Along those lines, I never enjoyed the pleasure of fine-dining-staple risotto until more recently.
Part of what drove me to make it is inspiration from being a rather fervent fan of the high-strung profanity-filled episodes of Hell's Kitchen. Boot camp for the kitchen, I always think of it. While he may come across as a complete and total git, he demands a certain level of excellence not found at just any place. And big shock, I'm a fan of such things. :-)
One of the Ramsey restaurant regulars is risotto. After finally having finally enjoyed it a time or two in various settings, I decided that I must try it.
Generally speaking, Risotto is a very simple dish. A good starter or a really yummy starch side to go with roasted meats or fish. Basically you brown the onion, fry the rice, de-glaze with wine, let it absorb, and then continue to feed it stock until it's creamy and wonderful. Some risottos don't even have rice!
There are lots of schools of thought on how risotto comes together, and I find myself trying different techniques as I go. Some chefs add all the stock all at once. Some live by the as-it-soaks-it-in method. Some recommend near constant stirring, and others let it simmer on its own. Some take out the extras after you fry them, and some leave them in.
So really, it's whatever you feel like experimenting with. I'd recommend finding a recipe and working with it for a while. Then find other recipes and compare.
Something I make regularly with baked fish in our household is a mushroom risotto flavored with lemon.
Pour in about a cup of dry white wine and bring everything up to a slow bubbling simmer. Stir regularly and allow the wine to cook into the rice. When the wine is used up, stir in about a cup of the heated stock. Let it simmer until it soaks in, stirring occasionally.
If you decide to use dried mushrooms, reconstitute them in a cup of boiling water. Incorporate the mushrooms and the water into the risotto. Fresh mushrooms can instead be chopped and added with the subsequent cup of stock.
Add another cup of the stock.. Continue stirring occasionally until soaked up. Keep this up until the rice is just al dente. At that point, take it off the heat.
What i do different at this point is instead of mixing in about 2 tablespoons of butter, I mix in 2 tablespoons of a garlic lemon dressing I make with olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and paper. Gives the dish a nice zing.
Serve hot with a baked fish fillet.
It is the Yum!