Risotto is one of those wonderful dishes that traditionally are a bit laborious to make but is worth it in the end. And everyone has an alternative method “guaranteed” to be easier and just as creamy.
I have already blogged about two ways of making Risotto:
- the traditional way of making it on the stove: toast the rice, then slowly add a small amount of liquid and mix it until it is absorbed, add more liquid and repeat.
- toasting on the stove then baking it in the oven as directed in Cooks Illustrated magazine.
Recently, I decided to try two more methods: in the pressure cooker and a stove top limited stir version from Cooking Light magazine. To keep it consistent I kept the ingredients the same as the first time, just rice, stock, onions and Parmesan, even though the recipes were a bit different. All four methods call for a little wine, which I omit and add more stock instead. I used turkey stock instead of chicken, so the color is slightly different than the first.
The method for cooking it in the pressure cooker is from Hip Pressure Cooking, an awesome site for all things pressure cooking. I followed the directions exactly as written, but mine was still soupy after 7 minutes so I had to cook for another minute or so. The result was very good. Better than the baked method in the same amount of time. And the time was mostly all hands off. But still not quite as creamy as traditional.
The day after I made that version, my April Cooking Light magazine came and there inside was yet another method for cooking Risotto that promised to be faster and easier and creamier than traditional. The skeptic in me was on high alert. Uh, yeah, if you add “cream” to it of course it will be “creamy”. Five cups of liquid to 1 1/2 cups of rice, with a full cup of liquid added after cooking? I don’t want rice soup? And what is this wash the rice in the stock to release the starch nonsense? This, I gotta try.
The basic method is:
- add rice to stock/wine combo and swish for 15 seconds then strain
- toast wet rice with some olive oil
- add 4 cups of the starchy stock/wine combo and simmer for 20 minutes
- add remaining cup of liquid plus cheese and serve
The wet rice stuck quite a bit when I tried to toast it. And, the full cup at the end made it too soupy in my opinion so I cooked it for another 30 seconds while constantly stirring a la the traditional method.
But, how did it taste? Kenji Lopez-Alt, I humbly apologize for doubting you.
This was the CREAMIEST Risotto of them all. Yes, even more so than the traditional method. Even without the splash of cream. This is my method of choice from now on. I f*&^ing love cooking science!
Until next time, happy eating.