Thursday, September 07, 2006

Day 12 – More Starches – Let there be Rice!

We made 3 dishes this evening. Wild Rice Pilaf, Parmigiano-Reggiano Risotto and Mushroom Risotto.

But first I must brag just a tad. I got the highest grade from last week!! WooHoo…Yeah Baby!

And now I am once again calm and collect and can now tell you about my evening. (smiles)

The pilaf was just time consuming in that the wild rice takes so long to cook. A lot of folks didn’t understand that it really takes a lot longer than the long grain white rice and you just can’t rush it. You have to wait till those suckers burst open when they are good and ready.

I know one student poured their wild rice into the long grain before letting the long grain sit for the 10 minute resting period and in conjunction with that did not drain their wild rice and ended up with rice soup.

Risotto is a dish that needs love and care. For those that have had it but never made it, appreciate the love and time that goes into it. You must sweat your shallots, then add the Aborio rice getting it all nicely coated and hot clean through (but not brown), deglaze with white wine and ever so gently begin to add your chicken stock (or mushroom in the case of the mushroom risotto). You add about 3 ounces, keep stirring till most of the liquid is absorbed…keep doing this with the 18-20 ounces of stock. You’ll end up with creamy rice, but still distinctive grains and then you add the cheese and finish it off with the butter.

Risotto is to the Italians what Mac n Cheese is to Americans. And you can do all sorts of wonderful things with it.

It was a great night for me. Got all my dishes out on time and got great grades on them. Gotta take the good nights when you can get them!

Rice Pilaf

Parmigiano-Reggiano Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

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