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Risotto Recipe

I did us a risotto last night, and I think I've finally perfected it. All measurements are somewhat approximate because I had less rice than I thought, but in any case, this is enough to serve two...



This is actually Jamie Oliver's basic recipe; the additions are mine. It takes a lot of watching and stirring so you can't leave it to its own devices, but the results are quite spectacular. :)

Ingredients

For the risotto:

5oz risotto rice (I used Arborio)
250ml dry white wine / vermouth (i.e. Martini)
2/3 pint liquid stock (mine was fish stock, you can use chicken / vegetable / whatever you like)
1 smallish onion
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 knob of butter for frying, plus 1 oz for final stage
2oz grated parmesan

For the 'filling':

1x bag frozen scallops
1x handful frozen prawns
1x red pepper, diced
2x rashers bacon, diced
Dried parsley

Method

First, finely chop the onion and garlic.

Heat up the olive oil and knob of butter in a good non-stick pan on a low heat, then add the onion and garlic. Fry off for about 15 minutes until softened but not coloured. (You are also meant to add celery, but TBH I don't think it would bring much to the recipe...)

Add the rice, which will start to fry slightly, so keep stirring it. When it turns slightly translucent, add the wine / vermouth, turn up the heat, and continue to stir.

When the rice has absorbed all the wine, add the first portion of stock (you're meant to add it by the ladleful, but that takes ages - add about a quarter. :P) and a pinch of salt, turn down the heat, and continue to stir. Jamie describes this as 'massaging the starch' out of the rice, but the important thing is to keep it moving so it doesn't stick. When the first bit of stock has been absorbed, add more and repeat the process.

When you have about a quarter of the stock left, fry off the bacon and pepper in a frying pan and then add the scallops and prawns. As they are frozen there will be a lot of excess water so that will need to be strained off towards the end.

When the last of the stock is dissolved (the texture should be oozey and creamy), check if the rice is cooked (al dente) and if not, add boiling water, though it should be cooked by this point. Add the parmesan and butter, stir through, then remove from the heat and cover, then leave for 2 minutes.

After two minutes, add the seafood/pepper/bacon mix to the risotto and stir through, then serve.

It's taken me four attempts to get this completely right, and I think having decent pans definitely helped, but anyway... there it is.

The mysteries of Italian cooking revealed!

That's it for today. Far too busy for anything else.

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T'eyla Minh
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