I vaguely remember discovering this technique about ten or fifteen years ago in the dining section of the New York Times. I believe it can be attributed to Gray Kunz, who was the head chef at L’Espinasse in New York City at the time.
This method produces creamy rice without having to stir constantly. The end result is not as refined as traditional risotto, but it is an acceptable and time saving alternative for use in recipes such as Italian rice balls, risotto cakes, etc.
It can also be served as a quick and hearty meal by adding precooked meats and vegetables. My personal favorites are blanched broccoli florets and crumbled pieces of bacon. I also like to substitute cheddar cheese for the parmesan with the broccoli-bacon combination.
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- A scant 2/3 cups dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Place the rice and wine in a small sauté pan. Bring the wine to a lazy simmer over low heat. Continue to simmer until all of the wine has evaporated. Do not stir the rice at any time during the cooking process.
When the wine evaporated, gently add hot chicken stock into the pan. Be careful not to disturb the rice. Bring rice-stock mixture back to a lazy simmer.
Continue simmering until all of the stock has been either absorbed by the rice or evaporated. Remember; do not stir the rice anytime during the cooking process.
Once all of the stock has been absorbed, remove pan from heat. Stir in one tablespoon of butter and the parmesan cheese.
If serving as a separate course, add any combination of precooked meats or vegetable after the butter and cheese has been added. Serve warm.
If preparing rice balls or risotto cakes, spread rice mixture evenly across a small roasting pan or baking dish. Cover and set in the refrigerator to cool until you are ready to use.