Rice, Risotto = Tomato, Marinara

RisottoYes, folks, this is an IQ test.  Just kidding.  I’m trying to say that Risotto is not a type of rice.  Risotto is a specific PREPARATION of rice.

There are between 7 and 8 THOUSAND kinds of rice in the world, and many different ways to prepare it.  Americans are used to long grain rice which tends cook drier and be less sticky (example Uncle Bens Long Grain Rice which is par-boiled to make it the LEAST sticky of all rice – fluffy and separated).  Then there’s medium grain and short grain (Arborio is one type, usually used in risotto preparation)…in essence, the shorter the grain the more sticky the rice is (starch exposed).

Risotto is an Italian preparation which, in general, means sauteeing the rice in fat first, then adding liquid and constantly stirring to release as much starch as possible to make the end result creamy, and finishing with cheese or other dairy to make it even MORE creamy.  Additions along the way such as meat, fish, vegetables are all options for every chef to make the dish his or her own.

Lula’s for Lunch..and More! Catering makes many different types of risotto.  My favorite, I think, is a derivation of Risi e Bisi (an Italian Rice and Pea Stew) that I make with Asparagus and Shrimp in the spring.  I use my brother’s Muscadine wine from his vineyard in North Carolina, Cane Creek, to deglaze the pan, and deepen and compliment the other flavors dancing around in the pan.  This is a dish best ordered with service; I won’t serve it unless it’s perfect, which means JUST out of the pan!