Saturday, 24 November 2012

saffron risotto - without the saffron - a random recipe

... this recipe was destined for disaster from the moment I started by placing my beloved copy of Kitchen by Nigella Lawson onto the hot hob... I was pottering around the kitchen minding my own business when The Viking asked me what that odd plastic burning smell was... as poor Nigella melted into ceramic I was resigned to the fact that today was not a day I should be anywhere near the oven...

... my random recipes pick for this month was on page 352 of Kitchen... a very simple saffron risotto... saffron adds little but colour to a dish but out I popped anyway, to scour Louth for saffron... four local shops and two supermarkets later I finally got my sticky paws onto some... honestly, the difficulty I went to to get hold of the stuff, it's not as though it's particularly rare or anything... and what do I go and do... I bloody well forgot to put the stuff into the risotto!... I managed to roast a butternut squash and throw in some brie... but the actual saffron... no...

saffron risotto with butternut squash and brie
without banging on about the power of parmesan again, I would say, and I know many Italian's who'd agree that it's the addition of parmesan at the end of a risotto that really creates the dish... rounds it off... makes it whole... but sadly and increasingly annoying is the fact that parmesan is not vegetarian... I usually substitute with an aged poacher or other hard cheese but I had some rather strong brie in the fridge that needed eating and it added the most wonderful creaminess to the dish that I would whole-heartedly recommend...

1 butternut squash - peeled and diced
1 litre good quality stock
1 teaspoon of saffron threads
50g butter
olive oil
50g shallots - finely chopped
250g risotto rice
125ml massala or white wine
40g brie

- place your squash in an oven dish, drizzle with olive oil, season and bung in a hot oven until soft and  melty - set aside

- make up your stock and add the saffron, dumb-ass! - set aside

- in a heavy pan melt some butter and olive oil, then add the shallots and let them bubble away for about 5 mins on a medium heat

- add the rice and stir so that it's coated in the buttery onions

- add the massala or wine and stir until it's absorbed by the rice, then add the stock - ladle by ladle, stirring as you go and allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding the next ladle... this should take about 18 minutes or until the rice is tender but still with a little bite

- stir in the brie and the squash and serve... all the moaning and lack of saffron aside, this was an incredibly tasty risotto...

eat and of course, enjoy!

have you entered random recipes yet?... there's still time to get your entries in - i'll be posting the round-up on Nov 29th.



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