So my obsession with Risotto has returned! And boy is it back with a vengeance. Last night I just could not wait to eat it and almost finished an entire plate before I could even take a photo. But thankfully I had a slight bit of a will-power boost and I could take a few.
Risotto is really the perfect thing to cook in Spring. It’s comforting enough to fight the slight chill left in the air but it’s not heavy like a stew or a curry. And it helps that it works with just about any other ingredient. I’ll be exploring some new combinations over the next few weeks but one that keeps popping up is beautiful fresh spring veg with lemon and pecorino. Just imagine, firm yet tender asparagus, sugar snap peas, green beans and broccolini with the oozy, creamy risotto and the sharpness of lemon and pecorino. Hold on, let me just get a cloth to wipe up the drool on my keyboard!
This was so incredibly delicious and I would die for a bowl of it right now. I think chilli is just one of those things that go incredibly well with Risotto. The creaminess of the cooked risotto almost mellows out the intense heat from the chillies and enhances the sweetness. And served with crispy, salty calamari, well, what more could you ask for really?
2 leeks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 cups Risotto rice ( I used Arborio)
250ml (8.45 fluid ounces) white wine
1-1.5l chicken stock
1/2 cup cream
2 fresh chillies, finely chopped or use as much crushed chillies as you can handle.
1 cup grated parmesan/pecorino
Salt & Pepper to taste
500g (17.64 ounces) baby squid and calamari steak cut into strips
15ml (0.51 fluid ounces) cajun spice mixed with 4tbsn flour
oil for deep frying
- In a large pot/pan, fry the leeks in the butter until soft. Add the garlic and fry for another minute or two.
- Add the rice and stir, coating the rice with the oil. Add the wine and allow to reduce.
- Now, add the stock ladle by ladle. Stirring in between and allowing the rice to absorb the stock. The rice shouldn’t be completely dry before you add more, it should always be moist. Take care not to stir too much as you don’t want it to go stodgy.
- Meanwhile, coat the squid and calamari with the seasoned flour. Try to get the squid as dry as possible before coating with the flour, otherwise it will go a bit gloopy.
- Heat the oil in a pot/wok and fry the squid and calamari until crisp. Set aside.
- Finish the risotto by adding the cream, chillies and cheese.
- Serve in bowls topped with a handful of the squid and calamari and some extra chillies and cheese.
For more risotto recipe, click HEREAlida Ryder