Saturday, March 14, 2009

Risotto V.2:

David likes to research things thoroughly. It’s a common occurrence that he will sprawl on the futon with the Eee PC late at night watching very boring technology seminars or videos about Scotch tastings long after I’ve tucked myself in for the night. So after spending a few hours watching youtube videos on how to make a proper risotto, David informed me of his problem.

Everyone makes the darn stuff differently. There are many different recipes, most claiming to be “traditional” which produce risotto of varying consistency. Our first attempt produced a clumpy, thicker product. Chef Ramsey says it should flow like lava on the plate. Still others claim it should be even more fluid.

We decided to steer in the volcanic risotto direction. At the Dilly Deli, we had picked up the Local 1 and Local 2. Risotto takes about 40 minutes to make properly, and David was hungry, so he wasted no time in opening up 1.

Pours golden, honey hue. Smells of fresh apple, very bubbly and active. Medium head settles fairly quickly. Smells also of tangy citrus and Belgian spice. Medium sweetness, a little bitter. Faint alcohol and lingering butter finish.

I, not to be outdone, opened up my choice, a Barefoot Brut Cuvee. ($11.99 at whole foods) I stuck it in the freezer for too long so it was a little slushy—I found it to be delicious.

We had visited whole foods to pick up more supplies. We used the same Arborio rice as last time, but skipped the shallots. We chose a large, sweet white onion instead.

David sweated the onions first:

Next, David toasted the rice and the onions:

And we added our first ladle of broth. We used seafood cooking stock this time, to see if it would make a difference. We also opted to go with smaller bay scallops instead of sea scallops.

Second ladle:(and stir)

And third: (and stir)

Bay scallops with a little bit of white pepper:

David wanted these to be browned more, but they were still OK cooked this way

We kept adding stock and vegetables and stirring. At this point it is almost ready.

Another different thing we added was the butter finish. We skipped the parmesan this time, which apparently you are supposed to avoid with seafood risottos.

The butter seemed to make a huge difference in the consistency.

We are still fine tuning our risotto, but it’s coming along nicely. Stay tuned for the third version, which we are preparing Sunday night with sherry and baa-baa lamb chops.

And here’s the Local 2. It reminded me a lot of Nostradamus, the Belgian brown ale.

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