Tag Archives: risotto

Mulligatawny Barley Risotto

30 Nov

Mulligatawny soup is one of those old-fashioned dishes that sounds quite exotic, but you don’t really know what it is.  Mulligatawny means “pepper broth” in Tamil. It became popular with the British stationed in India during colonial times and when they returned home they brought the recipe back home with them.

This Anglo-Indian curried soup has many variations using different vegetables & spices and it is often thickened with rice. Freshly ground toasted spices are used to give it a distinctive warming flavour and aroma.

A spicy soup is just the thing at this time of year when you come home from a very long walk. Today we walked all the way down into the Barranco Blanco valley. At the bottom of this beautiful valley they started to build another golf resort/hotel and then stopped when they didn’t get permission. So not only is it a blot on the landscape, it is also abandoned & unfinished.

This is the view from the top, yes we walked all the way down & then back up again! The lake is in the grounds of a beautiful house and you can see on the left the unfinished hotel/resort. It would almost be better for them to finish it rather than just leave it like that, but if its built illegally then no one will touch it and the money just isn’t here anymore.

This is another beautiful property we saw on the way back up. I think that might just be the garage…I’ll just live there if you don’t mind, great view!!

The rumour goes that this “Hidden Valley” is where Franco hid a lot of Hitler’s generals after the war. Might explain the enormous houses and this eerie looking watchtower…

Anyway back to the soup. The recipe I had added cooked rice to the soup at the end. I decided to throw in some barley to cook in the soup towards the end of cooking as I didn’t have any cooked rice and my dad always used to put barley in his soups when I was young. Maybe I went a bit mad with the barley because it turned out like a spicy barley risotto rather than a soup, but it was all the better for it. It has all the ribsticking goodness of a risotto but no stirring! The freshly ground spices really make a difference to the flavour of the dish, don’t miss this part out if you can help it…You can use whatever vegetables you have in your fridge, that’s what I did.

Mulligatawny Barley Risotto

adapted from a Delia Smith recipe

serves 4 vegetarian

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium courgette 1 cm diced
  • 1/2 cauliflower in florets
  • 1 medium potato, 1cm cubed (or some halved baby new potatoes)
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 25 gr butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large cardamom pod (seeds only)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 litre veg stock (or more if you want it soupy)
  • 125 gr barley
  • salt & black pepper
  • fresh coriander chopped

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large pan then add the onions and cook over a medium heat until they are a golden brown colour (About 10 minutes). Now put the cardamom, cumin, fennel & coriander seeds in a small pan with the chilli flakes and dry fry them over a medium heat for about 2 or 3 minutes until they start to splutter & jump. Tip them into a mortar & pestle and crush them finely. (You can also crush them with the end of a rolling-pin in a small cup). Add the spices to the onions, stir to combine then add the vegetables. Season generously with salt & black pepper, cook for 1 minute then add the veg stock and the barley. Put the lid on and cook gently for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

You can serve it like this with some fresh coriander stirred through or for a smoother, thicker consistency ladle out just under half of the soup into a large bowl and blend it carefully (hot soup!) until smooth. Add this puree back into the soup, stir in the coriander and reheat gently. Add more stock to thin it out if you want to. Taste for seasoning and serve in warmed bowls with Anglo crusty bread or Indian parathas.

This really is a delicious soup dish, just perfect for those cold winter nights when you are chilled to the bone and miserable. The comforting warmth of the barley mixed with the aromatic spices is a heavenly combination.

This is one of those old-fashioned recipes that should not be forgotten. If this is where the British love affair with Indian cuisine started then I, for one, am really grateful. I’m bringing Mulligatawny back, you should try it too….

Don’t forget to check out the fantastic November Round -Up of YBR (Your Best Recipe) hosted by Nancy at Spicie Foodie. Click on the badge below to see an amazing variety of delicious dishes with beautiful photos. A real feast for the senses…

Artichoke, Mushroom and Lemon Risotto

27 Nov

 

The artichokes growing where we walk the dog are looking pretty ready and they are a really good price in the market now so I bought a couple. I have never eaten artichoke before let alone cooked with one so I was a little nervous about preparing them- it looks complicated!

The artichoke globes are so pretty when you buy them like green & purple prehistoric looking flowers. It seems a real shame to pull all  the leaves off when you want to cook them.

This is how the artichokes start out but by the time you have cleaned them down to the hearts, you are not left with much. You can understand why they are expensive to buy in jars. If you want to know how to clean an artichoke look here.

I would definitely recommend buying more than two! I thought one each would be plenty for a risotto but you don’t get left with much so I added some mushrooms to bulk it out a bit. The artichokes get soaked in lemon water to stop them discolouring so I decided to follow that flavour through in the risotto as well. The combination of artichoke, mushroom & lemon worked really well, I added some fresh parsley too..

Artichoke, Mushroom & Lemon Risotto

Serves 2 Vegetarian

  • a knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • at least 2 artichokes (4 would be better) you could use some from a jar of hearts.
  • a handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lemon 1/2 zested & then juiced
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 125 ml white wine or sherry
  • about 1 litre veg stock
  • 2 big handfuls of arborio rice (I used brown shortgrain)
  • salt & black pepper
  • a handful of fresh parsley chopped
  • about 100 gr manchego cheese (or parmesan) grated

When you have prepared your artichokes (see above) put them in a bowl of water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Heat the oil and butter in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic over a medium low heat for about 5 minutes until soft but not browned. Chop up your artichoke hearts, add them to the pan with the mushrooms and a spoonful of the stock and cook until the chokes are tender about 5-8 minutes, add a bit more stock if it dries up.

Turn the heat up, add the rice and lemon zest & stir to coat the rice. After a minute or so add the wine and leave it to absorb into the rice. Season with salt & pepper.

Meanwhile put the veg stock in a small pan and bring to the boil the turn it down to a simmer. Add a ladleful of the hot stock to the rice, stir or swirl until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring until each ladle has been absorbed. About 18-20 minutes.

When the rice is just cooked turn off the heat, add the other 1/2 lemon juice, the chopped parsley and the grated cheese. Stir to combine, put the lid on and leave it for 2 minutes.

Taste for seasoning then serve in warmed bowls with extra cheese & parsley garnish

If you are lucky enough to have some, crumble over some Lancashire cheese, so delicious with it and the lemon really highlights the flavour of the artichokes. This was my first attempt cooking with artichokes and it won’t be my last but I will definitely buy more next time, or maybe a jar of hearts!!

We had some risotto left over as I always make too much. I like to do this , it means you can get creative for lunch with the leftovers. We had some lovely long green peppers in the fridge that were just crying out to be stuffed, I added a little chopped green chilli to the risotto for a little heat and piled the mix into the halved and deseeded peppers.

I crumbled over some Lancashire cheese but you can use whatever you have, Feta or Parmesan would be good. Then sprinkle with a few breadcrumbs, drizzle with olive oil and bake in a 200 degree oven for about 25 minutes until the peppers are collapsing slightly and the cheese & breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Serve garnished with lime wedges to squeeze over and some fresh coriander or parsley. The lime juice brings all the flavours back to life, enhances the green chilli and sends it down Mexico way… Enjoy!

 

Cauliflower, Parmesan and Rosemary Risotto with Spice Toasted Breadcrumbs

4 Nov

I don’t actually like cauliflower I think I had a disgusting cauliflower cheese once and that put me off for life. The Washer Up is always going on about how delicious it is so I thought I’d give it another chance but there is no way I’m doing cauliflower cheese..

I found a fabulous recipe for cauliflower risotto where the cauliflower melts into the dish so you don’t actually know it’s there. The flavour is amazing with the parmesan & rosemary really rustic, comforting, warm and delicious especially with the spice toasted breadcrumbs to give it that extra texture and heat. You really should have a go at this it is now my favourite risotto and, as I said, I hate(d) cauliflower!…

Cauliflower, Parmesan & Rosemary Risotto with Spice Toasted Breadcrumbs

Serves 4 Vegetarian

Adapted from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 slice of wholemeal rustic bread toasted
  • a pinch or 2 of dried chilli flakes
  • salt & black pepper
  • About 1.5 litres veg stock (You may need more if you are using brown rice)
  • about 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 400 gr arborio rice or I used brown shortgrain rice
  • 25oml white wine or vermouth
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 120gr freshly grated parmesan plus extra for garnish
  • salt & black pepper
    Put the toasted bread in a food processor or alternatively chop finely with a knife, then add about 1 tbsp of the olive oil, the chilli flakes, salt & pepper, stir to combine and set aside.
    Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a large saucepan. Meanwhile prepare the cauliflower by tearing off the green leaves and cutting out the stalk. Chop the stalk very finely and cut the florets into 1 inch pieces. Drop the florets in the simmering stock put the lid on and leave to boil away gently.
    In another large saucepan, heat about 2 tbsp butter & 1 tbsp olive oil over a medium heat then add the onion, garlic and chopped cauliflower stalk and cook for about 15 minutes until very tender. Add the rice, stirring to coat it with the oil for about a minute then add the wine and stir until it has been absorbed. Add a ladleful of the hot stock, the chopped rosemary and a good pinch of salt and stir until the liquid has been absorbed, then add another ladleful of stock. Continue adding the stock a ladleful at a time until the rice is half-cooked. By now the florets should be really soft ( if they are not take the rice off the heat for a bit). Start adding the florets to the rice with the stock, crushing them into the rice as you go. Continue until all the cauliflower has been added and the rice is cooked. This should take about 20 minutes depending on the rice. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked add some boiling water. It should be a pourable consistency.
    When the rice is cooked turn off the heat, stir in the parmesan and some butter, cover with a lid and leave for 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately in warmed bowls topped with the crunchy breadcrumbs and extra parmesan.
    Enjoy and try to keep your dog from eating it!!

Rufus was licking his lips and so were we…

And Then The Rains Came ….

10 Oct

 

This is the other side to “Sunny Spain” unpredictable but just as beautiful, as the Spanish always say “It’s good for the oranges”.

Rufus & I got caught in a big rainstorm this morning. It definitely throws a different light on  everything. Very atmospheric and cleansing although the mascara running down my face was not a good look!

It’s at times like this when only risotto will do, it’s comforting, warming and also therapeutic with all that stirring, staring out of the window at the steely sky. I like to make risotto with shortgrain brown rice (it gives a really nutty flavour and great texture) & whatever I have in my fridge, which today is mushrooms, leeks & red onion. I also have a bottle of Marsala in the cupboard which will be fabulous with the mushrooms..

Leek & Mushroom Risotto with Marsala

Serves 2/3 (with leftovers) Vegetarian

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (basil oil if you have it see recipe)
  • about 150 – 200gr mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1 leek chopped
  • 2 clove garlic chopped
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 4 or 5 handfuls of risotto rice (I use brown shortgrain, it takes a bit longer to cook)
  • a good glug of Marsala (or Madeira, or white wine)
  • 1 litre veg stock
  • 1 or 2 tbsp basil pesto (I used my basil & garlic pulp from the basil oil recipe)
  • salt & black pepper 
  • a handful of grated parmesan (plus extra shaved for garnish)
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onions & leeks and cook over a medium heat until translucent & softened.
  2. In the meantime put the veg stock in a small sauce pan over a low heat.
  3. Add the mushrooms & garlic to the onions and cook for 2 or 3 mins then add the lemon juice.
  4. Add the rice and stir to coat in oil and vegetables then add the Marsala, stir again.
  5. When the liquid has evaporated add a ladleful of warm veg stock to the rice, stir or shake the pan to combine.
  6. When the liquid has evaporated add another ladleful of veg stock and stir or shake the pan, continue like this until all the veg stock is incorporated or the rice is cooked,stirring frequently.
  7. It should take about 25 mins. (Longer if you use brown rice, you may have to put the lid on for the last 10 mins to soften the rice).
  8. When the rice is cooked & most of the liquid evaporated add a handful of grated parmesan, the basil pulp/pesto, black pepper & salt to taste .Stir to combine.
  9. Serve in warmed bowls with shaved parmesan

Making Risotto

    

    Leek & Mushroom Risotto with Marsala

    I think it was owning a restaurant for 9 years that has made me slightly obsessed with using leftovers. It can be the difference between making profit & not and also encourages creativity in the kitchen. I think most of the time the leftover recipes turn out to taste better than the main dish, which is when it’s really succesful.

    One such recipe is for Arancini (The Italian word for little oranges) which uses up leftover risotto by making it into balls, coating in breadcrumbs and frying them. In my recipe I stuff them with a cube of mozzarella, bake them in the oven (a little healthier) and serve them with a tomato sauce that is actually my leftover tomato & basil soup.

    Mushroom & Mozzarella Arancini with Tomato Sauce Recipe

  • leftover risotto (I had enough for 6 balls a bit bigger than golf balls)
  • 1/2 ball mozzarella cut into cubes
  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs
  • olive oil
  • tomato pasta sauce (I used my leftover tomato soup- see recipe)
  • shaved parmesan to garnish
  • 1. Make the cold risotto into little balls a bit bigger than golf balls, poke a piece of mozzarella into the centre and roll it into a ball again around the mozzarella.

    2. Have two small dishes ready, one with beaten egg and the other with breadcrumbs. Roll the balls one at a time first in the egg then in the breadcrumbs and put on a plate to chill in the fridge.

    3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, brush the Arancini with a little olive oil and place on an oiled baking sheet. Cook for about 20 mins until golden & crispy.

    4. Meanwhile heat up your tomato sauce adding a little basil pulp/pesto.

    5. To serve ladle the sauce into the bottom of your warmed serving dish & place the Arancini in the sauce, garnish with shaved parmesan.

    Enjoy!!

    Arancini in Tomato Sauce

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