Everyday Cooking

Monday, September 10, 2007

'Cheat's' Saffron Risotto with Chorizo

Yep, it's still cold out there. The calendar says September but the body can't be fooled. It IS craving carbs. Risotto for me is an instinctive choice when hit with such a craving. It can be such a young-family-friendly dish (our little girl LOVES rice), which is always a plus. More often than not, though, I am put off by the ladling and stirring involved as espoused by classic recipes. Don't get me wrong. I am all for the slow lovemaking and caressing of ingredients to produce quality and great tasting fare. These days though, multi-tasking rules my life and cooking for sheer pleasure simply can not come first when my kids are around.

The idea to cook risotto using the absorption method then came up out of necessity. I have been cooking rice with this method ever since I was 8 years old, no fancy rice steamers for this one until recently. So I thought why not try it with risotto. Hmm, I could almost hear the collective gasp of horror. Risotto? No stirring? Oh dear...
To be honest though, my plebeian palate could not detect any difference in this risotto's consistency compared to any other I've had in my life- nothing in terms of creaminess. The rice grains were separate and al-dente. It was good. But as I said- plebeian palate. So what do I know?If you'd like to try it yourself anyway, here's how I did it.

3Tbsp olive oil
1 large clove garlic, sliced thinly
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp saffron, soaked in 1Tbsp hot water
1 1/2c arborio rice
4 c chicken stock
25g butter, chopped into cubes
1/2 c grated parmesan
1 c baby spinach leaves
freshly cracked black pepper

300g chorizo, sliced on the diagonal

*i did not use wine in this recipe*

Heat olive oil in a pot and cook the garlic and onion. Fry until translucent then add the saffron (with the water).
Add the rice and stir until grains are well-coated in oil. Pour in the stock and cook on high until it reaches a rapid boil. Stir to make sure that the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.Turn the heat to low and cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar to let the steam out. Leave to simmer until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed

Meanwhile, fry the chorizos until browned and keep warm while waiting for the risotto to cook.

Back to the risotto...Turn the heat off after around 15minutes. There will still be a thin film of stock. This is ok as it will get absorbed upon stirring. Add the butter and cheese and stir until both have melted. Then add the spinach leaves and stir until just wilted.

Top with the chorizos and sprinkle with black pepper.

I like to serve this with a wedge of lemon. The juice helps to cut through the richness and spiciness of the chorizo.

There you go...
In the 15 minutes that the risotto was cooking, I was able to play another game of 'Snap' with L and sing a couple of nursery rhymes with baby A. That's priceless.


Busy Woman said...

Wow, this photo looks like it's straight out of a magazine.
I am glad that you stopped by my site. Your site looks great! I particularly love how you arrived at the blog name. I will definetly be checking out some of your recipes.

Anonymous said...

Desie -
That's a good idea! I love risotto but hate making it because of the stirring part :(.
Will definitely keep this in mind. It's worth a try.

Luz Belle

Marvin said...

I agree with you that the stirring of risotto is too labor intensive. I will have to give your non-stir method a try.

veron said...

saffron and risotto is such an ideal combination! I really don't mind the stirring part in risotto- making but I'd love to give this method a try. And with chorizo - too delectable!

maybahay said...

hi busy woman. thanks for visiting. it's lucky that the photo turned out half-decent. i literally have a minute to snap my food as my family sits impatiently waiting for dinner to be served.

hi luz, do your little ones like risotto too?

hi marvin, let me know how you go. i was really surprised with the result as it wasn't bad at all. key of course is to serve it up straight away.

thanks for dropping in veron. there was a time when i found risotto-stirring therapeutic. not so when there's little ones screaming in the background:)

Kate said...

there's nothing like infusing some saffron in your risotto.Instantly it becomes a exquisite dish.Your websites looks nice. Thank You for dropping by mine.

dizzyjadey said...

I can imagine the small (and big) kids crying gimme, gimme, gimme!....while you style the plate for the photoshoot....lol! Yummy! I'm gonna give this no-stir risotto a try, miss.