Thursday, June 3, 2010
Risotto alla Milanese
To call risotto "cooked rice" is as insulting to Italian cuisine as is calling Classique Beuf Bourguignonne a "stew" is to French cuisine! In Italy risottos are traditionally made using arborio rice, with liquids being added gradually while the rice is stirred constantly during cooking giving the finished dish a creamy texture. In this version from Northern Italy the marrow gives the risotto a depth of richness while the saffron provides light, flower tones. Once you've eaten it, Risotto is the only way you'll want to eat rice.
7 cups chicken stock
8 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped, uncooked beef marrow (optional)
2 cups uncooked white rice (preferably arborio)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon powdered saffron or saffron threads ground to a powder
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a 3-quart, heavy bottomed saucepan bring the chicken stock to a simmer over medium heat and once simmering, keep simmering over low heat.
2. Meanwhile in a separate sauté pan melt 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat, once the butter has melted add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 7 or 8 minutes until they are soft and translucent but ARE NOT browned.
3. Stir in the optional marrow.
4. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 or 2-minutes until the rice grains begin to glisten with the butter and are opaque.
5. Pour in the wine, bring to a boil and cook until almost all the wine is absorbed.
6. Stir in 2 cups of the simmering stock and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed.
7. Stir in 2 more cups of the simmering stock and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.
8. Meanwhile, stir the saffron into 2 cups of stock and let it seep for a few minutes. Pour this saffron infused stock into the rice and continue cooking until the stock is completely absorbed. At this point the rice should be tender, if not, add the remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the rice is soft.
9. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and the grated parmesan cheese using a fork and taking care not to mash the rice. Serve at once while the rice is creamy.
Next Week's Posting: Pasta con Pomodori Arrosto (Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes)