Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Pea and leek risotto

Many people think that risottos are rich, creamy, savoury, calorie-laden rice puddings for which you have to laboriously slave over the stove for an hour or more. NOT TRUE. Many people think that it's dinner party food. NOT (necessarily) TRUE. Maybe I'm just projecting all of my previous risotto-related thoughts onto the third person. But whatever. NOT TRUE.

Pea and leek risotto

2 leeks, sliced - about 1cm widths, peppered
150g frozen peas
a few handfuls of spinach
lots of streaky bacon, chopped - I use oak smoked for a deeper flavour
some chunks of ham
250g risotto rice
700ml chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 190C. I use a fan oven.
In a pan, on medium heat, pour in a healthy glug of oil.
When hot (the oil rolls around the pan easily), add the bacon and fry for two minutes.
Then turn the heat down a little and add the leeks.
Whilst the leeks are cooking, prepare the chicken stock (dissolve a cube). If you're using homemade chicken stock, I applaud you!
After the leeks have softened (about 5-6 minutes), add the risotto rice- I use arborio.
After 1 minute, cover with the chicken stock, cover with tinfoil and leave in the oven for 25 minutes.
About half-way through stir the risotto, recover with tinfoil, and pop back in the oven.
After 15 minutes (or until the rice has soaked up all of the moisture), add the peas and ham, and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Once cooked, stir in the cream cheese and mozzarella. ET VOILA.

Serve with wilted spinach and a glass of chablis.

Swap some of the chicken stock for pea and ham soup.
Add mint.
Use double cream/ soured cream/ gran padano/ parmesan instead of cream cheese and mozzarella.
Serve topped with crispy leeks and onions.

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