If you’ve ever attempted to make risotto, you know how challenging it can be! Risotto requires nearly constant work that can seem tedious to some. However, the results speak for themselves. To help you perfect this dish, here are a few helpful risotto-making tips.
Heat Your Stock
Risotto is a combination of rice and liquid mixed to perfection. For this reason, you will be using a broth for nearly all risotto dishes. Your instinct is likely to add the broth straight from the carton, jar, or can. Resist this urge. Instead, heat your stock so that it’s nice and warm when you add it to the dish over time. This will lessen your cooking time, and your arm that needs to stir the dish as it cooks will thank you.
Select the Right Rice
Technically, you can use any type of rice for risotto, but many chefs say carnaroli rice is the way to go. It is a long-grained option that you can’t overcook and adds a level of creaminess to the dish. You can also use arborio rice, which will work just as well.
Add the Right Wine (and Let It Cook)
Risotto gets its unique flavors from an assortment of ingredients, including wine. A rule of thumb is if you don’t like the wine, you shouldn’t add it to the dish, as its flavor will be present in the finished product. If your recipe calls for a crisp white wine, don’t opt for an oaky chardonnay. Lastly, after adding the wine, make sure you let the dish reduce before the next liquid addition.
As mentioned, risotto takes time to make, and it requires your undivided attention. You’re going to spend around 18 minutes continuously adding liquid to your rice and stirring it, so the urge to pick up the pace will be present. However, by speeding up the process, you’re only hurting the dish. So, practice patience, be willing to work with however long it takes, and know that the result will be well worth the effort.
Use the Right Pan
Lastly, when making risotto, the pan makes a huge difference. While you can use the pots and pans you have readily available, the best way to optimize your cooking time is by selecting a round-bottomed pan, allowing for easy stirring and the best distribution of liquid to rice (and distribution of flavor in general). Once you’ve made risotto in the right pan once, you’ll never go back to the old ways.
Making the perfect risotto isn’t reserved for five-star chefs. Just make sure you use these tips!