There is a recipe that has me salivating every time I think about it. Tom Yum Goong Risotto, by South Africa’s own Justin Bonello – the gorgeous Thai flavours of Tom Yum Goong combined with the creamy goodness of Risotto and firm-fleshed Tiger Prawns. Sounds yum, doesn’t it? Only problem is … try as I might, I seem completely unable to prepare a Risotto properly. I follow the instructions to the letter and the arborio rice still tastes uncooked. Have tried this twice – once cooked for the exact length of time stated and once for almost twice that – same result.
The flavours are just too damn good though (they must be because I still manage to eat my body weight in too crunchy Risotto), so I’m not giving up. As such I have spent the last hour surfing around the internet looking for advice and thought I’d share some of the tips I’ve found. Time for a disclaimer: I haven’t yet tried any of these tips, so don’t blame me if they fall flat. I will be trying these out very soon and will hopefully be able to post the recipe mentioned above, along with a photo of the successful outcome (holding thumbs).
Use the right rice – carnaroli, or a variety called vialone nano (for more robust flavours), has replaced the traditional arborio which results in a stiffer risotto. Wish I’d read that titbit before attempting risotto … twice! Now where am I going to find this elusive carnaroli?
The rice shouldn’t be allowed to brown, BUT the grains must be heated through before you add the wine – “it should sizzle as it hits the pan”.
The stock must be kept at a rolling boil. This could be the key. Once I’ve brought the stock to the boil, I always remove it from the heat. Maybe that’s why it seems uncooked after 40 minutes?
When your rice is cooked, beat in the cheese and the butter – vigorously. Then serve immediately.
All of the above tips come from the wonderful article:
How To Make the Perfect Risotto by Felicity Cloak, The Guardian
Sounds like she has done all of the legwork for me, testing all of the different methods and disproving some fallicies. Can’t wait to try again … just as soon as I can find some of that carnaroli rice!
Another useful tip I found while hunting … what to do with the leftovers (assuming there are any).
The perfect way to use up leftover risotto is to make Arancini, deep fried rice balls. Roll cold risotto around small cubes of mozzarella, coat in breadcrumbs and deep fry until they are crisp on the outside and melting in the middle. I always make a little extra risotto as this treat the next day is almost the best bit.
Has anyone else managed to make the “perfect” Risotto?