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Not Everything You Read about Cooking Is Correct



I’ve always read and been told, by people in the know, that risotto has to be eaten right after you make it; otherwise, it will lose the creamy emulsion you’ve worked so hard to build.


It turns out that is NOT true!


Being able to transform rice into a buttery-rich dish without having to make it at the last minute is a game changer. Since I believed what I was told this discovery was a complete surprise.


When I taught the focaccia and risotto class, not only did I want to demonstrate how to make risotto but I also wanted to show you how to make crispy risotto cakes with the leftovers. For that the rice needs to be two- or three-days old and slightly dried out for the rice to stick together. I made a risotto a few days before the class for the demonstration.


Since I had more risotto than we could eat that evening, when I finished showing how to get the rice to emulsify, I placed a sheet of foil directly on top of the risotto in the pan, making sure to prevent any air from parching what we worked so hard to moisten to just the right consistency and placed the pan in the refrigerator for the next day—thinking whatever will be will be.


When it was time to reheat, I removed the foil and added 1 cup of the same broth I’d used and stirred it in over medium heat until the rice was hot and the broth was absorbed, resulting in the original velvety-creaminess. When I took my first forkful, I was startled by how good it was—maybe even better than it was the night before.


The taste, texture, and versatility of risotto makes it perfect to serve at dinner parties, except, that is, for having to spend 40 minutes standing at the stove, at the last minute, coaxing the rice to the perfect viscosity—a deterrent for any cook. But now that I know I can make risotto ahead of time and reheat it just before serving, I’m happily adding it to my repertoire.


Try it and let me know if you’re as excited about this discovery as I am.



Note:

Stop cooking the risotto when the rice still has a bit of a crunch. That will prevent it from getting soft and mushy when you reheat it.

 

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