At our New York-based catering company Bite, our mantra is "flavor first," and what better way to celebrate your favorite flavors than with a warm risotto? You can make my risotto base in seven simple steps, and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Add your favorite garnishes to make it your own.
Using a wooden spoon, toast par-cooked rice in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
Pour in warm stock to just cover rice. Continue cooking and stirring with the wooden spoon until liquid has been completely absorbed.
Add in your garnishes (wild mushrooms, roasted vegetables, cleaned shellfish, etc). Pour in warm stock to just cover rice.
Continue cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed.
Test your rice by eating a grain. It should look "fat" and hold its shape—but it should not be chalky.
If it's still chalky, add another batch of stock to just cover and continue cooking until rice grains are al dente.
If your rice is already al dente, add just enough stock to give the consistency of loose porridge (risotto should never be thick).
Finish the risotto by adding shaved Parmesan cheese, cold cubed butter and fine cut fresh chives. Amounts are up to you; there is really no such thing as too much.
Stir until fully incorporated.
Check consistency—make sure the risotto is loose and luxuriant (not thick or sticky). Serve!
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