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Brown rice lovers do not give up on yellow risotto
Even the traditional yellow saffron risotto, which some call saffron risotto (even if the Milanese one is a particular recipe) it can be prepared with brown rice, which compared to the refined white rice (or polished) is richer than fibers, vitamins is minerals. The result is a dish with a more rustic and decisive flavor, which however enhances the flavors of the condiments provided by the classic preparation: sautéed in butter (or oil), white wine, broth and saffron.
Obviously this recipe is not an attack on tradition, but only a suggestion to lovers of yellow risotto aware that rice, like all cereals, it should be consumed whole to preserve its very rich content of fibers, vitamins (B₁, B₆, E, PP) and minerals (magnesium, phosphorus, iron). In fact, these elements are lost for almost two thirds in the refining process that leads the white rice to preserve only the central area of the original grain.
The underlying problem is the cooking, which in the case of brown rice is much longer (about 45-50 minutes) than that of white rice (about 20 minutes). The best-known brands today offer brown rice that cooks even in 18 minutes, but they recommend it especially for soups or cold dishes based on boiled rice. You can try these products, or use brown rice without pre-processing and take more time by providing one natural cooking longer as with normal polenta than instant polenta. It is important to rinse the brown rice 2-3 times in cold water before cooking.
A valid help can be given by the pressure cooker, with which the preparation of risotto becomes faster than that of pasta (and reduces gas consumption). After having toasted the rice in the sauce and blended with the white wine, add the broth, close the pot and wait for the whistle, leaving the heat low. It takes about 7-8 minutes for white rice, about 20 for wholemeal rice. After this time the pan is allowed to vent, opened and added saffron and mixes. With white rice you need about 2 parts of liquid for each part of rice, with wholemeal you get 3-1 and it is useful to set aside a little hot broth to add if the rice is still al dente.
Here is the recipe for a yellow saffron risotto with brown rice
– 400g of brown rice (for 4 people)
– 80g of butter (or extra virgin olive oil and butter)
– 1 spring onion (or shallot)
– 1 glass of dry white wine
– 1.5 liters of broth
– Saffron (2 sachets of 1,5g)
– 60g of grated parmesan
Before starting, the brown rice should be rinsed in cold water even 2-3 times. After frying the onion in half the butter (here there are those who prefer oil because there is a whey in the butter that tends to burn), add the rice and toast it well. When the wooden spatula creaks in the pot on contact with the rice, add the white wine and let it evaporate. At this point, the broth is added a little at a time, stirring constantly (in the pressure cooker the broth must be put together before closing, leaving only a small part of it for any final adjustment). Brown rice takes about 45 minutes (about half in a pressure cooker). The saffron must be added 5 minutes before removing from the flame after having diluted it in a cup of broth (when cooked in a pressure cooker). Finally, remove from the heat and use the remaining butter to whisk together with the parmesan cheese.
The best risotto is the one prepared in a copper pot, which spreads the heat quickly and evenly.
The toasting phase in the sautéed is fundamental, which serves to seal the grain and causes the rice to slowly yield the starch.
The wine must be at room temperature (not cold) and should be added only when the rice is very hot, so as to evaporate quickly.
If you want a tasty and fragrant risotto, as good as that of restaurants, you can increase the dose of saffron (even 1 sachet for each dish).