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Risotto

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Risotto Alla Milanese.

Risotto is an Italian dish which consists of rice cooked in stock or broth, together with other ingredients such as meat and vegetables. Usually, people would eat either Antipasto or Pasta, then the Risotto. It is easy and quick to cook.

 Origins[edit | edit source]

Risotto originates from Italy.  The Arabs introduced rice to Italy during the middle ages. Shorter-grained rice could be grown perfectly well due to the humidity of the Mediterranean. Rice became well known throughout Italy. Other countries discovered the quality of the Italian product. Availability of the grains spread making the rice far more widely accessible. 

A state in Italy called Milan started applying a technique called ‘slow-cooking’ to the short-grained rice. The slow-cooking technique gave out the rice’s rich flavors and spices (particularly saffron) for which the area was known, to create ‘Risotto alla Milanese’. Risotto became really popular starting in the northern region, then the central, and southern region. Apart from pasta, Risotto is very popular in Italy.

 Ingredients [edit | edit source]

The usual ingredients to make Risotto are mainly Italian rice, which is the only kind of rice to make Risotto. Arborio rice is recommended. Butter is needed for frying the rice. The soffritto such as onions and shallots would give out the unique flavor and its aroma of the Risotto. Meat or seafood would add more flavour to it, for example sausages, sliced beef, prawns, clams, etc. Adding wine is always recommended for more flavors. The type of oil mostly used is olive oil for the Risotto’s texture. Chicken broth or stalk is required when toasting. Salt and pepper would add to the flavor. Saffron is just for the coloring. 

 Preparation [edit | edit source]

Before starting, it is better not to wash the rice as its starch helps the Risotto keep its traditional look. The rice is placed on the frying pan, together with butter, then toast it lightly. Starts cooking with the broth and later add saffron. Then add the meats and herbs, and mix the rice and vegetables together. While doing so, olive oil could be added when toasting adding to its quality. It is better served when the ready Risotto has a thick and creamy texture.  Gualtiero Marchesi is the creator of the new founded Italian cuisine in Milan. He instructed that the cook has to toast the rice with a little butter. Next, start cooking it with broth and mix it all up with the addition of saffron. While the dish is blending, melt the onion separately in a little butter and white wine. Adding very cold fresh butter will result in having a smooth cream for the Risotto. Stir the Risotto with this butter when cooked.

Traditional vs Modern Risottos[edit | edit source]

One of Italy's most famous dishes is Risotto alla Milanese. In Po Valley, where the bulk of Italian rice grows, Risotto usually is preferred as the first course over pasta. In Venice and Veneto, Risotto with sautéed eels is served as a traditional Christmas meal. There were only a few types of Risottos in the past. Italians love the taste of the traditional Risotto.  Methods of cooking Risotto developed through time as new varieties of Risottos start to emerge, such as Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash and Seafood Risotto. Today, many chefs and cooks have created new and delicious Risottos because of new ingredients importing in the country. There are many experiments that would change the Risotto’s tastes, looks and texture, such as adding extra ingredients like wine or food coloring. Wine wasn’t added to the recipe before and today, it is used for flavor, acidity and to add liquid to the Risotto, which could also be substituted with others.

 References [edit | edit source]

  1. Olver, Lynne (January 3, 2015). “Risotto”. Foodtimeline.org. Retrieved 2015-5-28
  2. Starling, Valerie. “The History of Risotto”. Ehow.com. Retrieved 2015-5-28
  3. Oliver, Jamie. “A basic risotto recipe”. JamieOliver. Retrieved 2015-5-28
  4.  “Risotto alla Milanese”. ItalyHeritage.com. Retrieved 2015-5-29
  5.  Tristan (August 27, 2012). “The History of Risotto”. EssentialIngredient. Retrieved 2015-5-29.
  6.  Suwanawong, Tuchchai “Risotto, The Italian Rice Flavor.” Streetdirectory. Retrieved 2015-5-29
  7.  “Risotto 101”. Delallo.com. Retrieved 2015-5-29
  8.  Spiegelman, Eric (October 26, 2012). “How To Make The Perfect Risotto”. 
  9.  Theawl.com. Retrieved 2015-5-29 
  10.  Galo, Riso. “Risotto”. RisoGallo. Retrieved 2015-5-29
  11.  Maria, Anna. “Risotto Recipes: About Risotto History and How to make perfect Risotto”. AnnaMariaVolpi. Retrieved 2015-5-29
  12. “Recipe: Wild Mushroom Risotto Made with Halal Alternatives”. HalalFoodie. Retrieved 2015-5-29
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