Risotto is an Italian preparation that has found its place in many parts of the globe, as a dish of sorts that one must try out at least once, to be able to appreciate just how scrumptious a meal it really is. The idea of cheese merged together with rice may seem revolting to some people, but unless you give it a try, you can't in all honesty be the judge of that. If there's one thing I know for a fact, is that cheese goes well with anything, and pretty much with everything. Be it snacks, desserts or full-fledged meal courses, cheese is your go-to ingredient. For those of you who are making this for the first time, be prepared for the most scintillating dish that is sure to ignite your taste buds.
How to Make Basic Risotto from Scratch
You don't have to be Nigella Lawson or George Calombaris to know how to make great risotto that is basic but spilling over with flavor, with a choice to even add your very own ingredients. To make this dish, the ingredients for a basic risotto recipe can be interchanged, but only where it can be. Like for instance, you can add seafood or other meats to this dish, by first cooking them separately and shredding these into bits or in medium-sized chunks to give your risotto dish more depth.
What You'll Need
- 1 cup of either dry vermouth/dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon of butter (unsalted)
- Black pepper for seasoning
- 1 medium-sized onion (chopped finely)
- 1 tablespoon of finely sliced flat leaf parsley
- 3 cups of chicken stock
- 1 cup of shredded chicken
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup of vialone / arborio rice
- ½ cup Parmesan Reggiano
Method of Preparation
Cook the shredded chicken separately using olive oil to sauté these until they brown and turn slightly crispy. Keep this to one side, and start with your risotto. In a stockpot or any other ordinary pot that you have on hand, bring the stock up to its boiling point on a medium low flame, before then turning it all the way down to low once it starts to bubble. While it does heat up, keep a pan to one side and get on with melting your butter, coupled with a teaspoon of olive oil, before adding the onions and sauteing these as well. Wait for them to turn light brown before adding in the rice and tossing the grains about for a minute. Coat the contents of your pan nicely with the onions and olive oil, making sure that all of this is done on a constant medium low flame.
Add the one cup of white wine to your rice, and wait for it to saturate itself with the wine while stirring this up for about 30 seconds. Then add ½ a cup of the chicken stock, stirring until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Then again add another ½ cup of stock and wait for the rice to absorb this as well, repeating the process until it takes on a creamy but still slightly chewy feel, and not gooey and overcooked. Keep testing your rice by taking a bit of it on a spoon; feel the texture in your mouth and decide whether it needs a little bit more stock to soften up its mass. It takes about 20 minutes to see through this stage. Lastly plate your rice, and toss it about with the shredded chicken, before showering it with parsley and grated Parmesan Reggiano. Don't forget to then season with pepper and salt.
Risotto is a great dish to try your cooking skills out on, especially since you can add any garnish or herb that you see fit when throwing in your own range of ingredients. You can also experiment with other kinds of cheese, but those that are hard to give you a good balance of stiffness and bite without letting it turn into a blob of messy goo. You want to plate a risotto that entails everything that is risotto-esque by keeping intact its basic ingredients but still playing around with others to give it a little something extra. Hearty eating!