Risotto 101

Monday, 14 March 2011

My best home cooked meal...

I don’t claim much, but I can cook a good risotto. It’s not hard once you can do a basic one, which I learnt when in Croatia. Their famous dish is the black risotto (black from the squid ink). It sounds unappetising but my god it is delicious! It really is one of those dishes that you can throw pretty much any combination into and it will taste good. It needn’t be served with anything but on its own, and a good glass of wine. Perfect idea for an evening in for me!

This one that I made the other night was a prawn, asparagus and Italian parsley risotto with a dash of fresh lime. I redid this the following week with these exact ingredients, as well as chopped up chorizo – added a delicious salty element to it!

So here is my basic risotto routine (don’t call it a recipe as I am awful at following these…) that I use (probably nothing new, so use it/don’t use it) :



Turn the hob onto a medium heat, and add 1 diced onion (the finer the better), a knob of salted butter and a dash of olive oil. Once the butter has melted pour relevant amount of risotto rice into the pot to absorb these flavours. A jug of veggie or chicken stock should be next to the stove, already mixed with the relevant amount of hot water – half a cup can be added at a time, waiting until each bit is absorbed completely by the rice. Be sure not to mix the rice around too much as this can cause it to go stodgy. A dash of white wine is a must, and red can also work well if you doing a more meaty risotto. I say if I would drink white wine with it then add white and same with red.

Once you are on your last round of stock and the rice is looking see-through and nearly ready then add your last ingredients such as frozen prawns, asparagus, peas etc. You be the judge as obviously some ingredients work best the earlier they are added so the flavour can sink in such as garlic, mushroom, chilli etc. Enjoy. Please let me know if you have a good combination!


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