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Cooking With Clay No. 12: Italian Risotto Pot

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Clay pot cooking In the kitchen

Years ago I bought this pot and was erroneously told it was a bean pot from France. It turns out it's a risotto pot from Italy. It's also used for beans but clearly it's a great vehicle for risotto. The design in very clever. There's a huge opening on the top to encourage evaporation and there are rounded sides to help your wooden spoon continually bath the rice in caldo.

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Shrimp were on sale at our local Whole Foods. It says they were farmed and I've heard it's pretty rough on the environment but I meekly assumed that Whole Foods would make sure it was a sustainable operation. Was I foolish? I really love my shrimp and want desperately to believe there's a green way for me to get my fill.

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I peeled raw shrimp and made a stock out of the shells and tails with celery and onion. I sauteed the raw shrimp with butter, Olive oil and garlic.

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I followed Marcella Hazan's basic risotto recipe and made good use of my slave labor, who stirred and fussed for the 25 minutes it took to make the delicious grain.

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Once the risotto was cooked, we added more butter and grated parma cheese.

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We took Marcella's advice (always a wise thing to do) and spread the risotto over the plate to allow it to cool a wee but and then scooped the shrimp on top. It smelled grand but looked a little anemic so we added a touch of thyme. I would have used parsley if we'd had it but this was actually perfect.

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I was nuts for it. And I think I'll incorporate more risotto into my life. It wasn't as hard as I'd thought and it turns out I have the perfect clay pot for it. And I'm thinking it might be fun to team up risotto with some more Mexican or indigenous ingredients.

You can get a pot like this, or one very similar, at BRAM cookware.



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