For anyone that has ever cooked risotto, you will know why this is important. This is a dish I normally save for restaurants, since I’m too lazy to lock myself away in the kitchen, and chain myself to the stove for about an hour. Unfortunately even when ordering out, this dish can taste rushed. (I’m sure restaurants don’t have an hour to wait around either.)
The idea came to me when my mother bequeathed her old Kitchen Aid mixer to me after we bought her a shiny brand new one for Christmas. The old one still works pretty well, a lot better than mixing by hand anyhow. The only problem is, I don’t really bake. I have a ferocious sweet tooth and I know that whatever I bake will immediately go into my mouth, and subsequently onto my thighs. No moderation, no sharing; just uninhibited, roman-style bingeing until I want to puke up all the cookies I so feverishly stuffed down my throat. So, it’s better just to avoid that entire scenario altogether.
So what do I do with it? It’s too big to just sit around and take up space, especially if real estate is at a premium. It’s too useful to not use, I just had to figure out what else it’s useful for.
I was thinking about the mechanical spinning arm, and different uses one might have for it, when it struck me: a consistent and constant stirring motion is exactly what you need to make a perfect, tender, creamy risotto!
In case you’ve never made risotto before, let me explain. Cooking risotto requires both physical strength and mental determination. One wonders how the stunted, old-world nona’s of yesteryear could have possibly put up with this torture. I’m sure having the pleasure of lauding it over their children to guilt them into staying with their mother had a lot to do with it, which I guess is why in these modern times does not seem like motivation enough.
There are two deceivingly large roads that will lead you to stray off the narrow path to perfection. The first is: you stop stirring. At worst, this means the rice bakes on the bottom, and you’re now making a casserole; at best, you lose the creaminess you’ve worked so hard for and everyone else wonders why it took you so long to make Hamburger Helper. If stirring for an hour sounds like a good excuse to have a love fest with your guns, then you have to be careful of growing impatient and deciding it’s “good enough” because you can’t take another ten to fifteen minutes of staring at your spoon go around… and around… and around…. Which ultimately means you’ll have to muscle through dinner eating underdone rice–under dente?–washing it down with a large glass of self-loathing, knowing that arborio rice got the better of you… again.
What you need is a mechanical arm to the hard labor for you! Hello, industrial revolution! And with a Kitchen Aid mixer, you can set the pace to “slow” and just check up on it every ten minutes or so when you need to add broth! Unless “broth” was just code for “tears of agony” in which case, you can always substitute by chopping an onion and leaning your head over the pan. Or thinking about how you put poor nona up in a rest home–after everything she did for you! (You can get creative here.)
All this means I have to figure out how to attach a hot plate to the bottom of the mixer. Voila! Risotto machine! Kitchen Aid, if you’re reading this (ha ha…) please make a hot plate attachment for the stand. Otherwise, I will be forced to take electrical matters into my own hands.
PS: if there is no post next week, it means I unsuccessfully soldered a hot plate to the mixer and burnt the kitchen down in the process, and am now definitely homeless and possibly dead. Keep me in your prayers.