Archives for category: Recipes

Risotto is my favourite recipe to impress; it’s relatively simple, quick and you can put anything in it. This is one of the more basic ways to cook it, with just a little bit of saffron. Of course, you can add cured meats to the pan before the rice or seared vegetables for the last 5-10 mins of cooking just to mix things up and Presto, you have yourself dinner.

Stock on the boil
Butter for frying
Finely chopped onion
Risotto rice
Saffron
Glass of white wine
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan cheese

With some chicken or vegetable stock on the boil, I fry the onions in a lake of butter until they’re soft. Turn the heat up and add the risotto, which I stir everything until it glistens and sticks to the spoon.

A glass of white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio with strands of saffron immersed in it is thrown in and begins to bubble around the rice. I cut lines around and across the pan with a wooden spoon, dividing over and over until the wine is absorbed, the rice beginning to cloud and showing its first signs of creaminess. Knock the heat down again before getting onto the main part.

The stock should be simmering now and a ladel or two is added to the pan at a time. Keep stirring, mixing, weaving the risotto as the water is absorbed and evaporated, adding another ladel each time the spoon leaves a clear trail in the pan.

After about 15 minutes, taste the risotto every minute or so until it begins to soften and the grains don’t crumble into little rocks when bitten. I think it’s ready when I don’t have to lever crushed grains from the crowns of my teeth with my tongue.

Mix in more butter and grated Parmesan to make it even creamier, then a little bit of black pepper and salt to taste and serve with the rest of the bottle of wine.

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I’ve had a pineapple in my fridge for ages. I had intended to put it into Sweet & Sour but, for reasons lost in the past, didn’t. So it’s been sitting in my fridge for a fair few weeks. I think it’s safe to say it’s ripe. Possibly too ripe.

Now, the usual idea would be to marinade it in alcohol and keep for a few months to snack on at a later date, but today I’m impatient so I decided to bake it instead.

Large, ripe pineapple
Caster sugar
½ Lime, juiced
Cognac
1 Split vanilla pod
Flaked almonds

Trim the skin from the pineapple, and cut into 1cm thick pieces.

Put the fruit in a baking dish big enough that the pieces half fill it, sprinkle on the almonds, sugar, lime juice, cognac and some water, and submerse the vanilla pod in the ­liquid.

Cover with foil and bake at 180°C /gas mark 4 until hot and tender.

Transfer into serving bowls and serve with vanilla ice cream, remembering to pour any leftover syrup over the lot of it. Don’t want to waste the cognac!