- Smoked salmon
- Frozen peas
- Red Onions
- Creme Fraiche
- Parmesan cheese
- Arborio rice
- Dash of white wine
- Chicken stock cubes
Risotto is one of those dishes that most people love but that they don't have the confidence to cook at home. Despite popular misconception there is no reason not to be cooking it in your own kitchen because it really isn't rocket science. It's perfectly comforting for this time of year as it is warm, wholesome and you can make a huge pot of the stuff to feed a group cheaply and easily.
I'm using a couple more ingredients than normal but you'll probably have the wine, frozen peas and chicken stock in the house already. Get arborio rice as nothing else works for risotto.
Start off by making a big pot of stock. Simply add water and 3 of the stock cubes. Even a 2 year old could do this step!
Peel the garlic and onions and chop the bastards up as fine as you can!
Lash on a second similar sized pot and throw in a bit of olive oil. Slowly sweat off the garlic and onion while the stock comes up to the boil.
When they are nice and soft and the house is smelling amazing from all the garlic, lash in the rice. This is the unusual part where you cook the rice for about a minute in the pot with no liquid.
Keep it moving at all times with a saptula or wooden spoon so as it doesn't get stuck to the bottom. Fuck in a good big glass of white wine. Don't be shy.
Pick all the mint leaves away from the stalks. Don't be shy with the mint.
Now the key here is that you need to forget about everything else because for the next 20 minutes this dish is going to need your attention. The technique is all about putting one little ladle of stock into the rice every couple of minutes and constantly stirring. The Italians say it should always be in the shape of a 'wave' as you add the liquid. Add liquid, stir for a minute and when the liquid is absorbed add another ladle until the rice is cooked.
While doing that chop up the mint and grate a good big chunk of parmesan.
Slice the smoked salmon into thin pieces and grab the peas out of the freezer.
You'll see the rice start to thicken up after about 12-15 minutes cooking on an average heat. Don't be a lazy bastard- keep stirring.
Taste a little bit and when the rice is nearly cooked lash in the frozen peas. It doesn't matter that they are cold as they'll warm up quickly and the moisture they release will help finish cooking the rice. Keep stirring.
The rice will be pretty much cooked after about 2 minutes of the peas being in there so then add in the mint.
Lash in the smoked salmon. This might be an Italian dish, but with those colours we are going to claim it as Irish!
Lash in the parmesan cheese.
And then a big huge of spoonful of creme fraiche. This will give it amazing body and richness. Taste it at this stage and see if it needs any salt or pepper.
Spoon it out onto the plate and admire your professional cooking skills.
Add another dirty big dollop of creme fraiche on top and enjoy this ultimate comfort food dish immediately!
You really have to taste a mouthful of this to believe just how fucking good it is. You'll never pay 20 quid in a restaurant for a bowl of this again once you realise how easy it is to make. It's time to impress your friends this weekend with this awesome dish!