One of the most comforting bowl of food you can eat is risotto. Soft, silky and easy to eat, it slips down a treat leaving a lovely warm and satisfied tummy! It is one dish, however, which can’t be hurried – you really do have to “slave over a hot stove” for this one – and take it slow, adding liquid one ladleful at a time. So put the afternoon play on the radio and enjoy the making as well as the eating!
- 60g / 2 oz Arborio/ risotto rice
- ½ small onion
- 1 chopped garlic
- ½ glass Dry white wine (don’t worry if no wine, just make up with extra stock)
- ½ pint hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 Teaspoon butter
- 1 Teaspoon olive oil
- A little cream or crème fraiche
- 30g/1oz grated parmesan cheese
Prepare all ingredients, chop onions, grate cheese, etc.
Melt butter and olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Add rice and stir to coat with butter. Cook for 2-3 minutes to toast the rice.
Add white wine and stir until wine is absorbed.
Add stock a small ladle at a time and stir until most liquid is absorbed.
Continue adding stock a ladle at a time, stirring after each addition.
Taste-test a few rice grains after the 5th or 6th stock addition to test – it should not be crunchy or chewy.Continue adding stock ladle at a time until rice taste-tests done.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of cream or crème fraiche and stir until combined.
Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
The above is lovely on its own – but you can have fun now and add lots of different other ingredients. Whichever one you choose, do BEFORE adding the cheese.
A dollop of Pesto
Gently fry some mushrooms ( and more garlic if you Like) in butter. When soft, stir all the mushrooms and buttery juices into the rice, add cheese and serve.
Poach some smoked haddock in milk with a bay leaf. Take out and again stir into the rice, then cheese. Even more lovely is a poached egg on top!
Fry some tomatoes in olive oil (more garlic?) and basil leaves if you have them. When soft but still holding their shape, stir in (again) into the rice
You can also add cooked spinach / cooked peas / parsley / tinned artichokes
I’ve tried all of the above at different times and they are all delicious – try them all until you find YOUR favourite – or, better still, keep experimenting and share what you come up with!
Now, if you opened a bottle of wine to add to the risotto, pour yourself a glass, take your lovely bowlful, put your favourite programme on the TV and settle down to a cuddle of food. You are allowed . . . x