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.