risotto |riˈzôtō, -ˈsôtō|
an Italian dish of rice cooked in stock with other ingredients such as meat and vegetables.
Risotto is almost like an Italian version of southern mashed potatoes. It’s creamy and comforting. Arborio rice is the standard rice for making risotto, though other short grain rices can be substituted. It is important that the rice you use is short grain, as this grade of rice can hold up to all the moisture and flavor that will be added. Risotto-making is a slow-going process. The rice is first sautéed with butter and sweated onions or shallots, and then a portion of hot stock is added. The rice cooks, while the cook stirs. When the rice has soaked up all of the stock, the next dose is added. The whole process generally takes about thirty minutes and the result is a creamy rice which tastes like it has been cooked in cream - the power of starch. Add a little parmigiano-reggiano if you’re feeling fancy.