Culinary Sense

Adventures with Food and Life

Pilaf and risotto

Hey Peeps!

Monday, again, and now in my third week of classes. Next week, we have the big final exam – both practical and written!!!! I’m excited, but also nervous, of course.

Today we finished up our segment on cooking grains. We made pilaf and risotto, all in one day!

Rice pilaf with tomato and garlic.

One thing I didn’t know about pilaf is that you can make it with different kinds of grains, not just with rice. I generally don’t eat a lot of rice, but I tasted a lot of different pilafs from other students, and found I kind of liked them! Maybe next time in a restaurant, I’ll go for it!

A classmate preps his risotto: leeks, garlic, cheese, butter.

Hot chicken stock for the risotto.

The risotto must be made with hot liquid, so we got some chicken stock simmering on the stove. You sweat the onions, then add the rice until it is coated with oil. We used Arborio rice, which is typical for risotto. The shorter grain means more surface area, which means more starch can be released when you stir the risotto. (The pilaf, on the other hand, should never be stirred because you don’t want the grains to stick together.)

Sweating the onions.

Once the rice is coated in oil, you can add the wine. Once all the wine has been absorbed by the rice, you can start adding the other liquid (usually stock or broth). You need to add the liquid gradually, but it also shouldn’t take forever, otherwise the rice will become mealy and gummy.

Rice and onions coated in oil, wine just added.

Finishing ingredients for the risotto.

Finishing the risotto with butter, cheese, and herbs.

Wrapping risotto to bring home.

Unfortunately, I only had one container to bring rice home in, so I had to wrap my risotto in plastic.

Now I have enormous amounts of rice at home, along with polenta and pasta from last week.

~ Carolynn


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4 thoughts on “Pilaf and risotto

  1. Yay! I love grains. I make risotto regularly. I love to add a variety of sauteed or reconstitued dry mushrooms to my risottos. I also made one once where I garnished my risotto with sliced heirloom tomatoes, which on top of the the hot risotto created a sort of poached effect for the tomatoes. It was delish!


  2. Carolynn 2.0 on said:

    Sounds great, Quinn. I happen to like mushroom risotto the best, too! With porcini for the strong, earthy flavor.

  3. Hilary on said:

    someone will have to help me sometime — I made what should have been a rocking mushroom risotto recently, and it just didn’t really come out satisfactorily

  4. Carolynn 2.0 on said:

    What happened? Was it soggy?

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