Risotto | Basics with Babish
Hey guys, welcome back to ‘Basics with Babish’. With this week we’re taking a look at Risotto! Normally rice plays a supporting role, but in this dish it’s the star of the show. Not only are we going to show you how to make it two different ways, we’re going to take the leftovers and make them into Arancini, a whole different level of deep-fried deliciousness! Let’s get down to basics. 🎵Intro Music🎵 Alright guys so we’re going to start by making a really standard risotto but in a kinda, funky way that is in a pressure cooker. With the pressure cooker on its hottest or browning setting we’re going to sweat a small, finely chopped onion before adding two cups of Risotto rice. The classics being Arborio or Carnaroli. We’re then going to toast that rice for about one minute until the edges become translucent. Kinda like little ice cubes before deglazing with a good glug or about half a cup of white wine, whichever comes first. Continue to sauté until all the alcohol has cooked off and then we’re adding four cups of chicken stock. It’s a pretty good ratio to keep in mind. Two to one chicken stock. Two cups of rice. Give that a little mix, make sure they are no grains of rice stuck to the side of the pan, and gauge the locking lid on your pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 5-6 minutes. And obviously use the quick release steam valve to let all the steam out before opening. Then we’re going to grate a metric f*** ton of Parmesan into the risotto. Season with a little bit of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, give the whole thing a stir to make sure the cheese is melted and the spices are evenly distributed and, there you have it! A very simple, sort of base-line risotto to which any number of attractive toppings and fillings could be added, while in this very simple state it’s still very delicious, we’re going to refrigerate most of this and use it later to make Arancini, we’ll get back to that in a few minutes. For now we’re going to make a more traditional risotto with some added flavors. Most notable among them being butternut squash. We’re going to start by carefully endevouring to cut a whole butternut squash in half, like so, scoop all the gnarly stuff out of the cavity, like so, place any parchment lined baking sheet, like so, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, like so. Make sure to rub it into every little crevice, like so, and then stuff the cavity with a bit of fresh sage, like so. Ok sorry I’m done. Season with a little bit of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, place it cut side down on the parchment lined baking sheet, and bake at about 350°F (175°C) for 45 minutes to an hour or until a paring knife shows little to no resistance when pierced through the flesh. We’re going to scoop out most of the squash, reserving about a cup, placing the rest into a blender and adding some chicken stock, just enough to make this into a purée, so add a little splash, turn on your blender, see if it turns into a purée. This doesn’t, so I’ll add a little bit more, crank your blender on again and repeat until you have a nice, thick, butternut squash purée. Take a moment to appreciate how cool and steamy your whole kitchen looks, and now it’s time to get down to the business of making risotto the old fashioned way, that is in a large, stock pot. We’re starting out the same way by sweating a small onion in some olive oil, then once soft and translucent, adding one cup of Arborio rice, and then deglazing with- Hang on a second lets make sure this stuff is any good. Yup. Deglazing with a couple hearty glugs of white wine. Dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. Simmer over high heat until the smell of alcohol has cooked off, and then it’s time to slowly start adding chicken stock, a couple ladlefuls at a time, from a separate pot in which we are keeping it at a constant simmer. Then once you’re able to drag your spoon across the bottom of your pot and it leaves a trail of exposed pot behind it, we’re going to add maybe two or three ladles of hot chicken stock. We’re then going to repeat this process continually, stirring the risotto, cooking at a medium simmer, adding chicken stock as soon as your able to see the bottom of the pot when scraped, until the rice is just barely almost fully cooked. Toothsome, as they say. At this point, we’re going to add out butternut squash purée, string to combine and continuing to cook at medium-low heat, until the rice is complete. But it’s not yet time to eat this tasty slow cooked treat, first we need to add a little something savory, and a little something sweet. For the savory, we’re going to fry some sage leafs in some butter until the butter barely turns brown. As soon as you see those milk fats solidify and darken, take it off the heat, and put it into a container where it can cool off. Remove the sage leaves and set it aside, and now it’s time to address the sweet side of things. That is just going to be a few tablespoons of maple syrup. If you can’t tell already, this is gonna be really, really a good thing to eat. We’re also gonna add a little brown butter, reserving some for plating, and a whole bunch of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Mix that together until everything is all nice and melted, and then grab our reserved roasted butternut squash, give it a little chop, and add that for some textural bonus points. Mix that up and we’re going to season with kosher salt and white pepper. Little known fact about white pepper: it tastes great and smells like death. And now when you thought things couldn’t get any better, Bacon. Plate yourself up a heaping helping of our risotto, top with a little bit of the brown butter that we set aside earlier, try to get lots of those little brown specks in there, and then top with our chopped bacon. Then you can use a vegetable peeler to shave some large… shavings… of Parmesan cheese on top, before garnishing with our fried sage leafs. And there you have it! Butternut Squash Risotto. Sweet. Savory. Delicious! But what about all that plain risotto from earlier Andy? Well buckle up, because we’re making Arancini. Just like I promised. We’re going to start by making a thin slurry of water and all purpose flour, then we’re going to grab a handful of our chilled risotto, flatten it out into a nice little pancake, and then insert a hunk of mozzarella, jack, whatever kind of cheese you want in the center, Something nice and melty, form it into a very large – matzo balls sized – ball. Then we’re going to coat the ball in the flour and water slurry like the bitter herbs in salt water at the passover, and then coat in panko breadcrumbs, before dropping into a deep fryer or dutch oven filled with vegetable oil set to about 350°F (175°C). We’re then going to fry these for about 7-10 minutes, flipping occasionally until they are golden, crispy brown all over. Remove and drain on paper towels before plating up and serving with some warm tomato sauce. This is an excellent use for leftover risotto, and is an easy way to impress your friends with crispy exteriors, flavorful interiors, and of course, porn-y, melty, pull apart, cheese shots. I really hope you try this one for yourselves, especially next week when I’ll be cooking along live with you on Twitch, go check out my channel at twitch.tv/bingingwithbabish every other Thursday, I cook last weeks basics live so you can cook along with me, and we can chat, shoot the breeze, and make some delicious food together. I look forward to seeing you guys there, this was the last episode of basics to come out of the old basics kitchen, so next time I’ll see you guys in the new place!