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View Full Version : do you stir constantly, when making rissoto?



boomchakabowwow
01-06-2014, 03:10 PM
i did a green pea risotto last night. i served it along side a double thick cut center-cut pork chop that i grill smoked with almond wood.

running between stovetop and my backyard weber was very interesting..eventually, i decided fire management was more important than risotto management.

i went into the kitchen to add more broth and shake the pan and stir (occasionally)..then i did other things.

i'll be honest..the resulting risotto was still creamy and soft..

what gives? also, what is the inside the restaurant secrets to rissoto? you pro chefs make a big batch and just warm it thru with added hot broth and vigorous stirring? no way you make each to order, right?

TheDispossessed
01-06-2014, 03:14 PM
I can tell you one thing, you don't see a lot of risotto being made for family meal.

James
01-06-2014, 03:17 PM
I used to, but I get pretty much the same results stirring once every few minutes

Mucho Bocho
01-06-2014, 03:33 PM
I like to pressure cook it these days just under done, the finish it after I release pressure. got that one from Modernist Cuisine for Home

tripleq
01-06-2014, 04:29 PM
I stir constantly but gently.

cnochef
01-06-2014, 05:00 PM
No. I add a ladle of stock, shake the pan and let it simmer and absorb until almost all the liquid is gone from the pan, then repeat. All that stirring is unnecessary. I only stir at the end when adding some cream and/or cheese.

Chef Andy
01-06-2014, 05:16 PM
No. I add a ladle of stock, shake the pan and let it simmer and absorb until almost all the liquid is gone from the pan, then repeat. All that stirring is unnecessary. I only stir at the end when adding some cream and/or cheese.

That's exactly what I do, but I never add cream. Usually add butter and cheese tho.

EdipisReks
01-06-2014, 05:36 PM
No. I add a ladle of stock, shake the pan and let it simmer and absorb until almost all the liquid is gone from the pan, then repeat. All that stirring is unnecessary. I only stir at the end when adding some cream and/or cheese.

I do it precisely the same way.

hojuturtle
01-06-2014, 05:56 PM
where I used to work at, they cook a big batch, blast chill, portion by grams, then do what you said during service.

Flyingpigg
01-06-2014, 06:16 PM
In my opinion, the constant stirring technique is a remnant from the days before consistent flames and good quality pans. I can see why you'd have to do so in the past when most flames were just wood fires, and pans that transferred heat unevenly were what people were using. Thankfully, we live in a age where pans are mass produced to a consistently high quality, and our heat source is easily controlled.

I still stir it regularly, but I don't do it constantly. I also eschew the old idea that you need to add the liquid in small additions, and there are a lot of modern cooks out there who do the same. I personally prefer to soak my rice (usually broth, but any liquid works) for at least two hours, then strain while reserving the liquid for cooking (there's a good bit of starch in the soaking liquid). Afterwards, follow regular risotto technique (sweat aromatics, saute rice, add liquid), but the soaking reduces the cooking time to about 6 minutes as oppose to ~20. The restaurants I work at do not do this and parcook the risotto instead. I prefer soaking because it's easier, although it takes a bit more planning and time, and by saving the starch in the soaking liquid, I'm able to use less cream to achieve the same creamy consistency. For parcooking, we just do regular risotto technique, with the exception of adding all the liquid at once, then cook it until it's got a bit more bite than al dente, then spread the risotto out onto a sheet tray for cooling. When an order comes in, the risotto is simply dropped into a pan with some cream and other liquid (broth, wine, etc. it depends on what kind of risotto), cooked down, then seasoned to taste before plating.

jgraeff
01-06-2014, 06:20 PM
I like to pressure cook it these days just under done, the finish it after I release pressure. got that one from Modernist Cuisine for Home

Can you go into more detail, so you use like 2/3 of the liquid required and pressure cook it? then finish?

wouldn't a rice cooker do the same thing?

boomchakabowwow
01-06-2014, 09:22 PM
thanks everyone.

i especially appreciate the peeks you allow us home cooks, into your pro kitchens..nice!!

i barely stir polenta/grits either..:D

jared08
01-06-2014, 09:46 PM
I sweat down onions and garlic till translucent and sweet, not browned tho. Add rice and dry stir to slightly toast to bring a nuttyness out. Deglaze with white wine and reduce that till nearly gone, then add chicken stock till abiut 2/3 cooked and lay out on sheet try to cool. Reheat to order in pan with butter, cheesen S&P, and stock. Never cream. Stir rappidly at the end.

split0101
01-06-2014, 10:12 PM
Its interesting to see how people differ when they make their rissoto. I have heard that technically you are not supposed to toast the rice even though I like to toast it until it starts to get translucent. I dont like to take the rice to when it begins to brown since I feel the final product looks off with darker rice grains. I stir every few minutes, especially when adding my cooking liquid. I dont stand over the stove stiring constantly as I have tried both methods and didnt really notice a difference in the final dish. Both came out creamy and with the same consistancy.

I have also tried Thomas Keller's recipe and that calls for heavy cream whipped to stiff peaks to be added at the very end along with butter and cheese. I agree with the butter and cheese but the heavy cream was overkill.

Of course shaving on a generous portion of white truffle never hurts ;)

Gravy Power
01-06-2014, 10:45 PM
I'm careful about letting it go to long alone, becauase I've had a couple of rissotto's for a mass quantity die in a rondo.

Brad Gibson
01-07-2014, 05:24 AM
i will continue to stand over the stove for 20 minutes stirring with a wooden spoon stamped "france" for the rest of my life. risotto is something that is genuine and should be kept as something sacred. what the hell else do we have in the kitchen? we should keep the traditions.

maybe mine is better than yours, its most likely.

jbl
01-07-2014, 07:19 AM
Mascarpone/butter and Parmesan/pecorino should be added right at the end, off the heat for mantecatura (emulsification). Cooking these out can split them and the silky finish is compromised.
At work I don't get time to stand over the pan, completely dedicated, but I definitely make time for it and make sure whatever I'm doing concurrently is low-maintenance, ie. washing and chopping herbs, as a forgotten risotto is a KP's scourge and a place in chefs' hell.

Chef Andy
01-07-2014, 09:32 AM
i will continue to stand over the stove for 20 minutes stirring with a wooden spoon stamped "france" for the rest of my life. risotto is something that is genuine and should be kept as something sacred. what the hell else do we have in the kitchen? we should keep the traditions.

maybe mine is better than yours, its most likely.

Not when the traditions waste time for no reason. If I'm making a risotto at home it's because I have family over. I'd rather spend more time with family than stirring risotto. If I'm making one at work I for sure don't have time to constantly stir the risotto.

Scientifically the constant stirring does nothing as long as you don't have your pan set at too high of a temperature. I've never had an issue with my risottos not turning out before.

ohbewon
01-07-2014, 10:08 AM
i did a green pea risotto last night. i served it along side a double thick cut center-cut pork chop that i grill smoked with almond wood.

running between stovetop and my backyard weber was very interesting..eventually, i decided fire management was more important than risotto management.

i went into the kitchen to add more broth and shake the pan and stir (occasionally)..then i did other things.

i'll be honest..the resulting risotto was still creamy and soft..

what gives? also, what is the inside the restaurant secrets to rissoto? you pro chefs make a big batch and just warm it thru with added hot broth and vigorous stirring? no way you make each to order, right?

I don't pretend to know everything, but your technique of multi-tasking and stirring when it needs it is on par with most kitchens. Essentially when you stir it, you're releasing the starch which makes vialone nano naturally creamy. That's the whole "science" behind the stirring. Risotto is a grain, which will soak up liquid no matter what you do. The stirring just makes it creamy. :) the more you stir, the better the end product. But no one in a professional kitchen has time to stand over a stove and focus on one thing for two hours. If I'm wrong, I want a job there.

Chuckles
01-07-2014, 10:54 AM
This thread is a good example of why I don't like making risotto at work anymore. Everybody has a strong opinion for the initial steps and wants to tell you all about it even if they are a teenager from the sticks. They rarely can talk with any authority about what it is supposed to be when it is actually done. Just don't add so much liquid that it will have to over cook or scorch to be ready and save your brain for what to do after you taste it.

(I didn't realize how much resentment I have harboring over risotto. Venting over)

Chef Andy
01-07-2014, 10:59 AM
I don't pretend to know everything, but your technique of multi-tasking and stirring when it needs it is on par with most kitchens. Essentially when you stir it, you're releasing the starch which makes vialone nano naturally creamy. That's the whole "science" behind the stirring. Risotto is a grain, which will soak up liquid no matter what you do. The stirring just makes it creamy. :) the more you stir, the better the end product. But no one in a professional kitchen has time to stand over a stove and focus on one thing for two hours. If I'm wrong, I want a job there.

Most of the starch gets released because water is getting absorbed, and some of the water is replacing the starch not because you're stirring it. Why would stirring the risotto magically make the starch inside the rice come out of the rice?? Stirring just causes the starch on the surface of the rice to release because the grains of rice are rubbing together. All you need is movement for that to happen, not necessarily stirring. Gently shaking the pan works just fine too.

jared08
01-08-2014, 11:23 PM
if you want to look at it from another prospective, "risotto" is a technique. arborio is the type of rice it works most properly with and is therefore the common reference to "risotto". you can take most any pasta and stir the piss out of it to release gluten to make it creamy on its own. not stirring arborio is just taking a shortcut from traditional techinique like brad mentioned.

panda
01-09-2014, 12:53 AM
mmm risotto, my favorite starch! stir it, shake it, what ever just dont over cook and it's going to be good, hell overcooked still tastes good just without that beautiful texture.

Geo87
01-09-2014, 07:33 AM
i will continue to stand over the stove for 20 minutes stirring with a wooden spoon stamped "france" for the rest of my life. risotto is something that is genuine and should be kept as something sacred. what the hell else do we have in the kitchen? we should keep the traditions.

maybe mine is better than yours, its most likely.

You have time to stand over a stove for 20 minutes?
A spoon stamped France for an Italian dish?
Fusion... or confusion ;)
I think the later

NO ChoP!
01-09-2014, 10:42 AM
You stir continually to ensure that the grains are evenly cooked.

The answer is yes, you stir continually.

Chef Andy
01-09-2014, 11:14 AM
You stir continually to ensure that the grains are evenly cooked.

The answer is yes, you stir continually.

As long as you cook using a thick bottom wide pan, and always add broth at the right time and stir/shake the pan when you add the broth then it's not necessary to stir constantly. The grains will be evenly cooked as long as they're the same size.

NO ChoP!
01-09-2014, 12:55 PM
Regardless of the pan or heat source, the top, bottom, sides will cook and absorb at different rates. The added weight of the bottom grains will cook under pressure....

Again, stir risotto constantly.

Chef Andy
01-09-2014, 01:09 PM
Regardless of the pan or heat source, the top, bottom, sides will cook and absorb at different rates. The added weight of the bottom grains will cook under pressure....

Again, stir risotto constantly.

Sure, they'll cook at different rates, but if you follow what I said, the difference will be small. Stirring constantly is overkill and completely unnecessary. Stirring occasionally will suffice.

Again, stirring risotto constantly is a completely old fashioned practice with no real scientific basis behind it.

Crothcipt
01-09-2014, 01:52 PM
This reminds me of a cook that kept shocking rice, (50#) but not mixing the rice when in the water. The water creates a pocket of hot water and isn't cooled even when left there for 15 min. This also happens in a pan, granted at smaller lvls. You can see this happen with thick sauces. If you want a hot sauce (alfredo) you have to make sure it is boiling all through out. If you leave the sauce alone you will scorch the bottom before you get the middle of the alfredo to even some were near room temp. I have taught many cooks that think when the edge of a sauce is boiling that it is ok for them to add pasta at this point. If there is no mixing or agitation of the sauce you get hot and cold pockets through out the final dish. Same is also happening when when you add different temp stock when you stir you are creating a equal balance of temps stopping any pockets from forming. Granted this is happening at a small lvl. but will also create problems if you leave it without any agitation.

I never have liked standing still for 20 min doing a constant stirring, but once a min or two should be fine enough.

Sorry forgot most restaurants make their alfredo b4 service and is usually kept cold for a quicker service time.

NO ChoP!
01-09-2014, 10:54 PM
What your cooking is flavored rice. Risotto is cooked one ladle of liquid at a time, until absorbed, to properly release the starches, and stirred continually. Period. Seasoning with each ladle insures depth of flavor.

I've cooked a few thousand ala minute bowls in probably the most acclaimed for risotto restaurants in the country. Google "battle risotto"....

NO ChoP!
01-09-2014, 10:58 PM
Actually, it was "battle rice". I worked under Paul Bartolotta's chefs watchful eye on risotto station back in the day.

40-100 bowls a night.
100% ala minute.
2-4 varieties.

Every single bowl tasted for seasoning, consistency and texture by the chef.

Only 4 of 4 star restaurant in the city that year.

Three people that can tell me about risotto; Chef Paul Bartolotta, Chef Adam Siegel and Mario Batali.

Stir your risotto.

Chef Andy
01-09-2014, 11:11 PM
After tasting 2 risottos that my old chef made exactly the same (to prove this exact point to me), except one was stirred constantly and one was stirred only when adding liquid, and maybe once or twice to see if more liquid was needed, I noticed absolutely NO difference at all.

There is nothing you can do to change my mind on this, just like there's nothing i can do to change your mind on this either.

People that cant tell me about risotto: Anyone over the internet. I need to see things first hand to believe it.

labor of love
01-10-2014, 01:55 AM
how about a compromise? the way we do it at my job is to stir while you add liquid to help it absorb evenly. then when the risotto check gets fired you finish with nearly constant stirring for 3-5min while adding butter, liquid and seasonings. this works well and is pretty practical too.

NO ChoP!
01-10-2014, 07:38 AM
It's all good. Our industry is full of alpha males. I don't expect anyone that has any real skills to bow down to my ideals. I'm a stubborn, cocky sob when it comes to my craft. Dozens of years has a tendency to do that to ya.

Chef Andy
01-10-2014, 08:44 AM
Couldn't have said it better myself. Although I prefer "passionate" to "stubborn, cocky sob" haha.

riba
01-10-2014, 09:11 AM
I like to pressure cook it these days just under done, the finish it after I release pressure. got that one from Modernist Cuisine for Home
Can you go into more detail, so you use like 2/3 of the liquid required and pressure cook it? then finish?

Two cups of liquid for every cup of arborio rice works very well for me in my pressure cooker.

(Note: I'm just a simple home cook ;) )

kpeddie2010
01-10-2014, 04:25 PM
I never take it all the way. I bring to 75 to 85 percent done then cool off immediately on sheet pans thin layers. Diamond them out into portions and finish with more stock s and p when coming off the heat butter and cheese and a lil pepper to help the cheese flaviors stand out. Stir vigorously at end and sauté to fold air into it so I fluffs a lil and u have a lighter texture and not a whole pole of dense food. Depends what type of risotto I'll fold stiff peak egg white or heavy cream to and air and a little flavor usually fold some flavor into the cream or egg so that it intensifies the flavor between the air molecules in the risotto. Thus leaving you a light creamy risotto with layers of flavor that you can taste on at the back of the throat. That's wwhat Keller does. He folds in stiff whipped heavy cream. But he doesnt tell you that the cream is infused with different layers of acidic flaviors to cut the fat in the risotto. Like lemon or lime rinds or reduced vinegars then turned into powders with malto so it doesn't affect the stiff peaks or even super Reduced stocks I then malto dextrin them into powder and fold in with whipped butter to help aerate the risotto with a different layer u can taste that's separately from the risotto. So u feel like your eating risotto and a protein in one bite but actually only eating risotto

kpeddie2010
01-10-2014, 04:28 PM
My English not so good today. I'm super tired from working a double and drinking with the boupys after work

Mucho Bocho
01-10-2014, 04:29 PM
Thanks Riba, forgot to get back to this thread. that is the ratio 2:1 liquid: rice



Two cups of liquid for every cup of arborio rice works very well for me in my pressure cooker.

(Note: I'm just a simple home cook ;) )

kpeddie2010
01-10-2014, 04:36 PM
I agree with no chop no matter how good pans are and heat sources u have to stir risotto constantly to get every grain cooked evenly or u gonna have rough texture. Or you over cook it and you have too much liquid to compensate.

kpeddie2010
01-10-2014, 04:37 PM
I've cooked a few thousand risottos and I be seen perfect risottos and fixed risottos. And u can tell the difference.

Crothcipt
01-10-2014, 05:41 PM
If this was titled "do you stir constantly, when making hollandaise?" would we be having this debate? also surprised no one pointed out...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm6Tclz_-J8

Dardeau
01-10-2014, 06:51 PM
I just found out the restaurant is getting some faro to play with on Monday. Make riso with this and enjoy it, and don't worry about the amount you stirred it.

panda
01-11-2014, 01:15 AM
is it just me that finds it highly entertaining that you guys are arguing about stirring rice??

dardeau, i've never tried faro, but it sounds awesome!

jimbob
01-11-2014, 02:21 AM
From a home cooks perspective, I'm enjoying the passion in craft being shown. I guess risotto is one of those traditional dishes with traditional technique. I certainly have the time to baby my risottos, can't imagine that being very viable in a busy kitchen!

daddy yo yo
01-11-2014, 04:09 AM
read smth like this in an italian cook book written by an old italian MAMA (she probably wasn't slim): you're doing it right when you gently stir, making sure you don't scratch the bottom of the pan, and in the end, some of the rice has stuck to the bottom of the pan and it has got golden-brown. you serve the risotto, and then the cook can choose: either you top the risotto with the golden-brown, crispy rice from the pan, or you keep that for yourself!!! :hungry: really, that is the best part of risotto! i have found the right temperature, pan, and technique and i will always end up with this delicacy in my pan... this is so yummy!!!

panda
01-11-2014, 04:36 AM
ditto on the crispy bits!!

labor of love
01-11-2014, 04:56 AM
farro/faro seems to be a good grain for risotto. sean brock seems to enjoy using it in the second season of mind of the chef.

jbl
01-11-2014, 05:00 AM
But it won't be similar at all texturally, more akin to a barley risotto, much, much less starch

labor of love
01-11-2014, 05:29 AM
But it won't be similar at all texturally, more akin to a barley risotto, much, much less starch

YOLO my friend.YOLO.

labor of love
01-11-2014, 05:30 AM
double post. my B.

jbl
01-11-2014, 05:46 AM
Don't get me wrong, it'll be delicious, and I love farro (Emmer wheat) but it doesn't really 'risotto'
'

labor of love
01-11-2014, 06:09 AM
cmon man. sure its not as starchy as arborio rice, but it does get creamy somewhat.

Dardeau
01-11-2014, 07:43 AM
Go slow, and it will do everything you want it to.

panda
01-11-2014, 01:24 PM
you could always use starchy stock.

jbl
01-11-2014, 01:41 PM
You could, but I think it's best just to say you are cooking farro, rather than risotto. Its like when people say that they're making a carpaccio of pineapple; its a lack of understanding-carpaccio is the beef dish so named for the artist Carpaccio who used red and white to strong effect. So carpaccio of pineapple is unnecessary nomenclature, as is farro risotto

willic
01-11-2014, 02:37 PM
I stir once every minute or so... I am always afraid too much stirring could make mush!

Chef Andy
01-11-2014, 03:11 PM
I stir once every minute or so... I am always afraid too much stirring could make mush!

It'll turn to mush if you overcook it, not if you stir it.

willic
01-11-2014, 03:32 PM
It'll turn to mush if you overcook it, not if you stir it.

Good point! :)

willic
01-11-2014, 03:33 PM
I've noticed it's easy to overcook risoto if you attempt to use any rice other then aborio! What's the story with using other rices???

jeff1
01-11-2014, 04:32 PM
One word. Thermomix.

Chef Andy
01-11-2014, 04:41 PM
You want to use a short grain rice because it has a higher amount of amylose compared to medium or long grain rice. Amylose is the starch that causes the risotto to become thick and creamy. The more amylose, the more liquid the rice can absorb. Don't use rice labelled as risotto rice because manufacturers are legally allowed to use either medium or short grain rice and call it "risotto rice". The best 2 types of rice for risotto are Vialone nano or carnaroli in my opinion.

willic
01-11-2014, 06:07 PM
You want to use a short grain rice because it has a higher amount of amylose compared to medium or long grain rice. Amylose is the starch that causes the risotto to become thick and creamy. The more amylose, the more liquid the rice can absorb. Don't use rice labelled as risotto rice because manufacturers are legally allowed to use either medium or short grain rice and call it "risotto rice". The best 2 types of rice for risotto are Vialone nano or carnaroli in my opinion.

Thanks for the info! Very good info!!!!!!!!!

daddy yo yo
01-15-2014, 04:21 AM
The best 2 types of rice for risotto are Vialone nano or carnaroli in my opinion.I agree but I would add Arborio to the Top 3!

JanusInTheGarden
01-16-2014, 03:14 PM
I've got another seemingly common point of contention. What is the correct viscosity of risotto to you? I 've seen one specific viscosity answered most commonly but respectable chefs saying another.

jbl
01-16-2014, 07:05 PM
It should definitely not ever be piled into a ring mould, or have the consistency to hold that shape. It should be fluid enough that a spoonful on a plate spreads to the edges of the plate if gently shaken. Almost soupy is the answer!

chefjohnboyardee
02-05-2014, 04:56 PM
I had a chef insist on using cold stock. I hated life. A batch would take an hour or more to get al dente. He was later fired and I was promoted. Warm stock for everyone! A lot less cooking time. Much rejoicing!

Reede
02-06-2014, 06:47 PM
Shrimp/Saffron risotto
http://i1144.photobucket.com/albums/o496/ReedEdwards/DSC03897_zpsab171fb8.jpg (http://s1144.photobucket.com/user/ReedEdwards/media/DSC03897_zpsab171fb8.jpg.html)
And yes, I stirred constantly.

EdipisReks
02-06-2014, 11:20 PM
It should definitely not ever be piled into a ring mould, or have the consistency to hold that shape.

People do that? Jeez.

jamaster14
02-13-2014, 11:12 AM
i did a green pea risotto last night. i served it along side a double thick cut center-cut pork chop that i grill smoked with almond wood.

running between stovetop and my backyard weber was very interesting..eventually, i decided fire management was more important than risotto management.

i went into the kitchen to add more broth and shake the pan and stir (occasionally)..then i did other things.

i'll be honest..the resulting risotto was still creamy and soft..

what gives? also, what is the inside the restaurant secrets to rissoto? you pro chefs make a big batch and just warm it thru with added hot broth and vigorous stirring? no way you make each to order, right?

You need the constant stirring to keep the grains from burning. This is only required based on the method you use. if you are adding enough liquid at a time where there is no grains that are dry/on the bottom then you dont need to stir as often, although this also will probably result in a less then desireable batch... the way ive made it for years in the restaraunt is:

6 to 1 liquid to abborio ratio (ends up being more like 5 or 5.5 to one with the reducing of the stock as it simmers in another pot)

-heat my stock to a high simmer in a seperate sauce pan
-toast the grains and some shallots and garlic in olive oil. this will crack the rice and allow the starch to more easily seep out.
-add a cup of white wine
-1 ladle at a time, add the liquid, stirring constantly until the liquid is dissolved. then add another ladle.
-do this until all the liquid in your sauce pan is gone
-Add in a giant knob of butter and grate in some parmaseano reggiano.

i never cook the veggies or meat with the rissotto. if im making say pea risotto, i would make a seperate pea puree and blend it in during the last steps

remove the rissoto and spread it out on a sheet pan. once its cooled i cover and refrigerate. then i reconsistuite it with a ladle or two of the stock once its ready to serve, and blend in whatever puree im putting in it.

hasnt failed me in over 15 years

jamaster14
02-13-2014, 11:14 AM
I sweat down onions and garlic till translucent and sweet, not browned tho. Add rice and dry stir to slightly toast to bring a nuttyness out. Deglaze with white wine and reduce that till nearly gone, then add chicken stock till abiut 2/3 cooked and lay out on sheet try to cool. Reheat to order in pan with butter, cheesen S&P, and stock. Never cream. Stir rappidly at the end.

yea, spot on exactly what i do.

jamaster14
02-13-2014, 11:16 AM
i will continue to stand over the stove for 20 minutes stirring with a wooden spoon stamped "france" for the rest of my life. risotto is something that is genuine and should be kept as something sacred. what the hell else do we have in the kitchen? we should keep the traditions.

maybe mine is better than yours, its most likely.

love that you have the soul of a cook... i would agree 100% with you on your views here.