Preparing the Rice for the Risotto

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,085
    Chefs Rob Carson and Paolo Buffa demonstrate how to make rice for risotto.

    Rob Carson: Hi, once again I am Rob Carson and in my kitchen today is Paolo Buffa from Bice Ristorante, an Italian restaurant in Bethesda, but also internationally known as an Italian chain with some wonderful food. We are cooking --Paolo Buffa: Now we are going to cook the Risotto. Risotto with the acorn squash and little bit of butternut squash. The saffron and garnish at the end with the shrimp, you know, with our nice shrimp.

    Rob Carson: Now we are going to be using several pans here. Right now we have --Paolo Buffa: And we have our chicken stock boiling, you know.

    Rob Carson: Okay, you want to preheat your chicken stock that you add to your Risotto.

    Paolo Buffa: Absolutely.

    Rob Carson: Over here I am noticing we have some shrimp.

    Paolo Buffa: Yes, some very nice shrimp. The shrimps are previously marinated with extra-virgin olive oil, fresh herbs including thyme, sage, and rosemary; all chopped up and mixed together, no salt added during the marination. Rob Carson: Okay there you go. Alright then, of course, we have our Parmesan shallots. Paolo Buffa: The shallots to begin with that and our Spanish saffron, not too much.

    Rob Carson: About a cup of the butternut squash which is --Paolo Buffa: Which is about a cup. Rob Carson: Which is not cooked, we are going to obviously --Paolo Buffa: No, we are going to cook that right now with the shallots and the rice.

    Rob Carson: Alright cool, well let's get started.

    Paolo Buffa: Yeah let's get started.

    Rob Carson: I am going to start the risotto?

    Paolo Buffa: Yeah, let's start the risotto; preheat, like, I would say medium. So we are going to put one more time a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil.

    Rob Carson: Okay, very good.

    Paolo Buffa: Okay, now we are going to add the shallot, a little butter of butter, just a little bit of the butter okay, not too much.

    Rob Carson: Lemon squash.

    Paolo Buffo: Right away. Rob Carson: Alright, how long to cook the squash. Will the squash cook as the rice cooks, I am assuming.

    Paolo Buffa: Oh, yes you want this nice and brown, you are going to give it little bit of color to the shallots and to the squash. Rob Carson: I love the smell.

    Paolo Buffa: The smell is good, the smell is amazing.

    Rob Carson: Excellent.

    Paolo Buffa: Okay, let's just don't forget our little bit of ground pepper, not too much and our salt. One more time, we can use a little bit of salt. Rob Carson: A little bit salt. Paolo Buffa: Yeah, this time it might be crisp (ph) salt.

    Rob Carson: You can also use, I would assume, maybe Kosher salt or sea salt. Paolo Buffa: Absolutely, sea salt is fine. Okay, it's now golden brown.

    Rob Carson. It is starting to brown very nicely.

    Paolo Buffa: Yeah. So now we are going to use a little bit of white wine, our Pino Gringo.

    Rob Carson: Yeah, oh that's very nice and again it's Bice.

    Paolo Buffo: Bice Pino Gringo. Paolo Buffa: Okay, we want to let the alcohol or the wine evaporate, that's what we are going to do, that's what we are looking to do here, okay. Rob Carson: Excellent. Paolo Buffa: At this point you want to use -- you want to put the saffron, a little bit. Rob Carson: A pinch, okay.

    Paolo Buffa; You want to do it?

    Rob Carson: Oh, Sure, alright.

    Paolo Buffa: A pinch of saffron; let me see. Rob Carson: I'll just try and --Paolo Buffa: Yes, a little bit more.

    Rob Carson: Okay.

    Paolo Buffa: A nice yellow color, a lot of the squash tend not to be that bright yellow, but the saffron will finish that.

    Rob Carson: Nice.

    Paolo Buffa: You can use the same -- about a cup for like three people three four people; one, two, three people.

    Rob Carson: I cook well for like six people. I was raised on a farm with a big family, I don't cook very well for two or three and this is it, alright cool. So we are going to heat this rice up and it's going to brown a little bit too.

    Paolo Buffa: Yeah, it's going to be brown a little bit. The alcohol is almost gone; now see that wine is almost disappearing.

    Rob Carson: Wow that can take very long time.

    Paolo Buffa: Yes it can take a long time. Nice, I love this color.

    Rob Carson: Yeah, it looks great.

    Paolo Buffa: Now, remember, when you make risotto never stop stirring because the risotto has a lot of starch and the starch will stick to the bottom of your pan, okay. So you never want to stop mixing. The risotto takes about 17 minutes to cook, 17 to 18, so once you put the liquid. That's exactly what we are going to do. We are going to add our chicken stock. Quantity, if you have three cups of rice, it's six cup of chicken stock. It's always the double of the quantity, no matter what.

    Rob Carson: Now you can also use vegetables stock, I am assuming.

    Paolo Buffa: Absolutely and at the end you have -- you can not put the butter and add extra-virgin olive oil to make it totally vegetarian.

    Rob Carson: To finish it.

    Paolo Buffa: Yeah, absolutely. Rob Carson: Alright.

    Paolo Buffa: It's very nice. Rob Carson: So no butter if you are vegetarian.

    Paolo Buffa: No, no butter. At the end you can even not put in the Parmesan Cheese --Rob Carson: -- which would be a tragedy by the way, I might add, but to say we are vegetarians, you know, what do you do?

    Paolo Buffo: But this is, you know, -- the most important thing is the squash and that's we are looking for.

    Rob Carson: And it has also got -- I mean, right now it's got a terrific flavor; as with anything, if you finish it with butter and cheese it's going to be better, you know. Paolo Buffa: Yes, it going to taste a lot better. Then we are going to simmer the risotto on medium low for about 17-19 minutes, it depends; until it absorbs, stirring all the time, mixing, and never salt.

    Rob Carson: Alright, so we have got our risotto going on right now and we are going keep stirring and when we come back we are going work on these beautiful sauted shrimps to go with it.