Sunday, March 14, 2010

risotto milanese

The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.

I enjoy a good risotto, so I was pleased when this challenge was revealed. I must admit I haven't made risotto in some time, but used to quite enjoy making risotto milanese. This risotto is delicious blend of saffron, chicken stock and parmesan.

For this month's challenge, we needed to make our own chicken stock and the risotto base. After that, it was up to us to finish it off in which ever way we chose. Since it had been a while, I thought it was time to revisit one of my favorite risotto recipes.

Chicken Stock  
I put the leftover chicken stock in 1/2 cup muffin tins to freeze for later use.

1 large chicken 2-3 pounds about 1 kg
chicken bones 2-3 pounds 1 kg
2 onions, roughly diced
1 medium leek - white part only, roughly diced
2 sticks celery, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. white peppercorns ( Any type of whole peppercorn will do)
2 bay leaves (fresh or dried, it doesn't matter.)
peel of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. allspice
Wash the chicken and bones and places in a 5 Litre pot, cover completely with water and bring to a boil 
Skim away any scum as it comes to the surface 
Add the vegetables and bring back to a boil 
Add the rest remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered for 1.5 hours 
Carefully lift out the chicken, set aside. The chicken meat can be removed from the chicken, shredded off and used for other things like soup! 
Simmer the stock gently for another hour. At , at the end you should have around 2 Liters 
Carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve, the less the bones and vegetables are disturbed in this process the clearer the stock will be. The stock is now ready for use. Freeze what you don't need for later use.
Risotto Base
olive oil 2 fluid oz 60 ml
1 small onion, quartered
rice 14 oz 400g
Any type of risotto rice will do. I use Arborio but the recipe itself says Vialone Nano. Another to look for is Carnaroli.
white wine 2 fl oz 60 ml
chicken or vegetable stock , simmering 2 pints 1 L
Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard. (We diced ours and left it in as we like onion). 
Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly. 
Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated. 
Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don't actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off. 
Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed. 
Repeat Step 5 making sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml. of stock for the final step. . 
Repeat, save 100ml for the final stage.  
Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.

To make Risotto Milanese, you have to adapt the base recipe somewhat by adding saffron to the base. 
Risotto Milanese (from the "Joy of Cooking")

Combine and let stand for 10 minutes:
3 generous pinches of saffron threads
1 cup hot chicken stock
Melt in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat:
3 tablespoons butter
Stir in: 
1 medium onion, minced
Cook over low heat until soft and clear.  Meanwhile, simmer over medium heat:
9 cups chicken stock
Increase the heat under the onions to medium and stir in:
1 pound Italian rice or American medium-grain rice
Cook, stirring often, until the rice is chalky in appearance, about 5 minutes.  Add:
1/2 cup dry white wine
Stir until absorbed.  Add the saffron mixture and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until absorbed.  Add the chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, and simmer and stir continuously until absorbed.  (If desired, when half of the stock has been used and the rice is still quite firm, the risotto can be removed from the heat and refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days.  To finish the risotto, reheat and continue.)  Add the remaining stock, 1 cup at a time, until the rice is tender but still has some "bite".  It should be creamy and not stiff.  Fold in:
1 to 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Season with:
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Let rest for a few minutes, then serve in warmed soup dishes.  If desired, serve with:
Grated Parmesan cheese


TaGa_Luto said...

Beautiful shots. I like the color of your risotto, i also like the combination of saffron and parmesan cheese. Great job with this challenge.

chef_d said...

beautiful and elegant! great job!

Audax said...

Gorgeous and very sophisticated photographs of a classic risotto this is one time where simple (flavouring) is the best your risotto is astounding just love the colour and the creaminess. Well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Anonymous said...

Wow, your risotto looks sooo creamy!

Jo said...

Great job on your challenge and your risotto looks delicous.

shelley c. said...

I love the color of your risotto, and it looks so creamy and delicious! Great job!