The different cultures in the world have traditional different practices and cuisines they used to enjoy together. Italians are well known for their artistic and authentic cuisines so, today we take a look at the Italian risotto.
You see, technology and globalisation have made the cultural cuisine open to the global market and maybe we may conclude that the sweetness of the dish has made it further popular.
What is risotto?
Risotto is a traditional Italian dish that is made when you sauté rice in olive oil, onions, garlic or any other herbs you need to include in the recipe then adding simmering broth/stock in little bits while stirring and allowing the rice to absorb the stock.
You can add whatever flavour you need and cook it for between 20 and 25 minutes.
Are you a fun of eating and cooking risotto? If you are, then you know the fact that most people are often tempted to cook a little bit more risotto than needed and then they get tempted to store it in the fridge like other leftovers for preservation.
The problem is that risotto tends to dry up quickly in the fridge.
In addition, the reheating process requires some attention if you will maintain the texture and taste, unlike other foodstuff that you can quickly reheat in a microwave.
Therefore, if you intend to reheat it, you will need to flavour it a little more. This leads us to our topic question ‘how to reheat risotto’ below are some of the methods you may use.
Method 1: reheat using a microwave
Method 2: reheat using an Oven
Method 3: reheat using a stove
Method 4: reheat using a steamer basket.
Important points to consider before you reheat your risotto
Most food contamination and poisoning are caused by bacterial growth. This happens when the storage is not done keenly or when the food has been stored for long in the fridge. Below are some of the important points to consider
- The left-over risotto should not stay more than 2 days in the fridge.
- Make sure you store it after it has already cooled down completely.
- Let the risotto not be exposed for more than an hour after it is nicely cooled.
- Make it frozen at 0 degrees so as to reduce the tendency for bacterial growth.
- Make sure your risotto is evenly reheated especially because you will be using a low heat source.
- Check the colour, the odour and the texture to confirm it freshness before you begin the reheating process.
- Always store the risotto in an airtight container.
- Don’t freeze your risotto once you have thawed it and reused it.
- Never ever eat the risotto without reheating it first.
How to reheat the risotto
Items needed for the whole process
The refrigerated risotto
Method 1: Reheating risotto using a microwave
Other Items needed
If you are looking for a quick process, reheating using a microwave will be suitable for you although, you may end up with a dry risotto if you are not careful.
Take the risotto out of your fridge and place it in a glass bowl adding either water/wine/broth stock and place into the medium heated microwave for about 4 minutes. Stir the risotto from time to time to ensure its evenly reheated.
If you feel that it’s hot enough, you can add a little butter to make it maintain its texture and if need be take it back to the microwave to evenly melt the butter and serve hot.
This method can result in a very dry risotto if you are not cautious.
Always make use of the moisturizing ingredients to maintain its texture.
Method 2: Reheating risotto in the oven
This process is perfect if you wish to come up with another dish out of your risotto.
Other items needed
2 bowls and a plate
Baking Flour, breadcrumbs and eggs
Like in the above method, take the risotto out of your fridge and place into a bowl letting it regain its room temperature then you can add grated cheese and mix evenly well. Use your palm to roll the rice into balls. Place flour in one of the bowls you have, beaten eggs in another and breadcrumbs on a plate.
Take your rice balls and roll in the flour, dip into the beaten eggs and coat with bread crumbs.
Preheat your oven and use an oven thermometer to maintain the temperature at about 180 degrees Celsius. Place the balls on the lined baking tray and then spray the balls with olive oil and bake until they turn golden brown. This process may take about 20 minutes and then you can serve hot.
Constantly check on the risotto as it is cooking in the oven because if it overcooks then the outcome will not be appealing.
If you add grated cheese, your flavour is utterly enhanced.
Method 3: Reheating risotto using a stove
If you love increasing the flavour a little more then this is suitable for you. It’s mostly suited for those who would like to use the risotto immediately in the next day.
Other items needed
Take the risotto from the fridge and let it regain the room temperature. Place it in a saucepan and then add a little broth stock or water while stirring for about 2 minutes. Confirm that it’s evenly reheated as it continues to become dry.
Take it off the stove so as to add some techniques that will make it retain its texture and flavour. Add a little white wine and butter as well as a ½ cup of water.
Alternatively, you can use meat stock and a generous amount of butter and simmer while stirring to avoid sticking then confirm that it regains your desired texture.
Don’t use high heat and make sure you avoid the drying of the risotto.
Stir it constantly to ensure the even distribution of heat.
Method 4: Reheating risotto Using steamer baskets
Other items needed
Stainless steel steamer basket/ metal colander.
Your heatproof bowl or plate.
I am sure most of you have this steamer baskets in your kitchen yet you don’t use them at all. Below is a method you can apply to make use of it.
Take the risotto from your fridge and place the steamer basket in the pot. Ensure the heat source is switched on, add a little water and ensure that the water will not reach your steamer basket even when it starts to boil and only the steam will.
Place the risotto in a bowl and then place the bowl in the steamer basket and cover the pot to let it steam over low heat. There is no exact amount of time required to cook the risotto so you will have to check it from time to time.
Once it’s hot enough, you can remove from the steamer basket and add wine or butter, evenly mix and serve hot.
Never place the risotto directly into the basket as the pieces will fall from the holes, use either a bowl or plate.
It may take more time as the method is slow. If you are reheating a lot of risotto then be sure you have about an hour.
Don’t use high heat as it will dry up the risotto.
Pro cooking tips to remember when reheating risotto
- All the above methods require that you have a liquid source so, it’s important to have a liquid sauce that will be used. You can use broth or stock from last night or make a fresh one while flavouring it.
- Make use of low heat constantly and stir evenly to ensure the meal is well cooked.
- Use butter to make the risotto creamier.
- Allow the risotto some time to rest after removing it from the refrigerator and before starting the reheating process.
- If the risotto is frozen, take time to thaw it.
- Once you have reheated the risotto, make sure to finish the entire dish because refrigerating/restoring it again may lead to food poisoning.
- You may want to know that it is going to be hard to maintain the same texture and flavour 100% when you reheat risotto.
As you all know, preparing risotto can be time consuming and although you can prepare large batches of risotto then store in a refrigerator, I would be very cautious when it comes to storing large batches because it’s very tricky to avoid contamination in form of bacterial growth if the food will be staying for long in the fridge.
Steamer basket Reheating method is the best process to use because the risotto maintains its taste and flavour as compared to other methods above. The moisture of the dish and the texture is also maintained but for the fact that the reheating process consumes a lot of time I would advise anyone to use this method.
Note that, risotto is usually served as a starter or side dish for the Italians. However, it can be served as a main dish in the company of veggies and proteins like shrimp, scallops and peas.