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Risotto alla Milanese

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Risotto alla milanese 01.jpg

Risotto is a class of Italian dishes of rice cooked in broth to a creamy consistency. The broth may be meat-based, fish-based, or vegetable-based; many kinds include parmesan cheese, butter or lard, and onion. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy. Risotto is normally a primo (first course), served on its own before the main course, but risotto alla milanese is often served together with ossobuco alla milanese. Various risotto recipes contain different ingredients, but they all have rice as the main component, cooked in a standard way.

Preparation

Risotto alla Milanese is made with beef stock, beef bone marrow, lard (instead of butter) and cheese, flavored and colored with saffron. The rice is first cooked briefly in a soffritto of onion or garlic and lard or olive oil to coat each grain in a film of fat, this is called tostatura; white or red wine is added and has to be absorbed by the grains. When it has evaporated, the heat is raised to medium high and very hot stock is gradually added in small amounts while stirring gently. When the rice gets a creamy structure it is taken off the heat for the mantecatura while diced lard and finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese are vigorously stirred in to make the texture as creamy and smooth as possible. It may be removed from the heat a few minutes earlier, and left to cook with its residual heat. Properly cooked risotto is rich and creamy but still with some resistance or bite: al dente, and with separate grains. The traditional texture is fairly fluid, or all'onda ("wavy, or flowing in waves"). It is served on flat dishes and it should easily spread out but not have excess watery liquid around the perimeter. It must be eaten at once as it continues to cook in its own heat and can become too dry with the grains too soft.

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References

Risotto, en.wikipedia.org

Risotto alla Milanese Recipe - Milanese Saffron Risotto, italianfood.about.com

Risotto alla milanese, gurmandino.ro

Risotto with Saffron, www.annamariavolpi.com