Thursday, May 05, 2005

Alton Brown's Risotto

I see that after 5 years , or however long it's been, Alton Brown finally got around to making risotto. It's pretty much a standard recipe, with some asparagus and mushrooms thrown in at the end. But I did notice some unusual things.

1) He uses butter instead of olive oil as his cooking fat. I think I'd prefer the traditional olive oil--especially considering butter might brown, even over low heat.

2) He uses very little fat. I have my doubts that 2 tablespoons of butter is enough to sufficiently coat each bit of rice--plus the onions are going to absorb some of it.

3) He adds the wine to the chicken stock. Normally, of course, when the rice has cooked in your fat for a few minutes, you add your wine, let it evaporate, then go in with the chicken stock. I think this is preferable, as you want the alcohol to cook out of the wine. Throwing the wine into the hot pan and letting it evaporate to almost nothing probably accomplishes that better than combining the wine and stock. It is possible that the alcohol would cook out of the wine/stock combo after the 35-40 min. cooking process, but, still ...

4) He doesn't add any additional butter at the end. Normally, of course, you toss in a couple tablespoons of butter at the end, off the heat. Now, perhaps Alton wanted a lighter risotto, or cleaner flavors. I've had risotto without the additional butter, but I like the richness and creaminess the additional butter gives.


At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think chefs lie about how much butter/olive oil they really use. I know I did when I had my catering business, people would plotz if they only knew


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