Friday, 13 November 2009

Lemon Risotto

I know you can't believe it... a post on this blog!

Big shock huh after nearly four months! Sorry for the hiatus, it was all due to moving house, and losing the camera, and then just life taking over! I was preparing dinner tonight though and suddenly felt inspired to put the recipe up on here. It's another of our regular favourites and to be honest I'm surprised it's not on here already as it is the Comedian's most frequent request. Don't panic too much about the time involved in cooking risotto. Yes you do have to keep checking it and stirring it, but I've found I've got quite good at adding a ladle-full of stock and then running and doing a quick job or check on the kids before getting back to stir and add another ladle-full. It doesn't necessarily mean standing and stirring non-stop for an hour! Here's my recipe.....

Lemon Risotto

1 Red onion
1 Shallot
2 or 3 garlic cloves
Tablespoon olive oil
Knob of butter
250g Risotto rice
1 Litre Chicken stock
1/2 glass white wine
Juice of two lemons
Lemon rind (I've put this separately as you don't really want the rind of both lemons! Just some)
1 Egg yolk
Parmesan cheese
Black pepper


1. Grate the red onion, shallot and garlic. This will kill your eyes by the way, but is definitely worth it to produce a smooth and creamy risotto without big hard lumps of onion.

Put two large pans onto the hob; in one heat the chicken stock, in the other melt the butter and olive oil together and add the grated oniony mixture. Cook until softened.

3. Add the risotto rice and stir until coated with the oniony oily mixture.

4. Now comes the important part. Take a ladle-full of the stock and add it to the risotto pan, stir until it has absorbed. Repeat this process until the risotto is creamy but not too soft and puddingy. This may take 20 minutes or may take an hour. You may not use all the stock or you may use it all and need to top up with boiling water. It seems to be different every time I make it. About halfway through I substitute one of the ladles of stock for half a glass of white wine... just because I reckon all food tastes better with alcohol in it ;) Don't worry the alcohol cooks away, it just gives a lovely flavour.

5. At this point you have your basic risotto and can remove from the heat to add whatever flavour you fancy. For the lemon risotto I mix together the lemon juice, lemon rind, egg yolk, a generous helping of parmesan cheese and black pepper, and stir the whole lot in. Today I also added some peas and some leftover chicken I got off the bones before I turned them into the stock. You can add anything though, mushrooms also work well, or bacon.

6. Serve with a green salad on the side and lots more parmesan on top.

Risotto is such lovely comforting food, perfect for this chilly, rainy weather. The Comedian is rather addicted to the lemon version, but maybe over this season I can get him to let me branch out a little.

There we are, I've broken the blogging break. We're about to hit the season of Yuletide sewing so hopefully I'll be on here much more over the next month... once I work out which box the sewing machine is in!

I'd better run as Friday night is date night, so I've just run away from the table above, abandoning my husband, to quickly post this. By the way; the Midwinter Graphic ceramics above were discovered by my mum and I in a charity shop in Guildford. Just £15 for 16 plates, two casserole dishes and a sauce jug... bargain!

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