Rather than provide a step by step recipe on how to make a risotto, I'll provide what I believe to be the best method of getting truffle flavour into your favourite risotto. Just remember truffles work best with simple flavours, although it can make some surprising combinations. This method also allows you to experiment with a portion before commiting truffle to the dish. Kitchens can use this to have several menu variations.
Prep Time: 12 Hours Rest Time: 30 Minutes
The Key to this is infusing Parmesan cheese with the truffle's aroma, preferably overnight. This approach works so well it is possible to have a superb truffle risotto experience, without actually using any truffle, although a little bit for garnish seems appropriate. Variants using more truffle are also covered below.
Note on rice: Although some claim it works if a properly porous carnolli rice is used, I have yet to experience a worthwhile result from infusing rice (arborio) and I believe most of the aroma is driven off during cooking. Regardless of rice type, Large amounts of rice + Truffle = "a rapidly dried out truffle"
I often use chicken, bacon, mushrooms and green beans for a truffle risotto, but try truffling your favourite risotto recipe
your favourite recipe
few hundred grams bacon
chicken stock and arborio rice
Truffled Parmesan Cheese
Infusing parmesan cheese with truffle is the key. There are a couple of ways to achieve this, depending on available time
- Thickly slice the parmesan and in a sealable container, arrange the slices to maximise the exposed area. Cover with another piece of toweling and place the truffle on it. The toweling will absorb excess moisture, yet still allow the aroma to permeate the cheese. Seal the container with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Finally, grate the infused parmesan slices for incorporation into the risotto.
- Alternatively if time is short, You can grate your parmesan and truffle, mix together and allow to sit at room temperature for an hour or more while preparing other ingredients. The increased contact between the truffle and cheese amply compensates for the lack of time.
For ultimate impact, you can do both the above
For example, when cooking a risotto with ingredients above;
- Proceed in the usual manner, cooking any bacon or chicken for later addition
- heat oil and rice, then commence adding boiling stock
- after approximately half the stock is used, I add the green beans
- after 2/3rds I add the mushrooms
- when the cooking is nearly complete stir I through any final ingredients such as chicken or fried bacon
- once complete, I stir through most of the parmesan, reserving a little for plating.
- once plated, quickly add a final touch of parmesan and optionally, while the surface is still hot, grate/shave a little truffle over the top, where it will wilt onto the molten cheese and add an intensive flavour boost
- Infused parmesan will hold the flavour for a day or so before dissipating. You could infuse parmesan for a day; then use the truffle for a chicken pot one night, creating risotto stock in the process; then continue with truffle risotto the next evening, using a final piece of truffle for garnish.