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.

28 comments:

  1. Oh gee, I'm sorry about your poor Nigella - I'm sorry she went up in smoke! I hope it wasn't a 1st edition or signed . . . maybe she'll read about what happened and send you one - if not we should start a grassroots movement for a replacement copy!

    Your risotto looks and sound mouthwateringly delicious! Tell me, is the saffron really expensive in England? It's outrageous here!

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    1. She's salvageable. Just a melty face! Yes. Saffron is expensive here! But I use it so rarely... ;0)

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  2. Some days are just like that! Have made my RR will get it posted today.

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  3. Hope Nigella is salvageable - Kitchen is one of my favourites. The risotto looks lovely anyway.

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  4. Sounds like we had equally disastrous RR experiences this month (and Nigella is the common feature. Hmm).

    I too would be very disappointed if my copy of kitchen got melty face, it's a super book. But on the squash risotto front, do you have a copy of the firt JO book, Naked Chef? There's a GORGEOUS recipe for spicy squash, thyme and mascarpone risotto (I think it's thyme). It's really really good, I recommend it to you (is mascarpone veggie?) and can happily stand losing the Parmesan. X

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  5. We all have days like that sometimes...

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  6. There is a small Saffron plantation about 100 yds behind our house.... I may well liberate a few flowers. Love Risotto.

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  7. I have the same book..looks yummy

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  8. The idea of melty face Nigella makes me giggle! :-)

    And glad I'm not alone in sometimes forgetting to put in a key ingredient!

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  9. Ach well, it sounds good without the saffron.

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  10. Great looking risotto. I love sitting in front of the fireplace with a big creamy bowl of risotto. I have never tried it with any other cheese other than Parmesan. The brie sounds yummy !

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  11. This does really look nice. I'm glad that your Nigella Kitchen was saved! I love risotto although I haven't yet cooked one. Your dish is mouthwatering : )

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  12. I had to smile about your efforts to track down saffron and then forgetting to add it to the risotto. That is something I would do!

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  13. Gosh, Dom, you'd better take a nap! The risotto looks fabulous anyway!

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  14. The next time we meet up, I will bring you saffron, as I have quite a bit as I bought lots when I was in Spain earlier on this year, but, I cannot bring nigella back to life for you though! I know about the problems with Parmesan, my sister and parents are veggies and I can never use it for them too....despite your crappy day with the book and saffron omission, that risotto looks lush darlink! Karen xx

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  15. Oh no Dom, poor you and poor Nigella. I've done the same thing before, not with my copy of a Domestic Goddess, I hasten to add, but it's so easy to do on a ceramic hob. I bought some Greek saffron at a Christmas fair today and I'm debating whether to selfishly keep it for myself or give it away as a Christmas present. I draw the line at parmesan, actually cheese in general and just, err, assume it must be vegetarian!

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  16. And forgot to say that your risotto looks fabulous, lack of saffron notwithstanding :)

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  17. Ah, Dom, you do make me laugh - those are both things I would do. I went through a terrible stage of burning things (it seems to have passed, thankfully) and am forever nipping out to the garden to pick something, getting distracted by weeds, coming back upstairs and thinking, now, why did I go out there again? I'm sure Nigella will recover and just think, you have all that saffron to use next time! x

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  18. Sadly there are days like that, but it seems, judging from your risotto, that it wasn't that bad ... although, what happend would already drive me crazy and ruin a day.

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  19. Forgetting the key ingredient sounds like something I would do too - so frustrating! Never mind though, your risotto looks delicious anyway!

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  20. Do you know how many times I have done that - hunted down an ingredient only to forget it or half forget it and pop it in in the wrong place.Poor Nigella was desdined for a bad end after your comments about her last time! Hope she is salvagable cos this looks like an amazing rissoto you have encouraged me to get mine down off the bookshelf.

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  21. Oh no poor Nigella! That's just sod's law forgetting to put the saffron in...and definitely the sort of thing I would do! Your risotto looks great though...and who needs saffron anyway! ;-)

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  22. I have to confess I snorted out loud with a big laugh whilst reading this - am so glad to hear other much more professional and competent cooks have days where it all just goes wrong! Thanks for sharing! I'm making my RR recipe tomorrow - it is an absolute stinker - I feel it will add a comedy element to this month's round up!

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  23. I'm a veggie, and I use this lovely veggie parmesan called Twineham Grange pasta cheese (used to be 'not just a pasta cheese'). Don't know if you've heard of it but thought I'd pass it on! This looks like a great recipe to try (:

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  24. Ha ha ha haaaa - melty faced Nigella. Sure she had it coming. ;-p Your Risotto looks lovely, never mind the saffron. I've had lovely Risotto Milanese in the past where you can taste the saffron but otherwise, uinless you can afford to pile it in I think it adds colour more than anything else. That doesn't mean I don't have a very pretty tiny little tin in my cupboard with my own supply in of course, just not sure that we're not all being hoaxed a little...

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  25. Oh, even without the saffron, it's still a winning dish. I love the way you have added brie instead of parmesan. I bet it tastes heavenly!

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  26. Haha you are too cute dom. Although, I must say, this dish doesn't look like it needed the saffron, looks wonderfully golden and yummy either way!

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  27. I'm so sorry for your loss! I'm glad your copy is still usable though. Nigella's Kitchen is one of my favorites but I have yet to make her risotto. Now I will have to give it a try since you made it so attractive, saffron added or not! Brie was a lovely creamy addition. Can't go wrong adding Brie to almost anything, in my opinion!

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