|I'm officially in the festive mood, and what better way to warm my cockles on a cold December eve than to cook a big bowl of steaming hot risotto.|
It may not be the first thing one would think of when it comes to Christmas food but, in my home, this Northern Italian dish is a family favourite around this time of year.
For a classically defeatist view of risotto and a suitable rebuke from someone who understands that non-Italians can make it just as well as Italians (and probably better), see this piece on the "Grocery Guy" blog.
When I make a risotto, I seldom think of my prospective main ingredient in advance. I generally leave that decision to the gods of "use-by-date". So during my routine hunt around in the fridge, I found some shiitake mushrooms that needing using up, as well as a large pointed pepper on its last legs, so to speak.
Risotto parking at Grocery Guy
My effort at a shiitake and saffron risotto
|I finely chopped the pepper and added it to my usual base of garlic and sliced red onion. Then for the shiitake. I cut these as thin as I possibly could get them (less than 1mm) and sautéed them just before adding them last minute. I used crème fraîche to give the creaminess a sour note, and a little grated haloumi to add a binding effect and remove the need for extra salt.|
The risotto was (as I had hoped and as confirmed by my mum) utterly to die for. So there - Andre was right. You don't have to be an Italian to cook a decent risotto. Here's my recipe.