4.5.11

DADDY'S RISOTTO

There are 3 things my dad wins at every time: sorting my accounts, painting my nails (!) and making the best risotto ever. I recreated a mushroom version of this, but you can use lemon, peas and prawns instead for a great summer risotto.

Dinner, for 2

1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
Olive oil
2 packs of mushrooms, a mixture of varieties is good here
200g risotto rice
Glass of white wine
500-600ml chicken stock
Creme fraiche, to serve
Butter
Parsley

Start by chopping the onion and clove of garlic very finely. Fry over a medium heat, with a generous amount of olive oil, until the onion is translucent. Add the chopped mushrooms to the pan and fry for a further 4 minutes.

Tip the risotto rice (enough for 2 people) into the pan and stir the rice so it is coated with the oil from the pan. After a couple of minutes of this add a glass of white wine - when cooking with wine, always use a wine you'd be prepared to drink, just because you're cooking with it doesn't mean you should lower the quality. Stir the rice and mushrooms in the wine, until it has all been absorbed.

The key to a great risotto is to constantly stir it, as this releases the starch from the rice and gives a nice soft, gooey final dish. Once the wine is absorbed start to add your stock. You'll need about 500-600ml of chicken or vegetable stock, but add it little by little, stirring all the time. Do this for 15 minutes or so, and then have a little taste of the rice. If is still crunchy add more stock and carry on stirring.

When cooked, remove the risotto from the heat, add a knob of butter and a grating of Parmesan. I serve mine with a dollop of creme fraiche, and my very own homegrown parsley.


If you want to make the pea, prawn and lemon version, leave out the mushrooms and add grated lemon zest instead, with a splash of lemon juice. Cook the risotto in the same manner as above, but add the frozen peas and fresh prawns 5 minutes before the end. Serve with a wedge of lemon and herb salad.
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