precooking risotto

Joined Jul 3, 2002
I've always cooked risotto completely once I'd started, but I've never made it for company before. I don't want to stand stirring for 30 minutes while my friends watch if I don't have to. Don't some restaurants precook or partially cook the risotto and then finish it for each order? How far is it precooked? Does this affect the flavour or the consistency? If so, I'll stand or take shifts with my husband.
Also, Marcella H. says to boil asparagus and then add it to the shallot saute at the beginning. With all that liquid being added, couldn't you just chop up the raw asparagus and saute it with the shallots and then let the liquid finish the cooking?

thanks for your help! :)
Joined Oct 1, 2002
Sure you the retaurant, we cant spare the cooking space to spend the 22 or so minutes it takes to cook it out. Cook it about 2/3 of the way,and then spread it out on a sheet pan to cool and reserve until service. Now the assuming this is going into the risotto? The last time I made it, i did the risotto ahead of time, so I blanched the asparagus quickly and then shocked it. When it came time to finish the risotto, i added the asparagus right to the pan along with some recostituted porcini and added the rest of the cooking liquid to finish it off. Hope this helps!

Joined Jul 31, 2000

Paisons info is spot on.

This is common practice in restaurants to par the rice (for me about 1/2 cooked) then spread on the sheet pan and cooled.

We then keep simmering stock on the stove and finish the risotto to order with stock,some parm and some butter.
Joined Jul 3, 2002
Thanks guys! I really appreciate the help. And, if you folks can bear with me, I'll probably be asking more ahead-of-time prep questions in the future. :)
Joined Feb 4, 2001

Thanks for the posting, it's a question I always wanted the answer to.
By coincidence we are doing crisp fried risotto cakes on the menu at the moment. Uses up left over cold risotto. Just add a bit of parmesan and fry in ring in olive oil.

Joined Oct 15, 2000
Here's an idea that I like. Have you ever tasted roasted asparagus? A ittle olive oil, some kosher salt, roast in hot oven until crisp-tender and then finish your risotto with that. Yum.
Joined Mar 12, 2001
Yes! Roast asparagus is lovely...
Here's what I was thinking:
It's nice to have some asp cooked in the base because then you get more of it's flavour through the risotto, but you will lose the crispness and bright green of lightly cooked asparagus. ( Plus, long cooked and short cooked asparagus have very different flavours)
So it could be good to make your base with some asp. and also to finish it off with some lightly blanched or roasted asparagus.
That way you get the benefit of both flavours and textures.
Happy cooking...
Joined Oct 1, 2002 could use the stems to cook throughout the whole process, and add the tips at the end since they make for a nice presentation.

Joined Aug 11, 2000
I've seen chefs finish risotto off with cream, to be decadent I use mascarpone....a few years ago I made shrimp creole arincini for a Cajun contest, turn out well. Pretty labor intensive though.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
I've heard of several (famous) chefs who finish their risottos with cream.

Michel Del Burgo makes an amazing zucchini & prosciutto risotto recipe that's finished with whipped cream. Absolutely fantastic. Gives the risotto a fluffiness that's almost ethereal. 
Joined May 13, 2013
I guess your right, if it works then why not. Thinking it would be more of a home thing rather then on your menu but.
Joined May 8, 2013
Just to echo what others have said about precooking the risotto and cooling it off. I hesitate to precook the asparagus however as the color and taste really change depending on how long before you will use it in the final cooking.
Joined Feb 21, 2010
I have always precooked a neutral risotto (shallots, garlic, white wine, water) 1/2-2/3, then finished at service with additions (asparagus, mushrooms, peas, langoustine etc) also precooked and added just to warm through at the end together with any herb. Use a very loose, unthickened, soup (bisque whatever) of the primary ingredient as the liquid to complete cooking to intensify the flavour and retain freshness. I generally finish with parmesan, then slacken with either whipped cream or mascarpone and enrich with a few knobs of butter, and sometimes a squeeze of lemon juice. Starting with a neutral base gives great versatility.

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