I Thought I Knew How to Make the Creamiest Risotto — Until I Learned This Easy Trick
Scott Conant achieves the perfect texture by adding one, simple ingredient.
One of the very first live cooking demonstrations that I ever saw was at a culinary school, where the chef-instructor was making risotto. I was in my early 20s, living in my own apartment and known in my circle of friends as the one who could cook. (What that really meant, of course, was that I was the one who owned tons of cookbooks and watched every cooking show on Food Network with rapt attention.)
The risotto demonstration at the culinary school stands out in my mind because I remember hanging on the instructor’s every word, recording each detail carefully in my notebook, so that I could recreate the dish (and impress my friends) at my next dinner party. I remember learning to toast the rice before adding any liquid so that it would cook up with the perfect al dente texture — and how the instructor explained that adding warm stock slowly, in batches, and stirring often would allow the rice to release its starches and create a creamy sauce.
The basic technique is one that I’ve used for almost two decades now and I’m proud to say I’ve made many rich and creamy risottos since then. In fact, I thought I had perfected my risotto — until I watched Scott Conant’s Risotto with Egg and Parmigiano class on the Food Network Kitchen app. His class is chock-full of great tips (for example, do you know why the size and shape of your pan matters? Or why you need to cook your garlic in a combination of butter and olive oil?) but there is one tip in particular that has completely changed the way I make risotto. When the risotto is done cooking, Scott stirs in a few egg yolks. The heat from the rice cooks the eggs and the yolks, in turn, give the finished risotto a luxuriously creamy texture. It’s almost unbelievable how much this one, simple ingredient changes the texture. The finished risotto is crazy decadent and delicious.
Risotto is one of those dishes that lends itself to variation. Scott even mentions this in his class when he says, "I’m a big believer that you have to make it a few times in order to get the technique down. Then, once you get the technique down, you can make almost any risotto that you want." I’m sure that I’ll continue to experiment with risotto but one thing is for sure: now that I’ve tasted how rich and creamy it can be, I’ll never make it without adding egg yolks again!
Want to learn all Scott’s tips for making creamy risotto? Sign up for the Food Network Kitchen app and you’ll have access to classes from all your favorite chefs — including this one!