diving into the deep end…. of risotto

11 Oct

I’ll admit. I’ve never made a risotto before. And I haven’t eaten many of them either. So I’m about to take the drunken highschool girl plunge right in, tell risotto that I love it, and that I know I’m ready (and I don’t care what dad says!)

So using an assortment of recipes and sage advice, I’m attempting to make a fish (trevally), 4 beans (from a tin), brocolli (hanging around from the jam and vegie harvest the other weekend) and 4 cheese (pilfered from the leftovers of a cheese platter from a meeting at work today) risotto.

I’m scared. Mainly because I know that all these things taste good by themselves but I’m not sure how well they’re going to get along when they’re introduced into one dish together. There may be fights. You dial “00” and when I give the word, dial “0” again.

And can I just say, check your ingredients before you begin. I keep my rice in a big glass jar with a green ceramic lid. And inside were weevils. That was fun, because it’s been raining nonstop, and I’m down to a few dollars in loose change, so I had to throw away the rice, clean the jar out, and make my way to the shop up the road to buy some more arborio rice.

Slight setback.

So here’s what I’ve used:

  • 3 stock cubes in 1 1/2 litres of water (I used two fish stock and 1 chicken stock)
  • 1 tin of “four bean mix”
  • Broccoli (I just used as much as I thought was enough)
  • Parsley (I’m not really using exact measurements here, just used the rest of the jar)
  • Salt (I didn’t use enough, needed more)
  • Fried Onions (In lieu of having any fresh onions, I had some fried asian onions, I just used the rest of them… noticing a trend here? it’s mostly about using what I’ve got to create a meal)
  • Olive oil, canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice (or “risotto rice”)
  • Cheese (This was pilfered from work, so I had small hunks of blue vein, jarslberg, smokey, cheddar and brie) – cut into smaller chunks
  • small piece of fish (it was a piece of trevally that’s been in the freezer for a while, I caught it myself one weekend when I went to Tweed with a mate… I went fishing!! I know right. Though, turning the fish into workable food was the domain of my stepdad later on that evening)

See! There it is, freshly caught:

Ok, so you put the oil in the pot (you’ll want to use a decent sized stock pot) and heat until hot, the add the fish (cut up into small pieces), beans, onion and parsley and cook until the fish is cooked. Make sure you’re stirring constantly or the fish won’t cook properly.

Take the fish/bean/parsley/onion mix out and set aside in a bowl.

It was at this point that I “made the stock” using a jug and some hot water, just add the stock cubes to the hot water and break them up until you have stock! (I think some of my cubes might have been a bit old – they refused to break properly….)

Add some more oil to the pot, turn it up to high, and dump the cup and a half of rice in the pot.

Add your first cup of water, and stir until the rice absorbs it. Once again, you need to stir constantly (this is so the rice releases the starch, which gives the dish the creamy texture). This takes a while, and everytime the water runs low, add another cup. I jumped around on the heat a bit, it went up and down pretty frequently because I didn’t know if I should stop or keep going with adding stock.

Keep adding stock and stirring (and add the salt – don’t skimp on it, apparently my stock cubes weren’t that salt heavy, so the dish is missing that little kick because I whimped out on the salt) until the rice is soft (took a few taste tries to get it right).

Once you’re alright there, add your fish, beans, onion, parsley and broccoli.

Turn the stove down to low and stir through the cheese until melted.

Plate! Or… in my case, because it’s for lunches for work… place in chinese containers.. tantilising isn’t it! haha (I do these large batches quite frequently, I just need to start learning to plan ahead better, and make sure weevils don’t get into my cupboard…)

….I swear I’m going to start working on my photography skills and stop using my damned iPhone for every photo I take…..


8 Responses to “diving into the deep end…. of risotto”

  1. opalnera October 11, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Looks like a nice texture, good job!

    • decoratingbrisbane October 11, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

      thanks, I was really expecting it to bomb though, but I guess the disaster stories all come from people that didn’t stir constantly?

  2. PrincessKristy October 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    Get onto http://www.taste.com.au and scope out the “working woman’s risotto” or microwave risotta. Easy as a trashbag on a Friday night, and you can save your stirring arm for more important things 😉

    • decoratingbrisbane October 11, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

      I checked out about 3 or 4 different risotto recipes to make sure I got this right. It seems everyone has their opinion on how to do a risotto properly.
      It’s just like raising a child in that respect!

  3. Giovanna October 12, 2010 at 6:57 am #

    your turn to make me risotto when you next visit… how about a mushroom, chorizo sausage and some other stuff added in 🙂

    • decoratingbrisbane October 13, 2010 at 3:58 am #

      You know there are other ingredients you can use in a risotto… you don’t need to recycle the same things you put into that pasta the one time 😛

  4. Hope October 12, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    I agree that there’s a million recipes out there – mine tends to be rice, stock, stir, cheese and then add bits of other stuff. The current one i’m eating is rice and mushroom and its awesome!! I can only emphasise the stirring!! my big pot will confirm that i didn’t stir it enough last time and sadly some burnings don’t come out of pots 😦

    • decoratingbrisbane October 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

      I think mine needed more cheese.
      I think i may have blasphemed when I re-heated some tonight and added real mayo. Definately gave it that kick it was missing though!

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