Saffron Risotto Recipe - Risotto alla Milanese


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Saffron Risotto or Risotto alla Milanese is a traditional Italian risotto with saffron in it. Risotto is normally a primo or first course dish, served on its own before the main course.

Learn How To Make Risotto Ahead of Time - With this technique, that is used by restaurant chefs, you never have to stand at the stove, stirring, for 20 minutes while your guests wonder where you have gone. You can make any kind of risotto you want using this method.

Saffron Risotto

Low Fat Recipes, Low Calorie Recipes, Low Carbohydrate recipes, and Diabetic  Recipes, check out my Diet Recipe Index. Also check out my Nutritional Chart for fat grams, carbohydrate grams, and calories for all your favorite foods.

Don't forget to check out my Lamb Chops with Cracked Pepperand Rosemary dinner menu, Veal Scaloppine Piccata dinner menu, and Barbecued Salmon with Herb Mayonnaise dinner menu which includes this fantastic Saffron Risotto.




Saffron Risotto Recipe:

Recipe Type: Risotto, Rice, Arborio Rice, Wine, Saffron, Cheese
Yields: 4 main course servings or 6 side dish servings
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 22 min


Ingredients:

5 cups chicken broth or stock
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup finely-chopped onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon chopped saffron strands (dissolved in 1/2 cup hot broth from above)*
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup freshly-grated Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
Parmesan Cheese

* To purchase Saffron, check out What's Cooking America's Kitchen Store.


Preparation:

When preparing risotto, use the Mise en Place technique and assemble and measure out all the ingredients before starting your risotto.


Heating the broth or liquid:
All the flavors that the cooking liquid starts out with become more concentrated and intense as it evaporates. Bearing that in mind, when the recipe requires broth, you will use a fine, mild beef or chicken broth. It is always better to use homemade broth or stock, but if you don't have the time (like most of us), don't worry! Swanson's Organic Chicken and Beef broths are great for making risotto.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring chicken broth to a slow, steady simmer (the liquid should stay hot but not simmer). Place this pot on a burner, over low heat, next to the burner you will be using to make the risotto. Keep the broth simmering slowly.


Toasting the rice:
Cooking the rice in hot butter or oil before adding liquid helps the rice to absorb the liquids slowly without becoming soggy. This is called "Toasting the Rice."

In a large heavy 4-quart pan over medium heat, melt the butter; add onion and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until soft (be careful not to brown the onions). Add the rice. Using a wooden spoon, stir approximately 2 to 3 minutes, making sure all the grains are well coated (toasting the rice in melted butter also keeps it from getting mushy). Toasting the rice quickly heats up the grain's exterior (toast until the rice is hot to the touch and the color should remain pearly white, not turn brown). Add the wine and stir until completely absorbed, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.


Add liquid in increments: The quantity of liquid suggested in the recipes is always approximate. In actual cooking, you should be prepared to use more, or sometimes less, as the risotto itself requires. All the flavors that the cooking liquid starts out with become more concentrated and intense as it evaporates. Bearing that in mind, when the recipe requires broth, you will use a fine, mild beef or chicken broth. It is always better to use homemade broth or stock, but if you don't have the time (like most of us), don't worry! Swanson's Organic Chicken and Beef broths are great for making risotto.

Add the hot chicken broth (1/2 cup at a time), stirring frequently. Add liquid slowly and stirring frequently are the keys to making perfect risotto. Run your wooden spoon across the bottom of the pot to determine when each addition of broth is almost completely absorbed. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup, reserving about 1/4 cup to add at the end. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Risotto doesn't need constant attention during its 18 minute cooking time. You'll just need to check on the pan every few minutes, give the rice a stir to keep it from sticking, and add more stock.


Adding Saffron Strands:
When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, add 1/2 the dissolved saffron. Continue to stir and when there is no more liquid in the pot, add the remaining saffron. Proceed with adding the hot chicken broth broth.


Finishing the risotto:
After approximately 18 minutes, when the rice is tender but still firm, add the 1/4 cup reserved hot chicken broth. NOTE: When cooking with broth, if you have used up the broth before the rice is fully cooked, continue with simmering water.

The rice is done when it is tender, but firm to the bite. The total amount of cooking time may vary within 2 to 3 minutes. To test the risotto for proper consistency, spoon a little into a bowl and shake it lightly from side to side. The risotto should spread out very gently of its own accord. If the rice just stands still, it's too dry, so add a little more stock. If a puddle of liquid forms around the rice, you've added too much stock. Spoon some liquid off, or just let the risotto sit for a few more seconds off the heat to absorb the excess stock.

Turn off the heat and immediately add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the parmesan cheese, stirring vigorously to combine with the rice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

stirring risotto

risotto finished

Cooking and stirring the Rice Cooked Risotto Milanese


Serving the risotto:
Transfer risotto to warmed serving plates and serve immediately with additional freshly-grated parmesan cheese on the side.

If the finished risotto is left to sit and not served immediately, it will continue absorbing fluid and become sticky instead of creamy. You can save this by stirring in a few tablespoons of warm broth right before serving. If it is left to sit too long (15 minutes or more), the rice will lose its firm texture and become undesirably mushy.

Makes 4 main course servings or 6 side dish servings.

 


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