RISOTTO ALLA LIMONE
Risotto alla Limone
I love Risotto; Even the process of making it is relaxing. I also love ANYTHING that contains Lemon. I have to give a speech on rice here, because the rice you use is what makes your risotto into risotto, or just an overcooked pilaf. I have seen recipes claiming that you can make fantastic risotto with any long grain rice. I wonder if these people have ever had really good risotto and just don't know what they are missing. You have at least six choices but three are the most common. Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano. The first two are much easier to find than the third. There are, also, Baldo, Roma and Padano, but I have never seen them at the market. These rices are very special. Why? you ask. Because they contain the 'Golden Ratio' of the two starches found in rice. Amylose and Amylopectin. Rice that is high in amylose, a long straight starch molecule that does not gelatinize during cooking and crystalizes when cold, creates fluffy rice such as Basmati and Jasmine. Rice high in Amylopectin, a multi-branched molecule that becomes sticky when released during cooking, results in a very clumpy rice such as Sushi rice that is able to hold it's shape. Somewhere in between these two extremes is the perfect balance of amylose and amylopectin that creates a medium-firm textured rice combined with an unparalleled creamyness that cannot be duplicated by any long grain or sushi rice. The second most important thing is the stirring of the Risotto. You must stir to force the grains to rub against each other, releasing the amylopectin into the broth and thus creating the silky mouth feel that good risotto is known for. Third and final, you must not add chilled wine or cold broth to your risotto during the cooking process. Heat your broth on a separate burner and have your wine at least at room temperature. If you add cold wine after the saute, you will shock the rice, if you add cold or luke warm broth during the remainder of the cooking process, you will start a cycle of cooling & reheating as the cold liquid comes back up to a boil. This is not good for the rice and makes it gummy. It will also double the cooking time. So without further comment, here is my recipe for Lemon Risotto.