Try the following
For the risotto
1 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, diced
¼ red Romero pepper
250g/8¾ mushroom risotto rice
chicken or vegetable stock, (according to risotto rice instructions)
4 tbsp double cream
50g/1¾oz Manchego cheese, grated
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp dill
1. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil.
2. Sweat the onion and the red pepper until soft.
3. Add the risotto rice until translucent.
4. Add the chicken or vegetable stock according to the packet instructions.
5. Finish the risotto with the cheese and double cream.
6. Garnish with the herbs and drizzle with the olive oil. or Oven-baked Smoked Pancetta and Leek Risotto
4 oz (110 g) sliced smoked pancetta
12 oz (350 g) leeks, trimmed, halved, rinsed and sliced (trimmed weight should be about 8 oz/225 g)
2½ oz (60 g) butter
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
6 fl oz (175 ml) Italian carnaroli rice
3 fl oz (75 ml) dry white wine
18 fl oz (510 ml) vegetable stock (made with Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon powder)
1 level dessertspoon fresh sage, chopped
½ level teaspoon salt
2 level tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
freshly milled black pepper
2 oz (50 g) Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C).
Begin by reserving 5 slices of pancetta, then cut the rest into thin strips. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the strips of pancetta to the pan along with the onion and let them cook over a gentle heat for 5-7 minutes, until the onion is soft and golden. Meanwhile, place the baking dish in the oven to warm through.
Now add the leeks and the rice to the saucepan, stirring them around to get a good coating of butter (it will look like there's not nearly enough rice at this stage, but it swells up during cooking), then add the white wine and vegetable stock. Next add the sage, half a teaspoon of salt and some freshly milled black pepper and bring it up to simmering point, then transfer the whole lot from the pan to the warmed dish. Stir once, then place it on the centre shelf of the oven (without covering) to cook for exactly 20 minutes – a timer is useful here.
Meanwhile, pre-heat the grill to its highest setting for 10 minutes or so, then place the 5 reserved slices of pancetta on a piece of foil and grill them 3 in (7.5 cm) from the heat for about 5 minutes: it's important to get them really crisp. When they're cool enough to handle, crumble into tiny pieces and leave to one side. After the 20 minutes are up, slide the risotto dish out along the oven shelf and gently stir in the 2 tablespoons of grated Pecorino, turning the rice grains over. Now put the timer on again and cook the risotto for a further 15 minutes, then remove the dish from the oven and put a clean tea towel over it while you invite everyone to sit down. Like soufflés, risottos won't wait, so serve presto pronto on warmed plates and sprinkle with the crispy pancetta and the extra grated Pecorino.
Or Seafood risotto
450g/1lb prawns, shell on
36 small mussels
100g/4oz monkfish fillet, thinly sliced
50g/2oz squid, cleaned and thinly sliced
For the Stock:
25ml/1fl oz olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 small leek, chopped
¼ red chilli, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/8 tsp saffron
900ml/1½pt fish stock
cooking liquor from the mussels
For the Risotto:
50g/2oz unsalted butter
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
350g/12oz risotto rice e.g. Arborio
120ml/4fl oz dry white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Peel the prawns, reserving the shells for the stock. Set the prawns aside until needed. Wash the mussels, scrape them clean and pull out the beards. Open by placing in a pan with a splash of water, covering tightly then setting over a high heat until they have opened. Strain through a colander to remove any grit. Save the liquor for the stock. Remove the meats from all but 8 of the shells, discard the empty shells. Leaving a few whole mussels in the risotto makes it look very appetizing. Set the mussels aside until needed.
2. To make the stock, heat the oil in a large pan and add the garlic, carrot, celery, onion, leek and chilli. Fry for 5 minutes without colouring. Add the reserved prawn shells and cook for another couple of minutes then add the tomato, saffron, fish stock and mussel liquor. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes then push through a conical sieve with the back of a ladle to extract as much flavour as possible.
3. To make the risotto, melt the butter in a heavy-based pan (this will lessen the chance of the risotto burning on the bottom as it cooks) then add the shallots and garlic and sweat until softened. Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes until well-coated with butter. Pour in the wine. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat and let the rice absorb all the liquid. You can make the risotto to this stage some time before completing the dish. The final cooking time, about 20 minutes, is reduced to about 10 by doing this.
4. Return the pan to a medium heat and add the shellfish stock to the rice in three stages, allowing the liquid to be absorbed each time before adding the next amount. Stir continuously until the stock is almost completely absorbed.
5. When the rice is just tender but still firm to the bite (al dente), add the parmesan. (The small amount of stock left at this stage will be absorbed by the cheese.) While the risotto is cooking, brush the rest of the seafood with olive oil and grill for 3-4 minutes. To serve, carefully mix the seafood including the mussels into the risotto. Leave a few pieces on top to garnish
or Cold chicken and pepper risotto (risotto freddo di pollo)
350g/12oz Italian easy cook long grain rice
2 medium breasts of chicken
2 whole yellow peppers
1 whole red pepper
8 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
flatleaf parsley, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Boil the rice and allow to cool.
2. Grill the chicken on each side until cooked and allow to cool. Slice into ½cm/¼in strips.
3. Roast the peppers in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Once cooled, peel the skin, take out the seeds and slice them into strips of approximately ½cm/¼in each.
4. In a large bowl mix the chicken and peppers together. Add the walnuts and salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze the two whole lemons and extra virgin and stir well. Lastly add the rice and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
5. Place a large lettuce leaf on a plate and add the risotto mixture in the middle, decorate with some parsley. Serve immediately.
Or Spicy Caribbean risotto with citrus chicken
For the risotto
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
110g/4oz risotto rice
1 carrot, peeled and grated
½ tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp dried turmeric
½ tsp chilli flakes
100ml/4fl oz white wine
1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
1 garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chicken
1 skinless chicken breast, flattened with a rolling pin
zest of 1 lime
zest of 1 orange
lime wedges, to garnish
1. For the risotto, heat the oil in a deep frying pan. Fry the onion with the rice and the butter until coated.
2. Grind the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar and add the other dry spices and chilli flakes. Add to the rice.
3. Add the wine and stir well to deglaze the pan.
4. Add the stock cube and garlic and stir well.
5. Begin adding the hot water gradually, a ladleful at a time until the rice is cooked through.
6. Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan for the chicken.
7. Toss the chicken breast in the lime and orange zest. Place on the griddle and grill for three minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for two minutes.
8. Slice the breast and serve on top of the risotto with the lime wedge to garnish