If I talk about comfort food, Khichadi is the first thing that comes to my mind, and when I am feeling little fancy and have some time at my hand, risotto is what I cook. A Constant action of attending to the process, earthy aromas from cooking with wine, fresh herbs, and a spoonful gooey cheesy risotto in the end, If that's not comfort, what is?
Mushroom Risotto is one dish that is very forgiving in terms of steps of adding ingredients, substituting etc, if you don't have a particular type of mushroom, use another variety. You can adjust the taste, you can cook a mild tasting mushroom risotto or strong flavor of mushrooms by adding some water in which mushrooms are soaked ( If you are using dried mushrooms).
Cooking Risotto for me is about depth of flavor, Fresh thyme for fresh clean flavor, White wine to deglaze the pan, warm vegetable stock ladled into pot at regular intervals (Non-vegetarians can add chicken stock as instead), stirring and simmering till you get that perfect bowl of steaming risotto and spoonfuls of creamy goodness.
If You are risotto lovers, you might have already perfected the trick to cook your favorite version, but if you have not started making it at home and like it, few tips that I am sharing below can be a good start point.
Easy Tips to Make Perfect Risotto
1.Use Warm/Hot Vegetable stock
Cold stock can cool down everything and hamper the cooking process, ideally hot stock works better as it does not change the cooking temperature and rice remain firm inside and creamy outside.
2.Don't use stock All at Once
If you add the vegetable stock all at once, it will be just like any other rice preparation and may not give you the perfect texture of risotto. When you add stock little at a time, it allows rice grains to rub against each other resulting in the release of starch and creamy texture.
3.Too much cooking is No-No
Cook only till rice is al dente ( still has a bite to it). It should be creamy, but grain still holds it shape
4. Cook the Rice Till It’s Mushy
Like pasta, the rice should be al dente–just cooked, with a little bite to it. If you can mold a risotto into a shape (yes, like some restaurants do) you’ve cooked it too much. Risotto should have a body, but not be overly mushy and starchy. You’re not making rice pudding!
5. Shape/Size of Pots
Too small, it can hamper the process of cooking, too wide, it can develop pockets of hot and cold spots and may not allow uniform cooking. Select a Pot according to your heat source. Small to a medium pot for a small burner and big pot for a larger burner.
6. Cook Vegetables Separately
You can cook risotto with your vegetables, but personally, I like to cook veggies separately and add them to rice towards the end of cooking. This allows to keep veggies hold shape and not go mushy.
7. Don't add Cheese too Early
This is my favorite step ( What's a risotto without cheese :D), but add cheese in the last minute of cooking, otherwise fat from cheese can break down in heat. Here is one more thing, In some parts of Italy they don't add cheese in mushroom risotto because they usually don't mix mushrooms and cheese in any dish, they finish their risotto with a generous blob of butter.
As I wrote in my previous posts that I have started a YouTube Channel because it helps to see various stages of cooking a particular dish, so instead of writing the recipe here I am sharing the YouTube Video Here. Do watch it and don't forget to give me your feedback in comments.