Risotto is a traditional Italian rice dish made from a short-grained, starchy variety of rice called arborio rice. The technique for making it is called the risotto method, which involves stirring small amounts of hot stock or broth into the rice a little at a time, allowing the liquid to be absorbed. While it cooks, the rice releases its starch, giving the risotto a rich, creamy consistency.
Like pasta, risotto is cooked al dente, which means that it should be slightly firm to the bite — a degree of doneness that might seem underdone in ordinary white rice. It shouldn't be crunchy, though.
For each cup of uncooked rice you'll need about 4 cups of hot chicken stock. Keep the stock hot in a small saucepan at a low simmer over a separate burner from the one you'll be using to cook the risotto. You'll also need a small (e.g. 6 oz.) ladle for adding the hot stock.
Tip: Use a wooden spoon for stirring the risotto — it's less likely to break the grains of rice than a metal spoon.
To begin, heat 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter and 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan or straight-sided sauté pan, then add about half a cup of finely chopped onion. Cook until the onion is somewhat translucent. Next page >>