Risottos are an Italian delight! Risotto is technically a specific type of rice that is high in starch and cooked using a specific method in which the rice’s natural creamy texture is extracted. Over the years, risottos have adapted and evolved. With a bit of creativity, slightly different styles of risotto, technically known as risotto styled rice, can be a fun, healthy and creative way to enjoy rice.
There are several schools of thought on cooking risotto, but we tend to follow the four step or four stage philosophy:
First, the rice is sautéed in some type of fat, butter, or olive oil. The rice is sautéed until it is evenly coated and begins to turn translucent. This stage generally takes about ten minutes and is done on low heat. After the first 3-4 minutes, you can add flavors like garlic, onion, and leeks.
During step 2, liquids are added to the risotto. If you are using any alcohol, wine, beer or liquor add this to the sautéing rice mixture and stir well.
Once you have added your liquids, you can begin to add stock. Add about ½ cup at a time and stir every few minutes. Make sure that the heat is simmering at this stage so that the rice cooks slowly and evenly. Keep adding stock as it cooks down until the rice is tasking soft but al dente, usually about 15 – 20 minutes.
When the rice is done to your liking, take it off of the heat. Once you have taken it off the heat, add the butter and cheese. Never add the butter or the cheese before you take it off the heat. At this point, the rice should become extremely creamy.
**Remember: You need very little butter and cheese to get the right texture and consistency.