Mention the word “risotto” and most home cooks automatically think about a lot of effort and undercooked, stodgy rice. But this shouldn’t be the case. Even though it needs a bit of skill, home cooks shouldn’t be afraid of making risotto. With a few tips and tricks, you will be cooking creamy, flavorful risotto in no time!
Think risotto is outside your range of expertise? Think again. We’ve put together a few tips that will help you cook deliciously creamy risotto, without making any of the common rookie mistakes!
To get the perfect risotto, you need to use the perfect rice. It needs to be a short grain rice with a high starch content. It’s this starch that gives the risotto its creamy mouthfeel and texture. Although many chefs favor carnaroli rice, arborio rice is usually more popular for home cooks as it’s readily available. Make sure you don’t rinse the rice, as this will get rid of the starch – and you need the starch for creaminess!
Risotto is not something you throw in the pot and leave on its own. Throughout the cooking process, you need to stir the rice and keep it moving. By continuously moving around the grains, it helps to release the starch which contributes to creaminess. It also aids in evaporation. But don’t get carried away. Stirring too much will ruin the texture. Try to stir every 30 seconds.
Because stock plays such a big role in the flavor of risotto, it needs to be the best quality possible. You can even make your own homemade stock. Remember that making risotto is a process. Don’t add the stock to the rice all at once. At it little by little, stirring until all the liquid is absorbed before adding the next bit of stock.
Throughout the cooking process, make sure to regularly taste the risotto. There is a fine line between undercooking and overcooking, and by tasting regularly you can make sure to cook it until you have just the right consistency. Chefs say that the most common mistake home cooks make is overcooking the rice. The ratio for risotto is 1 cup rice to 2 ½ cups stock. And it takes about 20 min to achieve the perfect al-dente consistency.
When your risotto is cooked, you shouldn’t skip the last (and very important!) step. Finish your risotto by stirring through flavor-boosting butter and parmesan cheese. Additionally, the butter adds richness, while the parmesan also thickens up the risotto.
Now you’re ready to take on a next level of cooking with risotto!