For milk, egg and wheat free folk, Risottos are a great family meal. We use a version of Jamie Oliver's Risotto recipe as our base (for us...we take out the celery as I'm sure it gives me a rash). He suggested freezing partially cooked portions which is a great idea. Defrost a portion of risotto and add in whatever I've got around - spinach, mushroom, or broccoli & salmon, chicken and courgette, or pea and ham. The combination doesn't really matter, as long as it's things you like. Then I pop it in a thermos and she takes it to school. As we're all keen on risotto, it works as a family meal too.
Do be careful in restaurants when ordering risotto - for some strange reason they seem to add cream and cheese!
This risotto is made with bacon, ham and courgette. Once you've read through the basic recipe instructions for this risotto are at the bottom.
Here is the basic recipe from 'Cook with Jamie'.
1 3/4 pints veg or chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Pure Sunflower Margarine
1 large onion, finely chopped
4-5 sticks celery, finely chopped (we don't use as it gives me a rash but do include it if you can)
1lb 6oz risotto rice
9fl oz vermouth or dry white wine
Bring the stock to a simmer in a pan
Put oil, butter in a pan with the onion and celery and cook gently for about 15 minutes without colouring. Add the rice (it will sizzle) and turn up the heat. Keep it moving so it doesn't catch.
Pour in the wine or vermouth and keep stirring until it has evaporated.
Add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring and waiting until it has been fully absorbed before adding more. Turn the heat down low so the rice doesn't cook too quickly, otherwise the outside of each grain will be stodgy and the inside hard and nutty (don't go too slowly or it turns into rice pudding). Continue to add laddlefuls of stock until it has all been absorbed. This should take about 15 minutes.
At this point you can either a)freeze it for another day or b) go onto make your risotto.
If you going on then you'll need another 1 1/4 pints stock. At this point keep adding in the stock a ladle at a time and keep stirring gently until it's absorbed. Do check the rice as you go. It shouldn't get mushy, or be too hard in the middle. A nice bite is what you're after. Don't stir too much but don't leave it alone.
I add my ingredients near the end of the process. For mushroom risotto I put the mushrooms into the stock pot for 5 minutes and then use the mushroomy stock for the final few laddlefulls, then add in the mushrooms at the end. If I'm not so worried about fat content then I fry the mushrooms first.
For spinach risotto I add the uncooked spinach with the 3rd last laddleful of stock so that it wilts, rather than goes soggy.
For pea and ham risotto I pop the peas into the stock for 5 minutes then stir them in at the end along with the ham (which I've also popped into the pan to warm).
This risotto started as a way to use up leftovers in the fridge. We were going away and had bits left; I didn't want to shop and this risotto was born! It's turned into a family favourite now....
6 bacon rashers, 1 courgette, 1/2 chopped up ham
Cut up 6 pieces of bacon and fry in a tablespoon or so of olive oil until it is the desired crispiness (about 10 mins for me) Add the chopped onion and fry until transparent and cooked but not browned.
Chop up a zuccini in small pieces and fry in a tablespoon of olive oil until browned; put to one side.
Follow the standard recipe by adding the rice to the pan with the bacon and onion in it.
Just before you add your last two ladles of stock add in the ham and fried courgette so that they get hot in the risotto.
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