August 13, 2012 | Posted in:The Power of Love with Chef Peter Blakeway

Wow, thats the Olympic marathon over, in both senses of the word. Can’t believe that it will be four more years until Rio.

Have to admit that I was one of those ex-pats that wondered if London could pull it off, They not only pulled it off but excelled and even managed to make this old cynic proud of the country of my birth. Watching the faces of my children as their heroes achieved the impossible was an awesome experience. I guess the real legacy of the Olympics is the inspiration in the kids, the belief that they could one day be there.

So, enough prattling on about the olympics. What about food? I guess you could describe us as a meat eating family and its a conscious effort to add fish in a couple of times a week. This is some simple Pan Seared Tuna with Risotto and Rocket. So easy and quick to make, and with a good bit of crusty bread an absolute winner.

Easy Risotto

The main point to remember when making risotto is that any liquid that 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 Aborio or 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

Parmesan, grated

Extra hot stock, olive oil or butter

Method

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 hot 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.

Suggested additions:

  • Ø Porcini: Soak 15g dried porcini in 250ml warm water for at least 20 minutes.  Strain and use some of the stock in risotto.  Add sliced porcini at halfway point.  Add heated cream at the end, along with parmigiano and chopped Italian parsley.  Drizzle with Truffle oil.
  • Ø Smoked Mushrooms: As above, but use Aromatics Smoked Mushrooms instead of porcini.
  • Ø Smoked Salmon: Add chopped leek to the initial ‘soffrito’.  Before adding Parmesan, add chopped, cooked Smoked Salmon.
  • Ø 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.
  • Ø Pumpkin: Cook cubed pumpkin slowly in EVO with garlic and some red wine and add with the Parmesan.
  • Ø Lamb, Feta & Capers: Add 1 – 2 seared lamb fillets, marinated in Balsamic Vinegar and Infused Olive Oil (Lemon or Porcini) plus 2 tablespoon salted capers, soaked and rinsed and 100g cubed Creamy Feta.

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