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Adventures in Cooking: I Made Risotto!

1511637_10152925359442160_3608120173924848687_n At our recent Slimming World taster evening, one of the ladies made the risotto out of the August Slimming World magazine. It was delicious, and it was the first time I had ever had risotto. I just don’t like rice a whole lot so I don’t eat it often and I rarely make it. Even when we have a Chinese or Indian takeaway, it’s a struggle to eat the rice (even though it’s a fabulous free food!). When I got home, I mentioned this recipe to Tim and he asked if I would try it……ah, the things we do for love.

The original recipe was called (I think) Butternut Squash Risotto. Naturally, it called for a butternut squash. Which I didn’t have. But I did have something called an “onion squash” (called that, I’m guessing because it looked like a giant orange onion) I bought at Waitrose a few weeks ago, so I decided to use that. Cutting into it was tough…so tough my big knife slipped and took a slice out of my knuckle. Ow. Disaster #1. I decided to pull out some pumpkin puree from the freezer instead. I also decided to add some chicken to the recipe, as that’s how we had it at group and it was really good. The recipe also called for onion and garlic (which I omit always due to allergies) and a red chili…which I didn’t have, but I had some dried red chili flakes, so those would have to do.

After cooking the chicken and the veg, the next step is adding the risotto rice and BOILING HOT STOCK one ladleful at a time. The dish has to be kept constantly stirred and the idea is you add a ladle of stock, stir, let it absorb, and repeat until you have one last ladleful of stock to put in. So, ladle in one hand and wooden spoon in the other I began. After 2-3 ladlefuls, my wooden spoon slipped and >SPLAT< a spoonful of boiling hot stock and rice landed on my hand. Ow. I dropped the spoon into the dish and ran my hand under cold water. Disaster #2. I carried on, though I only used 700ml of stock when the recipe called for a full Litre. I can only assume this is because I used pureed pumpkin instead of chunks of squash. Since it looked awfully goey, I took it off the heat, didn't bother adding the last of the stock and stuck a lid on it for 3 minutes.

As I was dishing it out I discovered that when I stopped stirring it to tend to my burnt hand it caused some of the rice to stick to the bottom of my cast iron dutch oven. Disaster #3.

But the risotto was yummy, and Tim even went back for seconds!

I decided the best way to try to clean this would be to add some water to the pot, squirt in some Fairy Platinum, and boil it for 20 minutes to hopefully loosen the stuck on rice. After 20 minutes I took the pot off the heat, grabbed a scrubber and started scraping....and splashed my other hand with boiling hot water. Disaster #4. Fortunately, I was able to shift all the cooked on rice and have rescued my pot. Would I make this again? Sure! But I think I'll be more careful....maybe wear some gloves.

Would you like the recipe?

You will need:

Diced chicken breast (I used one, but you could buy a pack of pre-diced)
250g pumpkin puree
275g risotto rice
700ml boiling hot vegetable stock
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Fry light
Salt & pepper

heavy pot with lid

1. Spray the bottom of a heavy pot with fry light and add the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned on all sides.
2. Add pumpkin puree and the pinch of red pepper flakes.
3. Add risotto rice and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add a ladle of stock, and cook for 2 minutes (or until stock is absorbed), stirring constantly.
5. continue to add stock in two minute intervals and continually stir.
6. About 15 minutes later, you should be on the last ladleful. Remove pot from heat, stir in the last ladle of stock, season with salt and pepper, and cover for 3 minutes.

Enjoy!

(and if you're on Slimming World, this Risotto is free on EE!)

***

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

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