Risotto is fabulous for a crowd: it’s relatively simple, it’s versatile and can be made to suit any dietary restriction. The only drawback is the constant stirring over a hot stove that always keeps someone away from the party or brings the crowd to the cramped kitchen. Well, this recipe will change all that, with a little prep work and the help of a digital scale (which you can purchase for under $20 if you don’t already own the kitchen essential) you can make risotto that tastes like you spent hours on it in just three minutes.
The secret to ramen noodles is that they’re basic. No, I don’t mean that kind of basic, I mean ramen noodles have a high pH making them alkaline. They get their distinctive color and texture from a special, alkaline water called kansui. You can think of it like the egg you would use when making pasta. When you really need some ramen noodles but your pantry is empty and you’re nowhere near a convenience store, you can either cook your noodles in baking soda enriched water or presoak pasta in a baking soda, salt and water solution, and you can also use this same technique to decimate the cook time of risotto.
Prep Time: 90 minutes (inactive)
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 93 minutes
1 cup short grain sushi rice
2000 grams (2000 mL) water
20 grams baking soda
10 grams salt
3 cups stock (chicken, vegetable or your favorite)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 butternut squash, cubed and roasted
5 slices bacon, cooked
1. Weigh the baking soda and salt then add to water and stir to dissolve. Add rice to water and let sit for 90 minutes. This is a great time to prepare your mix ins–I roasted butternut squash (at 400˚ with olive oil, salt and dried sage until soft), grated Parmesan and cooked bacon, but you can use any combination of vegetables, cheese and protein you’d like.
2. After 90 minutes strain the rice then pat it dry.
3. Bring the stock to a boil then add the rice. Cook for three minutes at a rolling boil. It might take an extra minute, but it’s better to leave the rice a little undercooked as it will continue to cook while you finish the risotto. If there is still a lot of liquid in the pot when the rice is cooked pour off most of the extra.
4. Stir in the butter, Parmesan, squash and bacon (or whatever ingredients you’ve chosen to use) and season to taste with salt, pepper and dried sage. If you want a kick add some crushed red pepper.