Q: How does one make a creamy risotto? The recipe I used called for 2 1/2 cups arborio rice and 5 1/2 cups hot stock. It came out like concrete; what did I do wrong?
A: "What did I do wrong?" questions are always difficult because I don't know what you really did. In this case, it is made a lot easier by a certain piece of information you gave me: the proportion of rice to stock. Risotto is almost always made with 3 times as much liquid as rice, so it is fairly safe for me to say that you didn't use nearly enough stock. In fact, you were about 2 cups short.
A basic guideline for making risotto is to first cook onion in butter or olive oil until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in Italian arborio rice and cook 1 minute more. Add 1/3 of the hot stock and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until liquid has absorbed. Add the rest of the liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking rice at a simmer and stirring constantly until rice is cooked al dente ' slightly chewy ' and the broth has created a sauce. If your heat is too high, you may need to add more than three times the amount of liquid because you are losing too much to evaporation. I don't think you will ruin your risotto, you'll just need to add more liquid (and make a note for the next time to cook at a lower heat). I prefer to err on the side o