We speak mostly about food. What to cook, what to buy, what to eat, what to preserve etc. It’s like a religion for us. We love simple, good quality ingredients especially, mainly of Italian origin.
Thanks for all your comments. There are some of the comments which I am not sure whether they were addressed to me, as the OP, or no. So if I haven't answered back please feel free to pinpoint them again.
I have just published an article, The Risotto Rice Belt - Chapter 1: A basic risotto recipe, on my blog, and it documents my first journey in Isola della Scala, Verona. The article gives some background of the technique outlined in the recipe posted at the beginning of this discussion as well as a basic risotto recipe that I now use regularly.
I look forward to receive your feedback and comments.
@ByrdBrain - in that case the love and care comes when you are choosing your rice, your stock, the pairing ingredients and the mantecatura process. finish it off by letting it rest for 2 minutes so the flavors love each other and plate nicely. and that's all the love it needs.
Thanks. Sure will do. Yes the setup is very important in order to maximise the potential of techniques.
I loved the burger at Burger Joint. It was one of the best fast food burgers I ate.
Haha. That would be funny. It's sorted now.
What's the right word then? Sauce?
@MarvinDog - practically you can do risotto with any type of condiment. In my opinion the beauty of risotto is that it allows the person cooking it to be creative in any form of condiment/sauce.
Personally I love simple risotto recipes. You can do a risotto with only one main ingredient such as spinach, pumpkin, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, prawns, meat, mushrooms, strawberries, wines, cheeses, etcetera.
To make condiments its very simple and I usually start by choosing the main ingredient(s). Then choose between an onion, shallot or garlic, sometimes even combining onion and garlic. You fry onion/shallot/garlic until transparent then add the main ingredients and fry until the wanted consistency is achieved.
Depending on your main ingredients you then choose the stock, vegetable, meat or fish, to cook the rice in. And you also decide if you will add butter and cheese or just extra virgin olive oil for the 'mantecatura'.
Last Sunday I prepared three risottos for a degustation dinner for some friends. I did pumpkin, leek and pancetta, and cauliflower risottos. All were incredibly tasty and the flavors were intense. I will post the recipes soon.
@MarvinDog - by sauce i mean the condiment.
BitchinFixins, during a stay in Verona, where I was learning how to cook risotto and also collecting vast amount of information on rice for risotto and its traditions, I was told specifically not to mix any rice together as different rice needs different cooking time.
Another good tip that I learnt was that you should not even mix different batches of rice packets. Crops from different years have differences and the end result would not be as good as when you use the same rice.
Well... you will not be able to achieve a risotto with a minute rice.
Leeya, actually risotto making can be very low maintenance. On Sunday I invited some friends over, seven, and cooked three risottos for them in the space of 2 hours. It was very easy and also very social.
I use a no stirring technique to cook the rice and only stir at the very end, the stage called 'mantecatura'. This helps me in preparing the sauce while the rice is cooking, usually it takes around 15minutes but it depends on the rice you are using.
Have a look at this discussion on SE for the recipe.
@tmj529 - Those are not shortcuts. They are alternatives. I am no faker and neophyte. You should try the method and let me know the differences you can see, smell and taste.
@Teachertalk - What is a Food Lab? Is it part of seriouseats.com?
Cooking the rice using the Ferron method has the following advantages:
1.No grains are broken - mixing the rice too much may lead to broken grains and you do not want the rice to turn into mush for a risotto. The grains need to be singular.
2. It prevents the rice from losing too much starch and becoming sticky, lacking in consistency.
3. Mix only when the rice at the ‘mantecatura’ stage – at this point the starch that is released will give the right creaminess.
4. Less cooking time
5. Less consumption of stock
While the rice is getting cooked you are free to do other things, such as sauces, starters, entertain your guest and even enjoy a glass of wine.
While I was in Verona I went to this restaurant called La Pila in Isola della Scala and there I’ve seen the chef, Gabriele Ferron, cooking a degustation menu for the guest using this method. It was highly spectacular and all the risottos I ate where very good and cooked to perfection. The above is also documented in a book, in Italian, written by Gabriele Ferron called Dall'antipasto al dolce - il Riso - in cucina'.
@McNormal - I meant casserole pan, sorry.
@Saria - It is risotto. You are right though that the rice should be creamy without the addition of butter and cheese. I wasn't clear before. The starch release at the end will bring the right creaminess. Please note that this method is quite traditional and it comes from a the Veneto region in Italy.
@MarvinDog - The cooking method for rice I would use for a shrimp risotto would be similar. Toast the rice in olive oil then add the fish stock all in one go and mix delicately. Cover the casserole and put the flame on minimum. When the rice is ready, add the sauce that was done separately and 'mantecare' with extra virgin olive oil.
Thank you all for your comments. This is definitely a very good active community. I will explain further what are the advantages of such methods in the following comment.
Well then. I contacted the support team and told them of the problem.
Just a little bit, depending on much starch is in the rice grains. When you add the cheese and the butter it becomes creamy as any other risotto.
Please note that a risotto does not have to always be creamy. There are dry risottos as well. While I was in Verona, there were all kinds of risottos and I tasted around 50 different ones in 4 days. They range from dry to creamy to soupy. It depends on the cooking technique and how your customer likes it at the end.
@Teachertalk - Yes you are right. The type of rice is the most important. Different grains release different amounts of starch. It also depends how the rice is produced and packed. The homemade broth is significant in the taste of the rice. At the end, when you try this recipe, you will see that the end result will be exactly the same as if you have stirring for 25 minutes.
Try it out and let me know how it goes.
@MarvinDog - I am afraid you are incorrect. It is risotto. I invite you to come to my house and we can cook risotto using both methods and ending up with the same result.
How can i edit/delete a post?
@Kitchenista - Thanks for the suggestion. Will do that then.
I am fine with that. As I said before, the article was too long to place it in the whole thread. That's why there's the link. If the staff deems this as breaching the rules I will delete it. I am not promoting anything apart from the fact that I wanted to share the article with the community and get feedback.
Not my intention. The article is too long to be put all in the post. That's why there is the link. I also wanted to edit the article to add that it is a guest post but could not manage.
PS. I find the way people in this community deal with others quite aggressive and disrespectful. It's incredibly bad. Never seen anything like this. There are various ways of dealing with spam but definitely not the way the community and the management of SeriousEats does.