I love risotto, but it’s rather expensive. Making it yourself is still cheaper than in restaurants though. Another advantage is that you can make the dish exactly to your liking. And I don’t like alcohol at all, but usually they use white wine for risotto. Sure, it evaporates but you can still taste it and I just really don’t like it. Besides that, no wine makes it cheaper 🙂 And I find it more delicious, plus if you can’t have alcohol (even though it is said to evaporate) due to for example religious or medical reasons (for me, it’s medical reasons and I just don’t like it, nor need it) this is a nice recipe.
Besides wine, you usually use parmazan for risotto, which is also rather expensive. There was a time in Italy when the people were so poor they made risotto without cheese, even though we always eat it with cheese. So we bought a cheaper cheese, which we also like a lot. I love the older cheeses, because they have a stronger taste, but my fellow Hippo doesn’t like the really old ones so we bought one that was called ‘very ripen/very mature’ instead of ‘old’. And it tasted wonderful. Another reason why we make it ourselves, is that we both can’t handle fat well, due to IBS (irritable bowle syndrome). So we used a cheese with less fat (30+). We also chose less fat butter for example.
Risotto is all about the texture. That’s why it’s a good idea to make this one first, before you add other stuff. Stirring is very important for risotto and you need enough fluids. You can make the bouillon stronger or less strong, that doesn’t really matter. So you can use 1.5 or 2.5 litres but you really need to make sure that it’s enough. It has to become a bit sticky.
You can make so many risotto variations, vegetarian ones or with seafood or sausages etc. I wanted to make one with champignons but my fellow Hippo isn’t fond of vegetables, and I didn’t want to eat chicken this time, so we made it plain simple. And like I said, I thought it was delicious. A lovely taste and very delicate. Dishes with cheese in it are rather tricky for me, because I don’t like it when it’s au gratin. That’s when they put the cheese on top and the cheese becomes hard in the oven (and usually has a darker yellow/orange colour). For me, it tastes burned. So I was rather surprised that I actually loved thss cheese dish. This is the recipe we made, we thought it would be enough for 4 people, but we had enough for 8 so that was great news. Now it was even cheaper than we thought and we still have some left in the freezer to enjoy another time. The recipe’s in English and in Dutch.
[Photo of risotto on a deep plate and a little green leaf on top if it for decoration].
Note: this isn’t the risotto we made.
1 ui, fijngesneden
circa 6 el roomboter
500g risottorijst (arborio)
2,5 l kippenbouillon – kan ook groentebouillon of runder
6 el geraspte kaas (wij gebruikten gerijpte kaas voor meer smaak)
- Fruit de ui in de helft van de boter, circa 10 min op hoog vuur (tot de boter zacht, maar niet bruin is).
- Roer de rijst erdoor en bak circa 5 min op middel vuur (tot de rijstkorrels ondoorzichtig worden en goed bedekt zijn met boter). Als de rijst bruin dreigt te worden, haal dan de pan even van het vuur.
- Voeg de eerste 3 scheppen hete bouillon toe en roer.
- Voeg al roerend de bouillon schep voor schep toe – laat de rijst na elke schep eerst de bouillon grotendeels absorberen.
- Roer de kaas en de rest van de boter erdoor, zodra de rijst bijna helemaal zacht en romig is.
- Breng op smaak met zout (en eventueel peper). Dek de risotto af en laat hem 3 min. staan voordat je hem serveert.
Basic recipe for risotto
1 onion, cut finely
about 6 tablespoons of butter
500 gramms of risotto rice (arborio)
2.5 litres of chicken bouillon (you can also use vegetable bouillon or cow)
6 tablespoons of grated cheese (we used mature cheese for more flavour)
- Fry the onion in half of the butter, for about 10 minutes on high fire (untill the butter is soft, but not brown).
- Stir the rice through and fry for about 5 minutes on middle fire (till the grains of rice are non-transparent and well covered in butter). If the rice tends to become brown: take the pan off the fire for a little while.
- Add the first three scoops of hot bouillon and stir.
- Add, while stirring, the rest of the bouillon, one scoop at a time. The rice needs to absorb the most of the bouillon first, before you add another scoop.
- Stir the cheese and the rest of the butter through, as soon as the rice is almost entirely soft and creamy.
- Season with salt (and if you’d like pepper). Cover the risotto and leave it for 3 minutes before you serve it.