Rice is a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in Asia. It is the grain with the second-highest worldwide production, after corn. Rice was introduced to Europe through Western Asia, and to the Americas through European colonization. Muslims brought rice to Sicily, where it was an important crop. It was cultivated and promoted by Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. In the year 1694, in the USA, rice arrived in South Carolina, probably originating from Madagascar.
There are many varieties of rice and culinary preferences tend to vary regionally. Raw rice may be ground into flour for many uses, including making many kinds of beverages, such as rice milk, and rice wine. Rice flour does not contain gluten, so is suitable for people on a gluten-free diet. Rice flour and starch often are used in batters and a breading method to increase crispiness. Rice is cooked by boiling or steaming, and absorbs water during cooking. It can be cooked in just as much water as it absorbs, or in a large quantity of water which is drained before serving. Electric rice cookers, more popular in Asia and Latin America, simplify the process of cooking rice. Arborio rice is sometimes quickly fried in oil or fat before boiling (for example saffron rice or risotto); this makes the cooked rice less sticky, and is a cooking style commonly called Pilaf by American chefs in India, Pakistan, and Iran. Almost one in five adult Americans reports eating at least half a serving of white or brown rice per day.
Arborio rice: Arborio rice is named after a town in the Piedmont and Lombardy regions of northwest Italy. A short grain Italian white rice, Arborio is popular in risotto and other Italian rice dishes. Arborio's short, plump grains contain more starch than most other rice varieties, which makes it ideal for starchy rice dishes like risotto. It is also well suited for rice dishes where the rice must retain a shape, like sushi. Its pearly appearance and short, fat grains are expected to be served slightly al dente, still firm inside. It can be ground into flour and added to dishes that require a creamy consistency.
Note: This recipe is the base for all risottos. For instance if you wanted to make this a chicken and grilled asparagus you would cook the chicken and asparagus separately then add them hot, toss them with the risotto then finish it by adding the cheese and butter.
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 medium onion, cut into small dice (approximately 1/ 4 inch)
10 ounces baby Portabella mushrooms, sliced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/ 2 cup of white wine (the kind you like to drink)
2 sprigs of Thyme
7 cups Chicken stock, hot (it doesn’t stop the process of cooking if it is hot)
Note: (You may not need all of the stock)
4 tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or more if you like
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus for shaving (or more if you like)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a 12 to 14-inch skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms. Cook the onions until translucent but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Once the onions are translucent add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine to the toasting rice ensuring that it is all cooked off before you add any stock. Add a 6-ounce ladle of the chicken stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Add in two sprigs of thyme. Continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy and yet still a little al dente, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the thyme. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and cheese until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Portion risotto into 4 warmed serving plates, serving with extra shaved cheese. Bon Appetit !
Wine Pairings To Drink;
Barolo Wine: A red wine from Piedmont, Italy with ripe cherry, raspberry, and creamy vanilla spice.
Pinot Noir Wine: A red wine with red berry, truffles, and it is earthy.
Till Next Time………………………………....................................
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