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리소토(Risotto)는 이탈리아의 쌀을 재료로 한 요리다. 리소토는 전통 이탈리아 요리에서 쌀을 재료로 한 요리를 일반적으로 부르는 이름인데, 점심이나 저녁 식사에서 제일 먼저 먹으며 이어서 육류나 생선 요리가 식탁에 오른다. 이 요리는 북 이탈리아 사람들이 매우 즐겨 먹는 요리이다. 역사적으로 쌀은 6세기 경에 중국에서 이탈리아로 건너갔으며 따듯하며 강수량이 풍부한 이탈리아 기후 덕분에 포 강 유역에서 재배된 것으로 알려져 있다. 르네상스 이후에 이탈리아 사람은 시간이 지나면서 밀이나 호밀 대신 조리가 간편하고 탄수화물이 풍부한 쌀을 먹기 시작하였다. 리소토 요리는 이탈리아 전역에 걸쳐 지방에 따라서 수무한 조리법이 있다. 그러나 리소토의 원조는 밀라노의 사프란 리소토이다.
- 쌀 400그램
- 양파 1개
- 백포도주 1컵
- 버터 25그램
- 육수 약 1리더
리소토에 쓰이는 쌀 종류는 아르보리오인데 중국에서 먹는 보통 쌀을 써도 큰 문제는 없다. 백포도주는 드라이를 권장한다. 마가린을 버터 대신 사용할 수도 있으나 맛에서 큰 차이가 있다. 마가린은 버터의 고소한 맛과 향을 따라갈 수 없다.
Make sure your stock is simmering before you begin. It's important that the temperature is as high as possible, without letting the stock boil. The surface of the stock should just be moving a little. A large thick pot is best for the risotto.
- Finely chop the onion and sweat it very gently (cook over medium heat, without letting it brown) in some butter or olive oil. This is known as a soffritto in Italy.
- Add the rice and cook until it has a transparent look (this shouldn't take long). Add some salt and pepper.
- Add the wine. A hot pan will cause the alcohol to evaporate more quickly (and create a nice dramatic effect), but make sure you don't burn the rice or the soffritto.
- As the wine cooks away you will see the remaining liquid getting thicker as it's absorbing the starch from the rice. When it’s more or less gone, add some stock. Do not add too much stock. The rice should never be submerged in stock. Keep stirring it and keep adding more stock as it cooks away. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Taste to see if the rice is done. The rice should be soft, but have enough bite to it to feel the individual grains of rice. The choice between a liquid risotto or a firmer one is a matter of personal preference.
When put on a plate, it should spread out slowly. If it sits still, it needs some more stock; if there's liquid coming from the risotto, it needs to cook down a bit more.
- When it's done, stir in the butter in small chunks at the time, taste to get the amount of butter right. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Let it rest for a few minutes, and then serve. Risotto won't keep beyond the meal, but rehydrating it with some soup or stock can yield edible results.
With risotto, practice makes perfect because there are many factors that influence the outcome. Experiment with several varieties of rice, choose the one you like best and then fine-tune the various parameters like cooking temperature, selection of the proper pot, the amount and timing of seasonings etc.
- This is only the most basic risotto recipe. Add ingredients only at the beginning (through the soffritto, when they need to cook with the rice) or at the very end (for ingredients that lose their flavour with too much cooking, such as herbs). If you want to use ingredients that require a very specific cooking time, like potatoes or broccoli, it's best to blanch them in advance, and add them to the risotto at the very end. It's very difficult to add them to the risotto halfway so that they will be cooked perfectly when the risotto is done. If you want the flavour of the stock to be present in these ingredients, blanch them in the stock. For some ingredients, like mushrooms, the cooking time isn't extremely important. These can simply be added to the risotto somewhere along the line.
- A common mistake in making risotto is to add too much of the extra ingredients. The star of the dish is the rice, and only very little else is needed.
- Ingredients added at the last moment will be laced with butter. This can have a negative impact on the effect of some delicate ingredients, like garden cress.
- Think of risotto as a way of making stock edible with a fork: the quality of the stock you use is the most important factor in the quality of your risotto.
- Use a different type of liquor to replace the white wine; vodka, whiskey, champagne and martini work well. Keep in mind that the color of the liquor will affect the rice. Using red wine will create a red risotto (which looks nice with fish or tomatoes). Rosé wine will make a pink/purple risotto, which looks nice with asparagus.
- Saffron added to the stock is risotto alla Milanese.
- Using large roasted breadcrumbs instead of parmesan cheese will create a nice contrast in texture with the risotto. Put the breadcrumbs on top of the risotto at the last minute and don't stir, or they will soak up too much moisture and lose their crunch.
- After step 3 you can move the contents into a rice cooker with the stock and left to its own devices to finish it off. The end result isn't quite as good, but the saving in effort makes it worthwhile.
- Left over risotto is not particularly nice reheated on its own. So as not to waste the leftovers, you can form day old risotto into cakes or patties, coat them in flour and shallow fry them in olive oil, making risotto cakes. This can be served with a salad.