The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.
Risotto is a great comfort food - thick and creamy, super filling, and definitely delicious. It is great because there are so many different things you can do to it - change the ingredients a little and you get a completely different dish! Many people think that risotto is overly hard to make, requiring hours and hours of standing over a hot stove stirring. Luckily, it doesn't! A great risotto doesn't take massive muscular fortitude, or an entire afternoon!
olive oil 2 fluid oz 60 ml
olive oil 2 fluid oz 60 ml
1 small onion, quatered
14 oz or 400 g rice (Any type of risotto rice will do. I use Arborio but the recipe itself says Vialone Nano. Another to look for is Carnaroli.)
2 fl oz or 60 ml white wine
1 Liter or 2 pints chicken or vegetable stock , simmering
3.5 oz or 100 g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
2 oz 60 g parmesan cheese, grated
Any other ingredients you want to add - I chose to add shredded chicken, chopped proscuitto, fresh chopped sage, and peas.
- Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard. (We diced ours and left it in as we like onion).
- Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly.
- Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated.
- Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don't actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed.
- Repeat Step 5 making sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml. of stock for the final step. .
- Repeat, save 100ml for the final stage.
- Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.
- Add whichever other ingredients you want at this point along with the remaining stock and the butter.
- Stir in the parmesan, stick the lid on and let it sit for a few minutes.
Note: Don't let it get gluggy!! If you leave it a little runny, it will thicken up as it cools down. There will also be tasty sauce to lick from your bowl. Extra liquid also helps when you're reheating it. We found the preserved lemon one very strong on flavour. To counteract it we added some goats cheese which worked a treat. If you want to make your own variations then add what you want when the 3rd lot of stock is added. We made a chicken and pesto by adding cooked chicken (you can use the leftovers from the stock), mushroom, fresh basil and semi sundried tomatoes. I do have photos lurking around but the disk went missing.... Will add them when I find it.
According to Jamie Oliver ‘”You want it to be smooth, creamy and oozy, not thick and stodgy.”