Rice Pilaf uses a cooking technique similar to braising, where you begin by sautéing the rice in fat (butter) and then finishing it is the oven until all of the liquid has been absorbed. (The general liquid to rice ratio when making rice is 2:1) Finishing your rice in the oven if preferable because the heat is even and constant. This is news to me. I always ruin rice. I ruin rice in a rice cooker. Today mine was perfect and it was a huge triumph. (Ah, the little things....)
On to Risotto. Yes, please.
Risotto is a classic Italian technique for cooking rice. It is rich, creamy, delicious, and made waking up at 5am this morning totally worth it.
There are five steps to making risotto:
1. Soffrito sweat aromatics in butter
2. Rizo add rice
3. Vino add wine
4. Brodo add hot stock
5. Condimente to finish
Heat butter over medium heat. Add onion. Sweat until transparent.
In a separate pot combine chicken stock and saffron. It is important to keep stock hot. If you add cooled stock to the risotto it will bring the temperature down during cooking and ruin the process.
Once onions are cooked, add rice and 'pearl,' or sauté until transparent.
Add wine and bring to 'au sec.' Next, begin adding hot stock. Begin with a few ounces and once the liquid has all been absorbed, add more. Continue this process until the rice is tender and cooked, but still has a bite. The finished product will be rich and creamy because the starch has been cooked out and you are left with layers of concentrated flavor. Season with salt. Finish with chopped parsley.