While I’m enjoying my holiday in Hawaii, I’ve asked a few great friends to guest post for me.
Shannon and I have known each other since 2009, we meet on the ski fields at Falls Creek, and have continued our friendships throughout the years, and with the rise of social media our friendship has been made so easy. I was also honoured to be asked to be published in a digital magazine that she is working on.
I was so pleased when Clare approached me to guest blog for her while she was away in Hawaii. I thought to myself, “what a marvelous chance to cook something I haven’t tried, and normally wouldn’t bother trying to cook”. My approach to cooking (and life in general) can sometimes be a little rushed leading me to ignore recipes. My boyfriend and I will more often than not, have huge stir-fries consisting of fresh veggies and some kind of protein source, at least a few times a week. When planning my post on the Life of Clare, I choose to cook a Mint, Pea and Broccolini Risotto. A meal that most say is relatively simple, but still requiring attention and tender loving care.
Lately I have been trying to get to the farmers market every Saturday or Sunday to buy the weeks worth of fruit and vegies. I love perusing the stalls to find fresh, seasonal produce. At the Eveleigh Market this week, one stallholder recommended his broccolini as being particularly fresh and crunchy. Another recommended their Egyptian mint as having a sweet and subtle taste. With these ingredients as my inspiration, I was ready to cook!
I found a Jamie Oliver recipe for asparagus, mint and lemon risotto, and followed the steps, substituting the asparagus and celery with broccolini and peas. I added chicken into the mix at the last minute, after spying it in the fridge.
The secret to this recipe is continuous stirring, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, constantly monitoring the rice. The texture of the rice can make or break this meal, so it’s important that it isn’t cooked too much or too little. This recipe makes enough food for eight people, so be sure to get the family, or some friends together for this one!
The recipe has two stages, so I will split the ingredients into two groups, one for each stage in the recipe.
First half Ingredients:
– 1 Litre of vegetable/chicken stock
– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 large onion
– 1 ½ medium chicken breast (diced into bite sized portions)
– 3 cloves garlic
– 500g risotto rice
– 250ml dry white wine (I used 350ml of pinot grigio as I had some to use up!)
Second half ingredients:
– Bunch of broccolini
– 1 cup of peas
– 700ml vegetable/chicken stock
– 1-2 handfuls of freshly grated parmesan cheese
– Bunch of mint, finely chopped (I used Egyptian mint, and promptly forgot to finely chop it! I definitely recommend that you do not miss this step)
– Zest and juice of two lemons
– Sea salt and black pepper (According to my tastes, it needed a bunch of pepper, but was salty enough from the stock)
– Extra virgin olive oil
– Using the stage one ingredients, bring your stock to simmer in a saucepan. Add the butter, olive oil, onion, chicken and garlic to a separate saucepan and cook for around 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the onion is soft. Next, add the rice to the saucepan and turn up the heat slightly. Keep stirring your ingredients.
– Pour your dry white into the pan, stirring until completely absorbed.
– Add the hot stock to the rice mixture, ladle by ladle. It’s important to let the stock fully absorb before adding the next lade full. Jamie recommends that this process should take around 14-15 minutes, after which you should put the saucepanful to the side
– Now, using the second stage ingredients, pour half of your stock and the entire risotto base into a large saucepan. Now add the broccolini and peas to the mix. Stir thoroughly. Add the rest of the stock ladle, by ladle, waiting for it to completely absorb before adding more.
– Remove your pan from the heat; mix in the butter, parmesan, lemon juice and zest. Season with sea salt and pepper if required. Let the risotto rest with the lid on for a minute or two.
Serve with extra parmesan, lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil!
If you’re after a fresh tasting, indulgent meal, this risotto ticks all of the boxes. The mint brings an extra little something to the creaminess of the rice. Perfect for a Sunday evening meal at home.
Have you guys ever made risotto? What’s your favourite flavoured risotto?