Coffee, beer and rice: try the Stanley Tucci risotto dish called ‘a revelation’

Editor’s Note — Don’t miss it “Stanley Tucci: In Search of Italyairing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET. Tucci travels through Italy to discover the secrets and delights of the country’s regional cuisines.
(CNN) — In Piemonte, a region in northwestern Italy, it’s all about risotto. And the beating heart of this food tradition is the city of Vercelli, where risotto riceRestaurants specializing in risotto can be found everywhere. One of the best places to try it in Italy’s rice capital is tucked behind a 1960s tourist hotel called Hotel Cinzia. Christian and Manuel Restaurant is run by two brothers who give this dish a modern twist.

Christian and Manuel Costardi’s signature version is a risotto with Grana Padano cream, beer reduction, and coffee. It should taste like cappuccino or tiramisu, but risotto – all in one dish. The menu offers a selection of 20 risottos, according to the Michelin Guide, and the chefs’ unique dishes earned them a Michelin star.

Inspired by Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans,” the Costardi brothers playfully serve the risotto in individual metal cans.

“This changes everything I thought about risotto,” said Stanley Tucci as he watched the dish being prepared on an episode of “Stanley Tucci: In Search of Italy“That’s a revelation. That’s a thousand things at a glance. Wow!”
Tucci’s first introduction to risotto was his mother’s Risotto Milanesewhich is included in “The Tucci CookbookFor the rice, he recommends looking for brands labeled superfine Carnaroli. If that’s not available, buy a superfine Arborio or Vialone Nano rice, which is available in most grocery stores.

Tucci says there are two important steps to remember when making risotto:

“First, make sure you heat the rice well before adding liquid,” he wrote in his cookbook. This seals the rice grains and helps prevent them from overcooking. Second, test the rice for desired texture after it has cooked for 12 to 15 minutes. Risotto can be served al dente, with a slight crunch to the bite, or with a softer consistency — the choice is yours. … Just don’t overcook risotto or it will turn into pasta.”

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Risotto With Grana Padano Cream, Beer Reduction and Coffee

(Risotto with Crema di Grana Padano, Riduzione di Birra and Caffè)

Reuse four clean soup cans for serving or use plates if you prefer. If you want to prepare your own vegetable stock, make it ahead of time. The costardis suggest including celery, carrot, and lightly charred onion in the stock.

At Christian and Manuel, the Costardi’s use Cervia sea salt from the Adriatic coast and black peppercorns from Sarawak, which you can find at specialty stores or online if you’d like to try them out.

Makes 4 servings


4 cups | 1 liter lager beer

3.5 ounces + ½ ounces | 100 grams + 15 grams Grana Padano (similar to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese), 27 months old, freshly grated

1 cup | ¼ liter whipped cream

1 ¼ cup | 300 grams Carnaroli rice

Sea salt (medium coarse)

Freshly ground black pepper

About 12 ½ cups | 3 liters of store-bought vegetable stock, plus more if needed

1/3 cup | 25 grams of cold unsalted butter

Ground coffee, preferably Arabica


Jam funnel (if served in cans)


1. Start by preparing the beer reduction first. Place the beer in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer and let the beer reduce until the consistency is like a soft caramel, about 45 minutes. As the beer reduces, the alcohol evaporates and the remaining liquid has a flavor concentration in which spicy notes are enhanced. Remove from heat and let cool (best done the day before; once cooled, refrigerate overnight in an airtight container).

2Prepare the cream of Grana Padano. Grate 100 grams of Grana Padano with a cheese grater or microplane. Heat the cream in a pan over medium heat to 70 degrees Celsius and add the Grana Padano. Beat the cream with a whisk until smooth and maintain temperature at 100 F (40 C). At higher temperatures there is a risk that a homogeneous cream will not be obtained. If the cream is not smooth, pass it through a sieve and simmer at 100 F (40 C).

3. Continue to prepare the risotto. Dry roast the rice in a risotto pot over medium heat, shake the pot and stir the rice until it sings, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not let the rice burn. Add a pinch of salt and a pepper. Continue cooking over high heat and add the vegetable stock little by little, stirring constantly after each addition, letting the rice absorb it. Cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is al dente with a slight bite to the center of the grain, 15 to 20 minutes. The risotto should look creamy. Check the taste and remove from the heat. Add the cold butter and remaining ½ ounce (15 grams) Grana Padano to the pan and shake in a wave motion (see video) to incorporate into the rice.

4. If serving in cans: Put a splash of coffee grounds and a few drops of beer reduction in the bottom of the can. Using a jam funnel, add the rice, Grana Padano cream, coffee grounds and beer reduction.

5. If you are using signs: Divide the risotto between each plate, add the Grana Padano cream, sprinkle with coffee grounds and finish with the beer reduction.

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