Risotto is arguably one of the most comforting and warming of winter dishes, but is also one that can cause many a home cook a sleepless night or two when it comes to making the perfect, creamy bowl. Chef Garth Almazan, Executive Chef at Catharina’s and our very own Risotto King, weighs in on his rules for achieving a delicious result, every time.
What flavours work best in risotto?
Most flavours work well, but my favourites are saffron, bisque, and goat’s cheese.
Do different textures work well in risottos (i.e. creamy rice with crunchy or crispy ingredients)?
The more you experiment, the better! I love to change the textures. Risotto is creamy and I like to use textures like fried ciabatta, crispy fried herbs, and tempura vegetables or seafood.
What’s the one big no-no when it comes to making risotto?
Don’t use cold stock and don’t forget to stir your risotto.
Do you need to have any special cookware or tools when making risotto?
A large Teflon pan and a solid wooden spoon are essential.
Should you use homemade stock, or is store-bought powdered/liquid stock sufficient?
Preferably homemade, but with all the wonderful stocks in stores nowadays, it’s perfectly fine not to make your own. Make sure to use the best one that you can afford to, though, for the best and tastiest results.
Your top three tips for making a fool-proof risotto?
Make sure that the stock you using is hot.
Only use the best wine you can.
Make sure you use only genuine parmigiana reggiano.
What are your favourite risotto flavours for winter 2012?
I must say its the Catharina’s Oxtail Risotto, followed closely by our Prawn Risotto.