After facing a stressful week full of uncertainty and productive Saturday to catch up on some work, I had a decided to do something cathartic: cooking. Since my moving-out last fall, I had gotten into cooking food for two reasons:
- I needed to lose some weight and was not fond of my eating habits at the time
- Some comment about only eating PB&J sandwiches from my sister
That being said, my interests seemed to converge towards risottos. While uncertain as to why, not much thought has been put into it. It is relatively easy to make, and from what I can gather, many do find it more on the fancy end of the culinary spectrum in comparison to, say a PB&J sandwich. Of course, this is all provided that one makes it look appetizing all while setting it apart from what one would usually cook in a kitchen. Unfortunately, the latter would be setting my expectations a bit too high at the beginning, I have indeed dabbled in various different flavours, combining several tastes and interests of mine. I will save those examples for other posts.
With the rambling out of my system, we can get to the set up. Sfter having made another risotto previously, a fellow teaching assistant here at UBC had shown interest in it. He mentioned that his favourite risotto was a mushroom one. Well, it turns out I had that in my repertoire of ingredients. so, I turned on some music and got to prepping.
Ehile I hope to have some more photos of the setup, I don’t find it particularly interesting and my current kitchen is very small, so it’s not very interesting in all honesty. I will let whoever is reading this imagine a small studio chopping onions and other things (oh, like…mushrooms. duh).
Note: I’m one to prepare most of my ingredients before hand, modify the below to accommodate your situation.
The recipe for how I do my risottos is usually as follows:
- Dice an onion, maybe some garlic (keep vampires away, it is october after all). there’s a neat method for getting the dicing here on youtube without complication. turns out many know about this, but not me!
- Clean your ingredients (no-brainer), cut them in the way that you find adequate
- Gather ingredients
- Start heating up a pot of broth (vegetable or meat-based)
- Get some olive oil heating up in a pot
- Get the onions to the point of ‘sweating’, not frying
- Introduce arborio rice to onions (although any rice will do if you’re in a bind), stir semi-constantly until golden, the rice is effectively being fried a bit here
- put in some dry white wine (this is for flavour, and optional). Stir until absorbed.
- Introduce some broth a ladle at a time, stirring until absorbed.
- Enjoy. Take pictures. Serve. Make a blog post about it like me.
The main elements of the risotto can be added as step ‘6.5’, ‘8.5’ or ‘9.5’, I have tried all three and I personally haven’t found much of a difference. If someone has a better explanation, I’d be pleased to know. Feel free to reach out!
A interesting part about today’s risotto is that is that I put the mushrooms between the last two steps outlined above. I had them boiling / frying in a smaller pot on another burner. They were just put after at the complete end. I also needed a garnish, so for that I just had some smaller mushrooms that I chopped aside and fried them until they were crunchy.
One thing that I’ve realized about risottos is that patience is really the key here. It’s not a good idea to rush the introduction of liquid for the rice to absorb, neither is the initial frying of onions or other ingredients (if they require it). The goal is to obtain a good risotto with this so called ‘wave’ motion; moving the contents of the dish should move around like…well, a wave.
And there you have it! Another meal done. A bit less stressed. now I have some food for this week and I can go write about something!
Thanks for your time.