Risotto is one of those dishes that almost everyone is excited to see hit the table. It’s creamy, warming and damn tasty (if done right). The only problem with it is that it takes a while to make. Well, we might have stumbled on a sweet little hack that can help with the time issue – kind of.
Food writer J. Kenji López-Alt recently took to Instagram to share with his followers that there is a reason good restaurants are able to produce a top-quality risotto dish in 10 minutes rather than half an hour. It’s because the chefs have the risotto half-prepared ahead of time.
In his post, López-Alt writes that the speediness of restaurant risotto boils down to the fact that chefs “par-cook it to around 75 per cent done then cool it rapidly by spreading it in a thin layer on a sheet tray and refrigerating it”. Risotto in this state can last several days, he explained, so when orders come in, chefs can grab the tray and reheat the rice on a stovetop with a little added stock.
Risotto hack from J. Kenji López-Alt
When cooking risotto at home, López-Alt shares that he always makes twice as much as he needs. Then, once he gets to that 75 per cent mark, he splits the pot in half and spreads some onto a tray like he would in a restaurant.
“That way I get risotto tonight (with some mushrooms, green beans, and dragon tongue beans….) and later on in the week I get super easy risotto that only takes 10m to get onto the table,” he wrote.
And when it comes to flavour? He shared that all the creaminess in his dish comes from the rice alone – no added dairy needed. If you want more of a punchy flavour, though, he suggested finishing your meal with a spoonful of white miso paste. Yum!
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