Thursday, October 4, 2012

Saffron Risotto

Blog's Category: International, My Staple Food

Risotto is one of my favorite foods. Despite the fact that I've got familiar with this Italian staple relatively recently, I love it for its comforting smooth taste and beautiful buttery texture. I also adore it for the fact that it's never have failed for me, every time it comes out great.

- You just have to use arborio rice or other short grain type of rice. Actually this time I used calasparra rice which was left over after my recent paella experimentations.
- White wine is optional but it's the must to my taste. Very special taste of cooked out wine is a signature of the dish in my opinion.
- There are hundreds of variations of a risotto depending what you will be incorporating into it during the time when rice cooks. I do not like to add too many ingredients to it - one or two vegetables, seafoods or something else will do the job. Rice is the king here -  he just needs couple of servants to bring it to a throne :)
- As a fat, olive oil is the best here, of course, but lately I use a ghee (clarified butter). Honestly, I would not tell a difference between risotto cooked with olive oil and risotto cooked with a ghee.

Taste Description
Smooth is the first word that come to my mind when I think about risotto. Flavors of saffron (in the case of saffron risotto) happily marry with a fumes of wine. Onion, rice grains and creamy part of risotto create great 3-dimensional texture, which warms you up from the inside as you send spoon of this joy down your throat.  Should I mention parmesan which disintegrate in risotto passing its wonderful qualitis onto risotto?!

How to Serve
It's best when served right away. Also it is great reheated next day - just add generous amount of water (about 1/2 cup or even more) before reheating to recreate signature creamy consistency of the risotto. Stir it up nicely in the middle of the process and you'll get almost good-as-freshly-cooked one.

Saffron Risotto

For about 5 generous servings:

2 cup short grain (arborio) rice, dry, no rinsing please here
2 red onions
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
generous pinch of saffron (I used one from Trader Joe's)
1 cup of white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1 generous cup of grated parmesan
3 bullion cubes (guilty - I use it everywhere where when chicken stock called for)
whole kettle of hot water (more than 5 cups)
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

- Boil water to have it handy before you actually start to cook. Dissolve chicken stock cubes in about 3 cups of hot water and set aside.

- In a small cup or bowl, pour about 1/2 cup of hot water over the saffron and set aside. It will steep and saffron will release its beautiful color and subtle aroma to be ready to be added to risotto later on.

- Grate you parmesan and set aside.

- In a large heavy pot or skillet, on a medium-low heat, pour olive oil and cook diced onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook it.

- Add dry rice and cook stirring for 5 more minutes.

- Add wine, cook stirring for a couple of minutes until liquid is almost evaporated.

-  Add one cup of a chicken stock and continue to cook and stir until liquid evaporates and rice become more creamy. Continue to add stock one cup at a time  (and then water when you are out of stock) until rice is cooked and risotto is shining and creamy.

- Add saffron water to the risotto, salt, pepper, parmesan and stir nicely. Let it cook for one more minute.

- And ...congratulations - you've done your risotto! Enjoy!

All preparations are done and let's fun to begin! The remaining actual cooking process will take about 20-30 minutes.

It's wonderful calasparra rice. It expands and coak in liquid a lot during a cooking. So 2 cups of this rice makes a lot of risotto.

Grated parmesan.

This is a ghee (clarified butter). This time it's just my replacement for olive oil .

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear from you!