Whisking It



April 2013

Risotto Milanese

Written by , Posted in Mains

Shewee. I feel like I haven’t posted anything in a lifetime! Have been crazy sick and then busy and away for the weekend at the wonderful Jenny’s wedding from JeniColour, in Natal. How beautiful.

So my Italian family is from Milan. I remember eating this dish in Switzerland when we visited them in Europe for the first time (and yes they took us to the insanely amazing St Moritz to ski). My dad’s cousin cooked us the traditional Milanese dish the one night at the house, because this meal is the ultimate for cold weather. Anyway, back then my taste wasn’t nearly even half as refined as it is now, and I remember thinking how weird it was and wondering why it was yellow… Nowadays, however, I can’t get enough. Risotto is bad enough, but Risotto Milanese is just to die for. Unfortunately so is the price of saffron. Lucky for me my dad brought back some powder sachets from his last trip to Italy, apparently it is a bit cheaper over there.

You will need:

1 onion
4 little cloves of garlic
1.5 cups white wine
1 cup arborio rice (risotto rice)
1 cup grated parmesan
3 tbs of butter
vegetable stock
saffron (I used one sachet, but a pinch of strands would be the same or 1.5 tsp of the ground version)
5 tbs lemon (not in the traditional dish)
salt and pepper to taste

Get your stock to a simmer on one plate. Add the saffron to the stock and mix in – the stock should go bright yellow.
Chop up the onion and the garlic, fry in a large pan.
Add the rice and stir until it begins to go translucent around the edges.
Add the wine and allow to reduce.
Add ladles of the stock one at a time, stirring continuously until the rice absorbs it before adding the next ladle.
On the last ladle of stock you can decide how you want to serve your risotto. I didnt mention this in my Mushroom Risotto post,  but I prefer mine to be a bit more “sticky” than “runny” so I let the stock reduce till the risotto is the consistency of… like.. really thick jungle oats?? You will just have to see what you prefer.
Now you add the butter – makes it nice and glossy and adds extra flavour, the parmesan and your salt and pepper.

Serve as is – the saffron is delicious enough – or with some extra chourizo sausage.

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