*** HeLPful HiNTs from the ProFeSSioNal: ***
Did you know that you can make a really yummy risotto from your left over white rice?!?! I know that traditional risotto is made with arboriro (sp?) rice, but technically risotto a technique and not a type of rice. Risotto is made by stirring the rice to release the starches. So what you have to do to use your old rice is this, (using half the amount of liquid to cooked rice, ie: 1 cup cooked rice, 1/2 cup liquid) in a pan bring water or cream to a boil. I like to start with water and then finish (to FINISH means: adding something at the very end to complete whatever it is you are making) the risotto with cream or a bit of cream cheese whatever you have around. Then add your rice and turn your heat down to med low or low, the trick is that you have to stir and stir and stir and then repeat that over and over until you get a really creamy consistency. You can add basically whatever flavor to it that you would like...i like to do a sweet pea risotto, or butternut squash and apple. To do this you just need to make a puree: so take cooked peas and put them in the blender with a bit of water, a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and a touch of sugar (to bring out sweetness) puree till about smooth then add this to your risotto when it is about finished and always finish your risotto with a little Parmesan cheese for a traditional flavor.
to make butternut: 1#) cut your squash in 1/2, 2#) scoop out seeds, 3#) and put cut side down in a baking dish (that is deep enough to add water) 4#) then add about a 1/4" water and a couple tablespoons of butter inside the cup of the squash 5#) bake at 375 until tender 6#) then blend with butter and a bit of water or cream until smooth and add to risotto, i then like to use raw apples, i prefer a sweet apple like a pink lady or fuji, i just dice it up and add at the end.
as with most thing in cooking you just have to make your favorite flavors work for you. Learn the technique and then adapt it to the things that you like. You can saute onions and yellow squash and add it to a cream parmesan risotto with fresh basil- or simply any combination of flavor you like, get creative and as always if you have a question about the technique or a flavor, just ask...i'm honest enough to tell you the truth. HAPPY COOKING!
**Try making the sweet pea risotto with a nice fish (i like seabass, and cooking fish is a whole other blog :o) ) and serve it along with a small goat cheese and spinach salad with a lemon vinaigrette....its a great friday lent dinner, and i really don't believe that anyone could tell you is wasn't delicious. **