28 December 2011

Risotto (from Year 10)

So I decided to fashion my plate of risotto into something like this. Obviously the kitchen needs better lighting...

In year 10, I made risotto in Food Tech. It's pretty ironic that I now want a career in something food-related; Food Tech was an elective that I chose slightly grudgingly; at that time, I honestly would've preferred Textiles Tech/fashion design stuff. Alas! 2 months into Food Tech and we moved from HK to the US... but within those   2 months, I did make risotto and since then, I haven't had plenty of delicious risotto, only because I don't understand how restaurants can make a fresh batch of risotto in 20 minutes. Risotto takes a full hour to make, and more if you're more patient and want softer rice. The one made by me, my GA and my dorm friends was really gooey and delicious, though but that was just mushroom. The one I made today had milk, celery, peppers, cauliflower, and firm tofu. A delicious meal...

The recipe came from some cookbook, but I used the modified version that I created in year 10 for my class. Actually, I adapted that too because we didn't have vegetable stock cubes or tomatoes. Although this recipe apparently serves 4-6, it really serves 6 in my family.

Ingredients for risotto for ~6 people
50 g butter
1 red onion
2 garlic bulbs (less if you don't like garlic)
1 tsp dried basil (or a lot of fresh basil, but it's winter now :( )

A bunch of vegetables and/or animal pieces. I used: 
1 green pepper
1/3 of a giant head of cauliflower
4 stalks of celery
150 g firm tofu

400 g Arborio rice
1 L water
1 packet vegetable soup mix or vegetable stock cube or just plain ol' vegetable stock
700 ml milk

50-150 g of Cheddar and/or Parmesan cheese (however much you like)

METHOD --takes about an hour
1. Chop up everything. I don't like grating cheese so I cubed the cheese.
2. Throw butter, onion, garlic, and basil in a huge pan and let it sizzle for a bit. SMELLS SO GOOD!!
3. Throw in vegetables and rice but not tofu yet. Unless you really want to. Note the small grains of rice.

 4. Mix water, stock cube/vegetable soup mix with milk and pour in ~250 ml. Stir occasionally. Bring to a boil and keep it on medium-medium-low heat.
 5. After a while, that liquid will b absorbed by the rice! The rice will get poofier! Add in another ~250 ml of liquid. The mixture should remain bubbly.
 6. Let rice soak up liquid. Stir occasionally. Add ~250 ml of liquid. Keep going!!
(I have flash on all my pictures because my kitchen has bad lighting. The image below is the pot without flash). You can see the texture better, but everything is all grainy looking. Haha, of course, due to the rice (a grain...get it? ha...)
 7. Last ~250 ml of liquid! I love how the rice just...soaks it all up! After adding the last bit of liquid, add in the tofu and cheese.

8. When your last liquid is nearly all absorbed and looks something like the image below, you're done! This was about an hour after I had started with the onions. The rice should be soft, there should be really gooey thick sauce, and the kitchen and upstairs should smell savoury.
In addition I got my sister to eat green peppers (which she dislikes for some reason) by telling her that it was celery.

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