Always a problem, what do you cook on a busy night? Well tonight is that night with Anne running late with a meeting and Alex at rugby training. Nothing else for it, Fraser and I are on dog walking and diner.
Its so easy to let good cooking slip when time is short, the trick is to have a few things up your sleeve or in this case in the freezer. Risotto isn’t ideal in the freezer as it tends to dry out but needs must and you just need to add some fun stuff to keep it moist.
In this case a bit of panfried Bok Choy with soy and some prawns with coriander and garlic, all topped off with a perfectly poached egg fresh from the neighbors. Finally a bit of seasoning ad a drizzle of good olive oil
The main point to remember when making risotto is that any liquid which you use, whether it is stock, wine or cream, should be boiling hot before you add it to the rice. This will stop your risotto from “clumping”.
For 2 – 3 main servings:
1 cup Ferron risotto rice
2½ cups stock, boiling
½ onion or 2 shallots, chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
100 ml white wine
Salt and pepper
Extra hot stock, olive oil or butter
Heat the wine gently (and saffron, if using.) In another large pan, heat a little olive oil and sweat the “soffrito” slowly – garlic, onion and any other root vegetable being used (e.g. carrot, leek). Add the rice and heat through for 1 – 2 minutes (called toasting). Add wine and allow to reduce. Add the boiling stock all at once, bring back to the boil and add seasoning. Cover and simmer for 15 – 18 minutes.
Add flavourings, rest for a few minutes and then stir through parmesan, a little extra stock, gently heated cream, extra virgin olive oil or butter – the amount depends on how ‘allonde,’ or creamy, you like your risotto.
➢ Porcini: Soak 15g Gigante porcini in 250ml warm water for at least 20 minutes. Strain and use some of the stock in risotto. Add sliced porcini at half way point. Add heated cream at the end, along with parmigiano and chopped Italian parsley. Drizzle with Ceruti Truffle oil.
➢ Smoked Mushrooms: As above, but use Aromatics Smoked Mushrooms instead of porcini.
➢ Smoked Salmon : Add chopped leek to the initial ‘soffrito’. Before adding parmesan, add chopped, cooked Aoraki Smoked Salmon.
➢ Chorizo & Saffron : Add a pinch of crushed saffron to the wine/stock and, before you add the parmesan at the end, fold through 2 cooked, chopped chorizo sausages.
➢ Pumpkin: Cook cubed pumpkin slowly in EVO with garlic and some red wine and add with the parmesan.
➢ Lamb, Feta & Capers: Add 1 – 2 seared lamb fillets, marinated in Giusti Balsamic Vinegar and Olivo Infused Olive Oil (Lemon or Porcini) plus 2 tablespoon salted capers, soaked and rinsed and 100g cubed Zany Zeus Creamy Feta.