Risotto is one of the staple dinners in our household. Once you’ve learnt the technique, you can mix and match ingredients to your heart’s content (another variation we love is butternut squash and chestnut). What’s more, it only leaves one pot to clean!
300g risotto rice (I use arborio)
Chicken/vegetable stock cube
250ml white wine (optional)
2 cloves of garlic
150g frozen prawns (can use fresh if feeling rich!)
A handful of frozen peas
Pepper and herbs to garnish
1. Chop the onion and put, along with a little oil, in a medium sized saucepan. Add chopped garlic and saute for around 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and just beginning to brown.
2. Prepare about 0.5 litre (a pint) of stock. Be sure to check the stock cubes are gluten-free – I use Knorr cubes.
3. Add the rice to the pan and fry, stirring frequently, until all the oil and onion juices have absorbed
4. If using wine, add to rice and stir until liquid has been absorbed. The key to getting a really nice, creamy risotto is to add the liquid little by little and stir continuously. It’s quite labour intensive, but seriously worth it. At least stirring is easy! (Julia Child uses a different method, which involves adding all the liquid, covering the pan and leaving it, but I prefer the creamier taste!)
5. With that in mind, continue to add small amounts of the stock and stir until absorbed. You will then need to add about another 0.5l of boiling water until the rice is cooked. However, the exact amount varies every time, and I prefer to check the rice is done by tasting it.
6. Once the rice is *almost* done, add the frozen prawns and peas and turn the temperature up a bit higher. You can always add a bit more liquid if the risotto is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the rice is cooked, the prawns are fully heated (you DON’T want lukewarm prawns!), you can add some pepper, any herbs you’d like (I used our home grown oregano), and if you’re feeling really indulgent, a bit of butter or cheese.
7. Stir fully and serve!