often think you mean you don't eat pork (something they do understand from the Chinese Muslim community), so they rush off to the kitchen and cook you up some stir fried chicken! I've actually heard a waitress saying to someone that chicken isn't meat. Also, few Chinese wait staff or cooks seem to know that ham is pig meat. I have also had a waitress argue ferociously with me that the unasked for ham in a dish of egg fried rice wasn't meat.
       
      Also, Chinese restaurant dishes are often given have really flowery, poetic names which tell you nothing of the contents. Chinese speakers have to ask. One dish on my local restaurant menu reads “Maternal Grandmother's Fluttering Fragrance.” It is, of course, spicy pork ribs!
      Away from the tourist places, where you probably don't want to be eating anyway, very few restaurants will have translations of any sort. Even the best places' translations will be indecipherable. I have been in restaurants where they have supplied an “English menu”, but if I didn't know Chinese would have been unable to order anything. It was gibberish.
       
      To go back to Buddhism and Taoism, it is a mistake to assume that genuine followers of either (or more usually a mix of the two) are necessarily vegetarian. Many Chinese Buddhists are not. In fact, the Dalai Lama states in his autobiography that he is not vegetarian. It would be very difficult to survive in Tibet on a vegetarian diet.
       
      There are vegetarian restaurants in many places (although the ones around where I am never seem to last more than six months). In the larger cities such as Beijing and Shanghai they are more easily findable.
       
      Curiously, many of these restaurants make a point of emulating meat dishes. The menu reads like any meat using restaurant, but the “meat” is made from vegetable substitutes (often wheat gluten or konjac based).
       
      To be continued
    • By Deeps
      This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish.  Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
      Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.
       

       
      Prep Time : 5 mins
      Cook Time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2
       
      Ingredients:
      1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
      1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
      1 green chili, slit
      1 dried red chili
      1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
      1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
      1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
      A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
       
      Directions
      1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
      2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
      3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
      4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
      5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...