The versatility of rice, certainly one of the world’s most well-known cereals, makes it suitable for many uses, regarding combination with other ingredients and also cooking methods.
The most well-known of these is cooking by immersion, i.e. boiling. Simple to do, it does not require much cooking liquid since little of any nutritional value remains when the rice is drai- ned. Therefore add just enough water so that when the rice cooked it is completely absorbed. The steaming method is widely used in China; this somewhat more involved, but is excellent from a nutritional standpoint.
In prepararing a classic creamed risotto, the procedure becomes slightly more complex (for non-experts) since the rice firstly has to be toa-sted, adding an ingredient to flavour (usually wine or something similar), with the addition of stock in small quantities, stirring from time to time until nearly done, but leaving time enough for blending.
Among the various technologies used for coo- king this important cereal, microwave cooking is gaining ground.

A few requisites for getting good results
An oven with rotating plate is synonymous with the home, therefore large quantities cannot be inserted and cooking times will depend on the power.
It is best to use an oven with fixed dish and output of over 1000W.

  • The output on average is half that of absorbed power, therefore output power is the reference value.
  • The microwave oven is designed to work with water, fats and sugar. Since rice is almost totally moisture-free, it cooks by absorbing liquids, hence cooking times are reduced. There are also other advantages. In fact, cooking does not have to be constantly checked: once oven power and type of rice are established, perfect cooking is assured without producing any external heat or inconvenience to the user, and the rice is firmer and more evenly cooked.
  • Soup can also be prepared in the microwave, using fresh vegetables, meat or fish. 15 minutes will produce the same results as 2 hours of boi- ling. Otherwise, using prepared soup products with or without glutamate, 3 minutes are sufficient from the moment of boiling.
  • Quality “superfino” rice such as Carnaroli or Arborio, requires 300 grams of stock for every 100 grams of rice.
  • Use a large non-metallic recipient; do not put the lid on it when the rice has been added, because the starch will tend to foam up on boi- ling and spill out.
  • All sauces can be prepared in the oven; even those needing a lightly-fried base, which gives it a stronger taste. Alternatively, all the ingredients can be mixed together before cooking. 2 to 15 minutes are required for preparing the sauces.
  • Time depends on oven power and amount of product. Once familiar with the appliance, sure results are guaranteed.
  • Blending consists of adding cold butter and cheese, or oil and cheese – or in any case those ingredients needing o be cooked – constantly stirring to obtain the creaminess typical of rice “all’onda”. This step is done out of the oven.

Procedure for obtaining creamy risottos
Add the rice to the boiling stock, stir and cook for 10 minutes, add the ingredients or the sauce to obtain the desired taste and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove from oven, blend and serve.

Courtesy by Zafferano Magazine

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