Kate's Cuisine

Oct 18 2015

Parmesan Risotto


Risotto is just one of those things. It’s fussy, it’s finicky, and you probably won’t get it right the first time. But after just a couple attempts at this dish, you’ll become a risotto master and will be churning out this delicious, creamy rice dish.

If you want to get risotto just right, remember that it’s all in the stir. Yes, you do have to stir pretty regularly for the 20 minutes to half an hour this dish will take to cook, but you also don’t want to stir it too much. Doing so will result in gluey, clumpy risotto while not stirring it enough won’t give the rice a chance to slowly shed its starch and create the creamy base for the dish. The trick to getting it just right is to add the liquid, stir fairly rigorously until much of the liquid has evaporated, and then letting the liquid sit for a minute or two to become absorbed by the rice. Then you can add the next addition of liquid and repeat the process.

6 to 8 cups chicken stock $4.00
3 tablespoons olive oil $0.09
2 shallots, finely chopped $0.74
1 cup Arborio rice $0.59
1/2 cup dry white wine $1.29
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter $0.36
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish $1.49
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or other fresh herb (I used chives as that’s what I had on hand) $1.10
Salt $0.01
Pepper $0.01

Total cost $9.68
Cost per serving $2.42

1.) Heat chicken stock in a saucepan set over medium heat. Keep at a low simmer.

2.) In a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add shallots, stir and cook until shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add rice, stir to coat in the oil, and then cook for 3 to 4 minutes. You’ll know the rice is toasted because it will start to pop and make sounds like glass beads.

3.) Add the wine to the pan, stir, and allow to cook until the wine has been entirely absorbed by the rice.

4.) Add 3/4 of a cup of stock to the pan. Stir for a minute or two and then slow the stirring until the liquid has nearly been absorbed by the rice. Then you can continue to add another 3/4 cup of stock and repeat the process. The risotto will be done, and you can stop adding liquid, once it is mostly translucent, but still opaque in the centre. The rice should still be firm to the bite, but not at all crunchy. As the rice nears finishing time, add smaller amounts of liquid so that you don’t overcook the rice. If you do, the rice will be mushy and the risotto will be watery.

5.) Remove the risotto from the heat. Stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese, and fresh herb and season with salt and pepper.

6.) Shave more Parmesan over the entire dish, serve, and enjoy!

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