Don't Cook By The Book

Michele Savasta, better known as Mowgli, is responsible for bringing you a sound filled with big beeps, air horns, cut up vocals and sharp claps. Bursting onto the scene in '07 with 'Get Down' on Mantra Breaks, Mowgli has since been releasing, remixing and further developing as a highly versatile artist - even adding the Minimow moniker to his ever-expanding bow, which shows a more stripped-back and subtle side to the producer. And nothing could overshadow the effervescent character's performance side, causing laughs and reaping havoc on festivals and dancefloors dotted around the globe. In fact, come see him tear down the roof here tomorrow night, alongside Jesse Rose and Riva Starr.

In the meantime, we stopped in with Mowgli to ask if he might be up for scribbling a little something for this here blog. Never one to do things by the book, and forever doing what's least predictable (check his Myspace page, for instance, for a photo album dedicated to fatness?!), the Italian joker came out of left field and decided to give us a cooking lesson on how to make the perfect risotto. Sit down, Raekwon - there's a new chef in town...

1. Stuff the onions!
It's a common mistake to fry the onions - onions must be stuffed! This rule must be applied to anything, even for the pasta sauce. If you put the onions in very hot oil, they become bitter, while the right way to do it is to put them with the oil still cold, then when you see that they are starting to fry, you have to add just little bit of water, put on a low heat and let them stuff for 15mins. The onions become really soft and sweet, and you won't feel the consistence at the end. Ah, almost forgot - they have to be chopped in super tiny pieces...

2. Toast the grains!
The main difference between RISO (rice) and RISOTTO is that riso is just boiled, while the RISOTTO must be toasted before adding any liquid. You have to put the rice in a large pan with oil already hot (and the stuffed onions you have already prepared), then when you see the grains are starting to brown you add wine (white or red, depends from the type of risotto you are doing). This process is really important because when you put the wine in the grains are so dry and hot, in a few seconds the grains absorb all the wine giving it the special taste.

3. Do the vegetables in another pan!
If you are doing risotto with vegetables (mushrooms, zucchini, pumpkin etc. ) you have to do it in another pan. You can simply boil them with just a bit a salt, because, even if boiling is the easiest way to lose flavour to the water, it’s a good thing because the water gets tasty and you can add it slowly to the risotto. This way the grains absorb a liquid that already has the taste of the vegetables that you add in the end.

4. Put the salt at the end!
Don't add any salt when the risotto is still cooking, firstly because it's useless as the liquid will vaporize and the salt with it...
Secondly the liquid from the vegetables you boiled in the other pan is already salted. So when you think the risotto is ready you taste it and then add a little bit of salt if needed.

5. Bit of butter at the end
When the risotto is cooked and still in the pan you put a little bit of butter. Butter gives the risotto more consistency, and then add lots of parmesan cheese...enjoy!

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