Cooking Rice
(09-06-2012, 09:15 AM)Tim Wrote: For those that didn't get it I was being a sarcastic scorch.

Jen try this it's Italo-Americani delish. Saute a medium onion in butter, when soft add rice, even regular long grain, cook rice for a couple minutes, until well coated and sort of changing color slightly, add chicken stock and flat parsley pieces, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, lower and simmer for twenty minutes covered. Very tasty. 


No worries, I picked up on the sarcasm... but still ewwwww!!
Oh, and I had planned on making the Italo-Americani delish dish you so kindly provided this evening. I went to the store after work and remembered everything but the parsley! BAH! Somehow I managed to kill my parsley plant on my deck and I'm not used to buying herbs at the store anymore. So I will have to try your suggestion later. I'll let you know how I like it. :)
(09-06-2012, 05:47 PM)Joamy Wrote:
(09-06-2012, 03:43 PM)Rosarium Wrote: Now, back to rice!

I put some rice and lentils in the cooker. First time doing a combination.

Decided to try a 1:1 ratio.

This better go well.

My question should probably go to the bean thread, but do you soak the lentils before you cook them? 

No. I cook them just like rice (but they absorb less water).

One can rinse them and look for foreign particles (dry lentils), although I sort of skip that step and go on faith.
To expiate the sin of derailing this thread with talk about cats and deceased Marxist priests...

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Two stalks of celery, one onion cut in half, two carrots and a bay leaf.

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Into the big boiling pot (don't salt yet). If you want to get fancy, also add some lemon peel (zest). If you do put lemon peel, be sure to scrape away the inner white part.

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Let it boil at least a good half hour

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Next step - (project management) - grate a bunch of Parmigiano to prepare the "Chic" basket. It will need to be big and sturdy enough to hold a whole "elegant" portion of risotto.

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Grate grate grate il parmigiano

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Gather and distribute evenly on medium sized COLD frying pan

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Yes, start with a COLD pan

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low flame

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Move the pan around so heat is spread evenly

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Fill in any eventual empty spaces with more parmigiano

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Just as the parmesan starts turning gold, work up with a fork.

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If the first one is a flop, don't worry... that can even happen with pancakes. If the second and third are flops, drink a glass of wine... and consider forgetting about these silly parmesan baskets and serving on a plain flat dish... (which you will individually spank to spread the creamy Risotto - before offering to the tablemate)

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Delicately place over the right sized, upside-down bowl. I chose a Mickey and Minnie Mouse cup normally used for caffelatte

When your tisket-tasket-little-yellow baskets are ready you should start preparing your garnish - (the prettifying element) so that it's immediately ready for you as soon as the risotto is done.

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So first we prepare the figs (for garnishing). Choose the prettest and firmest for garnishing. Peel and cut slices about 1/2 centimeters. Two slices per risotto basket.

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Chef says the the best figs are the "Settembrini" a type that ripens in September... ma, lasciamo stare... figs are figs are figs... and nothing prohibits you and your helpers from stealing a few during the preparation. E' tutta salute!

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Now comes the prosciutto part of the garnishing. Make a roll as shown. One or two rolls for each basket portion. Use only Parma ham San Daniele! - Sliced thin thin thin thin!

We only made one basket, but as I said, calculate two slices of figs and two curls of prosciutto for every basket

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Mi raccomando, only the best thinly sliced San Daniele - this is fundamental. It's not snobbery

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Once your garnishings are ready and in standby mode, place in the refrigerator. Here and now in these very hot Roman days the sliced figs would ripen and the prosciutto would melt! But in cold and perfidious Gran Bretagna / USA / CANADA / Duchy of Chicago and Monarchical Republic of Ireland you can probably leave 'em out.

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Now, as the broth continues to boil, it's time to prepare "il fondo" - the sauté for the risotto. You'll need two small finely chopped shallots, (a half stalk of finely chopped peeled celery is optional), some butter and olio d'oliva extravergine

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Now we prepare figs to cook the risotto. About one fig for portion - ours were small so we used two. Peel and cut into lumps like this.

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Now we prepare the prosciutto to cook the risotto. Sempre Parma San Daniele. Cut into strips. Roll the slices (better if a bit fattier than shown) and obtain longish strips

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Sì sì, longish strips obtained by rolling the full slice and slicing. Don't worry if the "feel" too long!

So now we have our "fondo," our prosciutto and our figs ready for cooking the risotto. Plus the butter and oil

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Risotto is very much about procedure and planning ahead.

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The next important preparatory step (while the vegetable broth continues to boil) is that of de-alcoholizing some dry white wine: Chef suggests Chardonnay (fun-to-say) - a white wine made everywhere, probably even in Saudi Arabia.

So the next step is the de-alcoholization of a good Chardonnay. According to chef, un-de-alcoholized wine in ANY risotto is a gastronomical mortal sin! (Mah! Boh! Beh!)

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Bring wine to a boil in a small pot. For two portions an espresso cup is the right amount. (What you see above is WAY too much)

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Once boiling, ignite with a match and you will see a bluish flame. Burn off all the alcohol!

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Now everything's ready to go: the broth has boiled at least a good half hour, the garnish is in the fridge, the fig glops and prosciutto strips and chopped shallots are on standby. The butter and oil are out, the baskets have been made. The wine has been de-alcoholized.

But in truth there are two important "project management" steps that I've neglected. They have to do with the last phase of the risotto: the "creaming"

Grate some more parmigiano

And place a good chunk of butter into the freezer. For chemical reasons that escape me, the final "mantecare" (creaming) phase calls for very cold butter. You'll need need about a third of the chunk of butter shown above for four portions.

And now at last we can start making the risotto.

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Prepare the “fondo”. In your risotto pot, add a small tab of butter, the finely chopped shallots and only half of the prosciutto strips.

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Then add a light drizzle of very good olive oil.

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Over a gentle flame, stir with a wooden spoon. The shallots mustn’t brown AT ALL!

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A bare minute or two later add the rice. About 2 espresso cups per person.

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The rice must toast. That means that it MUSTN’T BROWN, but merely become a bit “separated” (not sticky) as well as a bit translucent. Anyhow, stir and stir continuously. This is about a 3 to 4 minute process.

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Here above you see the rice a bit “separated” and translucent. Now it’s ready for the de-alco wine.

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An espresso cup of de-alco wine was the amount of wine we used for two portions. As the steam rises stir and stir and stir!

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After not even a minute, add half of the fig glops and stir and stir and stir.

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And now, keeping a medium flame, start adding the BOILING broth which you have at long last salted. Stirring all the while, keep the rice nice and puddly!

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Never let it get too dry. Add one ladle at a time and KEEP STIRRING.

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Calculating an overall cooking of the risotto at about 16 minutes, you can add the second half of the figs after eight minutes. The second half of the prosciutto you can put in after about 12 minutes.

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The half-now-and-half-later of the figs and prosciutto is to offer a variation of tastes, textures and colors. From cooked to rawish

And now comes a very critical part of all risotti: the final creaming - "il mantecare"

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Retrieve the butter you had placed in the freezer, cut off a generous tab of it and dump into the still rather wet risotto along with a generous amount of parmigiano

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And then stir like crazy as if you were making whipped cream

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With the FLAME OFF, (FLAME OFF - FLAME OFF  - FLAME OFF) stir VIGOROUSLY, actually WHIP IT a good two or three minutes or until there are no more broth puddles.

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The result should be smooth and creamy.

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Then after the "beating," the risotto should repose a couple of minutes under a lid

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Then work fast to fill and decorate the baskets

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For the grown-up guests, sprinkle black pepper on top of serving plates. I was doubtful at first, but it really is the optimal choice! Good old black pepper. I guess it's also a garnishing of sorts. In any case: hmm!

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The rest is real simple. Fill the baskets and decorate

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Two fig slices and two prosciutto rolls on each basket and another spruzzatina of black pepper and then just a tiny-tiny-tiny drizzle of olive oil.

E buon appetito!
Jake no, it must be Prosciutto da Parma !

I'm pulling your leg.

Give us a recipe for Coppa Piacentina, please.

Caro Tim,

Coppa piacentina (from Piacenza) or culatello (di Zibello) from Emilia are local specialties requiring local products. It's as if you were asking for the recipe for Parmigiano!!

My brother makes his own bresaula... and that's about all in the insaccati (sliced cured meats) department.

Right now he's in Sicily on some big ice cream convention. (The latest is Tomato ice cream)...

But here we see gelato con le pesche tabacchiere (Ice cream with Saturn peaches)

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Yummy... (but it's not rice and this is the rice thread)


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