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Cooking for vegetarians: Risotto - Ed's journal
Cooking for vegetarians: Risotto
Whilst at Whitby, I had an occasion to try and put together a 'dish' rather than a more conventional 'some stuff cooked together'.

On this occasion, it was a risotto. Went something like (and please bear in mind that this is 'from memory' so treat accordingly). Serves two but probably four if you just want a 'side portion':
most of a bag of risotto rice (around 400g I think)
Half a red pepper
half an orange pepper
Half an onion
A nice fat carrot.
A chunk of mild-ish cheddar. (Depends on taste and strength of cheese. Assume about the amount you might put in a sandwich. I happen to like cheese quite a lot. I think the actual recipe I was actually using for guidelines suggested a fairly hard cheese, Parmesan style. )
A chunk of mild-ish goats cheese.
2 vegetable stock cubes dissolved in about a pint of hot water.
Some cashew nuts (couple of handfuls)
Enough oil to lightly cover the base of the pan.

And some wine (white, a Chablis). I say 'some wine' because some was used in cooking, and the rest was used in drinking.

Chop peppers, onion, carrot, mushroom quite fine (matter of taste, but I get along much better with mushroom if I can't identify it's existence) small ish cubes, but it doesn't matter too much. You can probably include meat if you're so inclined - you'll need to chop that too into fairly small pieces (bear in mind this is going to be a somewhat sticky rice dish)

Heat the oil (you can tell it's hot, it starts to smoke)

Fry the vegetables (if you're doing meat, do that first, as it's important to cook that through properly) in the oil. (Careful though, if your oil is to hot it'll sizzle, as the vegetables contain quite a bit of water) lightly - enough the the onion starts to go transparent.

Stir in the rice, and get it nicely mixed in with the oil and vegetables, and let that sizzle a bit - about 3-5 minutes.
Then stir in the vegetable stock (if feeding meat eaters, you can use a meat stock should you wish, but I think this actually worked out better).

It'll be juicy and wet, but adjust the temperature so it simmers, rather than boils. You want the water to 'reduce down' to leave you with something that's moist but not runny.
And leave it for a bit - probably about 15-20 minutes, or until it seems to be getting a bit dry.

Pour in a slosh of wine (yes, that's the technical term. All in I think I used about a pint, in about 3 doses) and stir it in. Check and stir every few minutes, and add more wine as you feel the need. (e.g. when it goes dryish - you can tell by the sound it makes when it's cooking).

And carry on until it's about 40-45 minutes total cooking time. When you're nearly ready to dish up, stir in the cheese and the cashews, and leave them on the heat just long enough to stir them in.

Then serve, along with a glass of that white wine you were using to cook with...

Could pretty easily use different vegetables, were you so inclined. Or possibly meat - well chopped beef or bacon, perhaps some prawn might work well.

I'm currently thinking of two upcoming experiments - first is in the form of goats cheese and onion 'something' I'm thinking a savory tart of some kind.

Second in the nearer future is 'something' with tofu. Thinking seasoned/pan-fried tofu, served with a fried rice of some kind.


4 comments or Leave a comment
absintheskiss From: absintheskiss Date: November 4th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
the risotto is a wonderfully flexible dish, you chose well.
cbr_paul From: cbr_paul Date: November 4th, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
No parmesan?
sobrique From: sobrique Date: November 5th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not in this case, no. Figured I'd try it with 'normal' cheese instead. Mostly seemed to work.
(Deleted comment)
sobrique From: sobrique Date: November 5th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not really. This particular vegetarian tends to object.
4 comments or Leave a comment