Der Risotto zum Nibelungen {The Risotto Ring for Nibbling}

First make a ring powerful enough to rule the universe. Next, pull a sword out of a handy ash tree growing thru the floor of your lover’s husbands house and use it to kill your lovers husband and cut 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter into small pieces. You first sweat 1/2 cup onion in 2 T butter and 2 T olive oil till they are translucent and sweet, but not browned. Use high enough heat to get some sizzle but do not brown the butter either. 

Heat 3-1/2 cups of broth: veggie, chicken, meat, fish, etc. As the onions are done, raise the heat and add 2 cups Carnaroli rice picked by the Po Virgins {See Wagner’s epic the Ring of the Risotti for a full explanation}. Stir the rice so it does not burn and “toast” it in the butter/oil. It will take about as much time for the rice to toast as it takes Furtwangler to lead the Vienna Orchestra the Ride of Die Valkyrie, which you should be listening to as you do this

It will first look oily and “clump together” then it will turn white and seem to be separate grains. Finally it will take on just a hint of color and then you add 1 cup white wine. Keep the heat high until the alcohol boils off then reduce the heat till the liquid just barely bubbles. Stir as necessary so the rice does not stick. When the liquid is almost all absorbed, add a generous half cup of broth and stir. Don’t add too much, you do not want the river Rhine to overflow and put out the flames. Stir a couple of more time as the liquid is absorbed. Repeat each time with a little less broth. 

With each addition, the liquid will be absorbed and a little creamy starch will extrude. You want to wait to add the next ladle of broth until all the liquid is absorbed and there is just crema left. To mere mortals, the crema appears to be a liquid, but with enough repeated listenings to the Ring, you will be able to distinguish the leitmotif of the crema from that of the broth. Or you could just go and kill a dragon and taste a drop of its blood and you will understand the language not only of the birds, but of the rice. 

Taste the rice as you go. It will go from crunchy to soft with a chalky center to soft all the way thru but a little dry to almost creamy. As soon as it reached this point, spread the grains out on a sheet pan in a uniform layer. Do not press them down as they are as delicate as virgins {think Siegfried who was a virgin until the late third act of the third opera of the ring when he met his Aunt, but I digress}. Take a wooden {Wotan} spoon and draw diagonal lines in the rice to make channels for better cooling. When cool, gently form into a funeral pyre and burn Valhalla and all the gods with it. 

If you get hungry after all this, take a piece of butter and melt in the pan. Add some of the rice and a ladle full of stock. Stir until the risotto is heated thru and the stock is almost completely absorbed. Add a handful of grana, Parmigianno or whatever. 

If you want a flavored risotto, heat your flavorings {ie cooked Hubbard squash, or a saute of mushrooms or a spoon of Bolognese or a big handful of small clams etc} before adding the rice. 

I was watching this on You tube last night. Can you tell?

First published on DonRockwell.com

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