Last night I texted my Mom “Oh my god! I just made the most divine risotto”, and I think I have achieved risotto nirvana, if there is such a thing. This recipe is from the latest edition of ABC Delicious magazine (July 2011), our Saturday routine at the moment is to lay out all our foodie magazines and select recipes to make for the week, these are then added to the glass splashback with a whiteboard-marker and shopping lists are made. Mark has a nifty iPhone app that has everything on the shopping list arranged by aisles so we can speed through the supermarket as quickly as possible.
One reason this Risotto worked out so well was thanks to my new bright red cast-iron Dutch Oven. When I was last in NZ a few weeks ago I made a risotto in Mom’s Le Creuest and it worked so well, I picked it up mine at Aldi for a song at $19.99. I have been singing the praises of Aldi in my last few posts, but all is not well with Aldi. I bought a $9.99 pasta-maker a few weeks ago, and promptly broke it, I took it back and exchanged it halfway through my pasta-making attempt, and then managed to break the second one too! I guess that they are renowned for good prices, but sometimes their quality is not up to scratch. I am now in the market for an Italian-made pasta maker, if you know a good brand/model leave a comment below.
The flavours od this risotto work so well together, but I think the main umami flavours come from quality swiss brown mushrooms, leeks, and vegetable stock. I read about the Organic Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon powder in a magazine and found a tubful at an organic supermarket in Maleney a few weeks ago. It is not very salty, and has a very more-ish flavour. Mix 1 teaspoon for each cup of hot water to make a a tasty stock.
1 tbs olive oil
60g unsalted butter
100g speck or bacon, chopped into 2 cm cubes
2 leeks, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbs rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 1/3 cups arborio rice
100 ml white wine (plus extra for the cook)
3 cups vegetable stock, heated
100 ml pure (thin) cream
300g swiss brown mushrooms, quartered
150g brie, torn
Place oil and half the butter in pan over medium-low heat. Cook the speck until browned and the fat has rendered out. Add the leek, garlic and half the rosemary, stirring, for 6-8 minutes until soft. Add rice stirring to coat the grains, then add wine and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until almost evaporated. Stir in stock a ladleful at a time, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next. Continue to cook, stirring constantly for 20 minutes, or until al-dente (you may not quite need all the stock).
Melt the remaining 30g butter in a pan over high heat. Cook mushrooms and remaining rosemary for 6-8 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Season.
Remove the white pith from a small pice of brie, stir the creamy brie filling along with the cream into the rice mixture and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until warmed through. Serve risotto immediately topped with mushrooms, brie and rosemary leaves.