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#97313 - 06/03/08 06:08 PM risotto?
azcanyon Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 264
Anyone try this? I'm about to, so I'd appreciate any reports on your experiences. I'm interested in boil-and-set/freezerbag-cooking methods.

I'm thinking I'll cook it at home in the usual way, going light on fats, and then plop it on the dehydrator trays to see what happens. I'll add olive oil and parmesan when I rehydrate on my trip, letting it all steep in a pot/mug of boiled water.

I'm a little worried about getting the texture of the rice grains right, since that's critical to a good risotto. I figure it's worth a shot, though.

I might try for a wild mushroom and chicken variety. A little saffron in with the broth, a nice white wine--you folks are feelin' me on this, right? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#97314 - 06/03/08 06:40 PM Re: risotto? [Re: azcanyon]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
I haven't dried and rehydrated risotto, but I make risotto frequently. I use a pressure cooker for cooking (cooks to perfection in 10 minutes). I usually use chicken broth and a little white wine (3 1/2 cups broth, 1/2 cup white wine), a dash of salt, dried mushrooms, bell peppers and italian sausage. Absolutely delicious... might even make it for dinner tonight!

MNS
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#97315 - 06/04/08 08:35 AM Re: risotto? [Re: midnightsun03]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
I make various risottos from time to time, favor mushroom and asparagus personally <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> But i doubt it'll be backpacking food unless you make it fresh <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> Which, if you have the time and fuel in camp would make a hearty dinner after a long day's hike <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" /> You can easily screw up risotto on your stove at home, so making it reconstitutable in a ziploc will be difficult at best IME.
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#97316 - 06/04/08 09:15 AM Re: risotto? [Re: Earthling]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
On the other hand, sometimes reconstituted stuff at altitude tends to be a bit more al dente , which might work out well in the case of risotto. It's certainly worth a try!
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#97317 - 06/04/08 09:45 AM Re: risotto? [Re: dkramalc]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
Another idea: undercook the rice a bit before dehydrating if 1st attempt is too mushy after rehydrating?

With good quality ingredients you might end up with pretty good results. And in the worst-case scenario, you'll have tasty mush (things could be worse!).


Edited by dkramalc (06/04/08 09:47 AM)
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#97318 - 06/04/08 10:48 AM Re: risotto? [Re: azcanyon]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Bet ya all didn't know you can get instant risotto? Hehheh!!
http://www.spicehunter.com/products.asp?id=8

Spice Hunter makes them. While they are not uber gourmet they are quite tasty for a quick trail lunch <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
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#97319 - 06/04/08 11:37 AM Re: risotto? [Re: sarbar]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
I would try the SpiceHunter risottos at home first...

It could be that I'm a bit of a risotto snob since I rely heavily on rice in my diet, and risotto is one of my favorite meals... but I could not eat the SpiceHunter risotto (and I also can't do the "quick" Lundberg risottos either)

MNS
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#97320 - 06/04/08 11:48 AM Re: risotto? [Re: sarbar]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
'Instant Risotto' <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Blasphemy! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> At least to this Italian <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> If I don't make it from scratch it does'nt come out of my galley <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> I'll easily go pan to pan with anyone else's risotto...Guess I'll have some for dinner tonight just to prove it to myself <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" />
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#97321 - 06/04/08 01:15 PM Re: risotto? [Re: Earthling]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Lol...well, yeah, it isn't the same. It does taste fine on trail though. Kind of like the difference between fresh Alaskan salmon and salmon in a pouch <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> Wouldn't eat it at home....but yeah <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#97322 - 06/04/08 01:46 PM Re: risotto? [Re: sarbar]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Sarah, one of the things I don't tolerate on my backpacking trips is poor quality food <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> If I work hard to get out there, wherever that may be; I want to eat well in camp. And boy do I! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Note to all those who tag along with me on a trip <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#97323 - 06/04/08 03:15 PM Re: risotto? [Re: Earthling]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Just for you Earthling <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ObgTo7PDxs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9EUEq-a268&feature=user

Now, that was good eating <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#97324 - 06/05/08 06:57 AM Re: risotto? [Re: sarbar]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Why thank ya' <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> Hmm, Hmm Good! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#97325 - 06/05/08 03:09 PM Re: risotto? [Re: dkramalc]
azcanyon Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 264
Thanks for the tips and suggestions, everyone.

Sarbar: indeed I did NOT know about that instant option, and I'll keep it in mind. In the meantime, though, I've experimented with something that's got more of my fingerprints on it.

dk wrote:
Quote:
Another idea: undercook the rice a bit before dehydrating if 1st attempt is too mushy after rehydrating?

We think alike. Even before I tried anything I was worried about mushiness, so I was thinking about just undercooking the risotto a little bit. However, I then thought of a simpler way to experiment: Trader Joe's Mushroom Risotto, which is frozen and comes in a 16 oz package for $3.29.

I know, I know: the risotto purists among you are aghast, but if you don't have a TJ's close by, you wouldn't know that this product is a minor miracle, one among many from the store. It actually stands up to many home-cooked versions--in fact, it's better than some I've had in nice restaurants.

And as a matter of convenience, the TJ's product has something I would have tried to reproduce: parcooked Arborio rice. The instructions say to put the contents of the bag in a pan with 2 T water and stir over high heat for 5 minutes.

I put everything onto dehydrator trays yesterday and dried it for about 8 hours. Today, I reconstituted a portion in boiled water for about 30 minutes, then fired up the stove for 5 minutes at the end, stirring.

The results were excellent: genuinely al dente grains and delicious creamy texture to the sauce. I'll post a more detailed recipe if people are interested, once I work out a few kinks.

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#97326 - 06/05/08 03:21 PM Re: risotto? [Re: azcanyon]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
Quote:
I'll post a more detailed recipe if people are interested, once I work out a few kinks.


Yes, please. You're inspiring me to try to make a trail version of my lemon risotto - it might go very well with fresh-caught trout!
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dk

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#97327 - 06/05/08 04:11 PM Re: risotto? [Re: azcanyon]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
How did I miss that at TJ's???? Sheesh! Now I am hungry!
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#97328 - 06/11/08 08:00 PM Re: risotto? [Re: dkramalc]
azcanyon Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 264
As promised, a more detailed recipe, with notes at the end...


Super Shroomy Risotto (single serving)

2.5-3 oz dried risotto mixture
1 T olive oil, divided
10 oz water, divided
5 grams dried wild mushrooms
5 grams dried tomatoes
7 grams parmesan cheese, divided

Bring 10 ounces water to a boil; remove from heat. Add 4 ounces water to dried mushrooms, tomatoes, and a pinch of salt in separate container, then cover and steep. Add about 2 t olive oil and risotto mixture to remaining water in the pot, cover and steep for about 30 minutes.

Drain the water from reconstituted mushrooms/tomatoes into the risotto, and put the pot on a medium flame, stirring frequently. When risotto is just shy of the desired texture and consistency (about 5 minutes), remove from heat. Stir in the mushrooms, tomatoes, and 2/3 of the parmesan. Cover and set for 2-3 minutes.

Top with drizzle of olive oil and remaining parmesan.



Notes:

As I metioned earlier in the thread, my "dried risotto mixture" is simply Trader Joe's frozen mushroom risotto dried for about 8 hours. It dried to about 1/4 its original weight. The TJ's stuff does have some oils and cheese in it, so I'd suggest using a paper towel to dab away the fats at some point. In this regard I actually think a homemade version made with low fats (so it dries effectively) might work out even better than the easier version here. If I were to try that, I would strive for the same parcooked level of doneness before drying--stopping cooking about 5-10 minutes before the risotto would normally be finished.

The instructions above may be somewhat involved for most folks. I'm planning a menu for six for an upcoming trip, and I'll have the cookware and patience to do it this way. I'm sure a single pot/mug version would work too.

For example, the simplest thing would be to reconstitute the mushrooms and tomatoes in the same pot/container as the risotto. I separated them in an effort to preserve the nice texture and wholeness of the dried wild shrooms (shiitake, porcini, oyster...another TJ's find!).

Of course, it's a risotto, so the possible ingredients and flavor combinations are many, even if you start with the very flexible mushroom-flavored variety. Enjoy! And let us all know if you try something else that works.


Edited by azcanyon (06/12/08 07:26 AM)

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#97329 - 06/15/08 05:23 PM Re: risotto? [Re: azcanyon]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
AZ I'll look for that when I'm North at the TJ's that's an hour and a half North of me next trip up. Seems great to take frozen if you are carrying other items that need/like to be kept cool like dairy, or fresh meat in one's pack. Large ziplock for everything and no issues with the condensation <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
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#97330 - 06/22/08 06:19 AM Re: risotto? [Re: azcanyon]
frank Offline
member

Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 38
Loc: Alameda CA
I made a mushroom risotto a few years ago.

Just don't use (much) butter. I used too much and after awhile it became a bit rancid.

Other than that it was great.

frank

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#97331 - 06/30/08 08:52 PM Re: risotto? [Re: sarbar]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Sabar,

Good link...except the meals-in-a-cup have VERY high sodium content.m I think the lowest was the risotto at 550 mg. or so. Not good for we over-50 backpackers, or the rest of you, for that matter.

Eric
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#97332 - 07/01/08 05:06 PM Re: risotto? [Re: 300winmag]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
550 isn't too bad if you stretch it out. I bulk mine up with a ton of dried diced veggies - which makes it a whole dinner. Usually for my lower sodium lifestyle I try to make my dinner under 800 mg when hiking.

I am working on seeing if I can get a decent faux risotto going that would be truly low sodium! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Be nice if it was say 300-400 mg for a big dish of it.
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#97333 - 07/05/08 09:31 AM Re: risotto? [Re: dkramalc]
stevetoney Offline
member

Registered: 10/01/03
Posts: 45
azcanyon


did you dehydrate the frozen stuff, partially cook the package dehydrate

This sauce piece in the frozen package is in big chunks, hard to get all the pieces/components proportioned if you are spliiting a packet

I like this stuff from TJ's and would like a FBC method to use it in a way that taste's ok..

the stuff has a lot of oil in it...


Edited by stevetoney (07/05/08 10:01 AM)

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#97334 - 07/06/08 07:23 PM Re: risotto? [Re: stevetoney]
azcanyon Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 264
Quote:
did you dehydrate the frozen stuff, partially cook the package dehydrate

This sauce piece in the frozen package is in big chunks, hard to get all the pieces/components proportioned if you are spliiting a packet

I like this stuff from TJ's and would like a FBC method to use it in a way that taste's ok..

Howdy. The first time I dehyrdated the TJ's stuff, I just put it on the trays, and ended up stirring the "sauce globs" together with the rice grains about an hour in. The second time, I melted the sauce globs first and then mixed them in with all the grains before dehyrating.

If you're planning on splitting rations, I'd still recommend drying the mix all at once. And if you want a true freezer-bag method, the instant mix Sarbar mentioned above might be good to work with.



I tested the Super Shroomy Risotto recipe on myself and a group of five other hungry walkers who crossed over Cloud's Rest in Yosemite last week. It was very popular--I even volunteered for the minimal-effort dish duty aftwerwards. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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#97335 - 07/08/08 03:17 PM Re: risotto? [Re: sarbar]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
550 isn't too bad if you stretch it out. I bulk mine up with a ton of dried diced veggies - which makes it a whole dinner. Usually for my lower sodium lifestyle I try to make my dinner under 800 mg when hiking.

I am working on seeing if I can get a decent faux risotto going that would be truly low sodium! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Be nice if it was say 300-400 mg for a big dish of it.


Use some dried lemon juice in placeof some salt Sarah. The citrus flavor brings that salt taste out of minimal amount of salt in the risotto. I often finish mine before it goes to the table with a squeeze of fresh lemon <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
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#97336 - 07/08/08 04:01 PM Re: risotto? [Re: Earthling]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Yep! At home I use lemon and lime all the time - that with say some Mrs Dash on our meals <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
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