Risotto - an Italian dish just to cook
Italy is an incredible country that is filled with its customs, history, traditions, characteristic features and which, of course, is proud of its national cuisine. It was the Italians who presented the world with a large number of various recipes of dishes, which have long been firmly established in the cuisines of other nations, that they are beginning to be perceived “for their own”.
Delicious pizza, fragrant pasta and, of course, risotto! Anyone who has never tried this dish, at first glance, may doubt its uniqueness, because in appearance it is similar to pilaf or, for example, ordinary rice porridge, which is seasoned with vegetables or meat.
And only having tasted this unique masterpiece of Italian cuisine, you will understand how badly wrong, the fundamental differences of these dishes will instantly open even to the most inexperienced cook.
Northern Italy is considered to be the birthplace of risotto, and specifically those areas where “small rice” is grown, because the name of this dish literally translates.His first written mention appeared in the culinary literature relatively recently, at the beginning of the XIX century, although there are legends that the secrets of making real risotto were known much earlier, from about the XVI century.
In order to give birth to such a wonderful and amazing dish, there was not so much needed: rice with a high content of starch, meat broth and butter. All these ingredients could easily be found in flourishing Northern Italy, which was located at the crossroads of many of the world's trade routes.
Today, there are an incredible variety of recipes for risotto, complex and simple, some of them serve as snacks, and some as a serious main dish.
How to cook a real, tasty and traditional risotto? This question interests many housewives and young cooks, because really, everything is not so simple, there are a number of rules, without knowing which you will never get that unique delicate creamy taste, for which this dish is so famous.
In addition, the risotto with chicken by the method of preparation is significantly different from the risotto with mushrooms or seafood, everywhere there are secrets, but do not worry, to master them, in fact, not so difficult.
The main rule: if you want to treat your guests or loved ones to a truly delicious and fragrant risotto, then never cook it in advance, not on the table, it should be, as they say, with piping hot.
Key ingredients and cooking secrets
Selection of rice and its preparation
If you want to cook the real risotto that is served by cooks in small cafes and large restaurants in Italy, then you will need the most important component, without which in this case nowhere is medium grain or round grain rice with a high content of starch.
It is he who is able to change in the process of cooking, betraying that inimitable delicate creamy look, but at the same time inside the dish remain dense and structural. Which rice is best for such purposes?
Indeed, today the variety of varieties in the stores is large, but the Italians prefer only the three main ones: Arborio, Vialone Nano and Carnaroli. In fact, you can take any of the above, but the most popular among them is Arborio, because it contains starch more than others, which makes it unique to the unique and already legendary velvety dish.
New cooks, after all, should be more careful with him and, for a successful start, try the variant with “Vialone Nano”, because it is not so easy to boil down as “Arborio”, which makes it harder to overdo it.
Before you begin the process of cooking, the seeds must be bruised, removed damaged, because they boil soft faster and can harm the overall consistency of the finished dish.
Before cooking, rice should not be washed so that it does not lose its valuable starch.
The procedure of cooking rice is very different from the usual "cooking", for risotto it must be fried in a pan or in a saucepan with a thick bottom.
The subtleties of roasting
In most standard recipes, rice is fried in some kind of fat, in most cases, it is butter, sometimes olive, sunflower, pumpkin, or rapeseed. Sometimes butter and olive oil are mixed in equal proportions, sometimes dry white wine is also added with them, and sometimes even strong alcohol is used.
The thing is this: in the process of such roasting, in every grain of rice, so-called pores are opened, through which he later will actively absorb the broth, and at the same time, preserve his form, without becoming a mess. In the process of such processing, the rice should be constantly stirred and kept on a small fire, and when the time comes to add the broth, make sure that it is completely absorbed by each grain.
Alcohol, like oil, also works well for rice, pores open faster and deeper, in addition, the already unique taste of the dish is complemented by pleasant wine notes. To make the dish more delicious, at the stage of roasting it can add another traditional ingredient: onion.
Usually it is cut into small half rings and sent to rice after a couple of minutes of its frying in a pan. The rest of the fillers, which naturally complement its taste wonderfully, can be very diverse, to your taste: vegetables, seafood, pieces of meat or fish, mushrooms and much more.
For example, there are even sweet risottos, desserts, in which condensed milk, chocolate, berries, roasted almonds are used as fillers, on the basis of this dish puddings are sometimes prepared, supplemented with a wine sauce and fresh fruit.
Recipe of Italian risotto with mushroom filling
As an example, we decided to offer your attention a fairly common and very tasty option, a mushroom risotto. So what do we need?
- Arabio rice - 200 g;
- white mushrooms or champignons - 100 g;
- chanterelles - 300 g;
- white wine - 100 ml;
- Pecorino Romano cheese - 50 g;
- olive oil - 50 g;
- onion - 1 pc;
- rosemary, thyme, basil, dill, parsley, salt, pepper.
Put the pan on the fire, heat the olive oil on it, pour the rice there and fry for 1 minute, then add the sliced half-rings, onion, fry for a few more minutes. Then pour the wine, do not forget to constantly stir the mass until the liquid is completely evaporated, periodically adding water or chicken broth.
When the rice is ready and the liquid is evaporated, you can add mushrooms. To do this, thoroughly wash them beforehand, cut them into small pieces and fry in olive oil in a separate pan.
A small bunch of thyme, a sprig of rosemary and a few sprigs of the rest of the greens are finely chopped and, together with the fried mushrooms, are sent to stew in risotto until ready. Do not forget to salt and pepper the dish to taste, and two minutes before the readiness add grated cheese.
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