There are many tips and tricks that we have developed in cafes and restaurants to allow for great food to be prepared cooked and served in a timely manner . These are the tips you may not get to see on television cooking shows. There are a few methods and processes we use that can make either cooking for the family each night or organizing a special dinner party a considerable amount less stressful.

I am quite old school in my cooking methods and I actually enjoy the processes or the stages of cooking. I love watching as ingredients transform before my eyes and I love the preparation of these ingredients. I love to use a beautiful sharp knife on a clean chopping board to prepare ingredients. In saying this there will always be a place for some items of kitchen equipment that will speed up the preparation, so always use the equipment that you are most comfortable with.

Tip # 1 - Risotto.

The rice for risotto can be prepared in advance. For the best result with Arborio rice the liquid is added in three stages. This achieves a beautiful oozey, creamy risotto.

For plan ahead risotto you can use a blend of methods to get a great result. Simply braise your rice using the absorbtion method with a liquid ratio of 1:1.5. Add some onion or herbs and lightly sautee the rice and onions in a little butter and oil until the onion starts to become transparent and all of the rice grains are lightly coated in oil or butter. Add all of the liquid and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pan with a well fitting lid and simmer for 12 minutes.

When cooked transfer the rice to a large tray or bowl and allow to cool quickly. Place cold rice in a sealed container in the refrigerator. This will keep for up to three days

To  use the pre cooked rice, prepare and cook all other ingredients for the risotto including the addition of some liquid. Warm the pre cooked rice in a microwave and add to the other risotto ingredients. You will need to add additional liquid and stir constantly to develop the starches  in the rice grains.

Finish the risotto in the normal way with butter and parmesan.

So what you have done with this method is to complete the first two stages of the process in one go. This may require a little practice to perfect, so perhaps leave the porcicnis for another day. However once you have mastered the method  you will never eat reheated mushy risotto again.

Please contact us on Facebook if you have any questions on this method.