Conquering an Italian Nightmare – 3
Still, I half–expected to see John Torode appear and quiz me about what flavours I was hoping to bring out.
But there was no time to let one's imagination wander – we were getting started with Jennifer, the training and development chef, as our guide.
And everything was explained step by step. At no time did I feel that I was rushing to keep up or forgetting to do something vital – it really was a well–thought out, practical and fun way of learning to make risotto from scratch.
After melting butter, frying onions, adding in the rice and red wine (in that order) the real secret to making risotto kicks in – you've got to keep stirring!
At a dinner party my usual trick is to get distracted chatting to my guests, only just remembering the meal before it burns to a cinder, but risotto demands your full attention.
When the wine has reduced by half, it is time to start adding stock ladle by ladle. Keep stirring! The trick seems to be to not let the rice dry out completely but to keep adding more stock when it is almost absorbed. And keep stirring!
This means the porridge–like consistency of my mum's recipe will be a thing of the past.
After about 15 minutes we started tasting our rice to see how it was coming on and then added the remaining red wine as the last ladle of liquid and let it absorb.
Jennifer described the next step: "When the rice is just al dente in the middle and soft on the outside remove from the heat add in a very small ladle of stock and stir."
Last, but definitely not least in my opinion, stir in the parmesan cheese (vigorously) and you can also add a bit more butter to make it more creamy.
And voila. And then it was indeed time for lunch, amongst much discussion of the finer points of making a red wine risotto. Some were creamier, some were redder and some were more al dente but we were all the master chefs of our very own risotto.
And not a hint of splodge in sight.
Jeanette said: "Isn't it nice to go to Carluccio's for lunch even if you do have to cook it yourself?"
I couldn't agree more.
|Source: THIS IS LOCAL LONDON – ©2007 THIS IS LOCAL LONDON|
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- Risotto al Barolo: An Italian Creation for the Soul – January 13, 2007
- Risotto Revelation – November 26, 2007