Instructions just for Sarah
Stuff you’ll need:
- Arborio rice
- Half a chopped onion
- Dry white wine like sauvignon blanc
- About four cups of chicken broth, kept warm on the stove
- Shredded or shaved parmesan cheese
- Chopped mushrooms (or whatever else you want to mix in)
Before you begin, saute the mushrooms – or prepare whatever you want to add to the risotto – and set it aside.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few pats of butter and wait till it foams. Throw in the chopped onion and cook until just starting to turn transparent. Add enough rice to make a single layer in the pan plus a little more. Cook the rice till the edges are transparent – only takes a couple of minutes. Add a glass of wine in, and constantly stir until the wine is absorbed. If you run your spoon through the rice and it doesn’t come back together, it’s ready. Add a ladle of broth and do the same as you did with the wine. Do this four or five more times until the rice is done.
You need to stir risotto pretty constantly because the friction of the rice rubs off starch, which is what makes risotto creamy. It won’t ruin it if you leave it alone for a few minutes, but make sure you at least give each addition of broth a good stir.
The only way to know if risotto is done is to taste it. Do it after the fourth time you add broth and every time after. It should be firm but not crunchy on the inside. If it’s soft like regular rice, you over cooked it. If it’s still crunchy, add another ladle of broth. When the rice is done, reduce heat to low and throw in a generous handful of cheese. Stir until melted. Add in the mushrooms or whatever and it’s ready.
Some people like risotto creamy and more like mac & cheese consistency; some people like it firm enough that it will hold a shape. I’m somewhere in the middle. You can control this by the cooking time of the last broth addition – the longer you cook it, the more firm it will be. Just be careful not to overdo it.