You must try this. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan or a meat eater like me that is trying to reduce red meat then you are going to be impressed by this recipe. Super tasty and easy and unlike other risotto recipes - I now cook mine from scratch in the oven along with a pudding, cake or tomorrow's casserole. No faff - it looks after itself. I also include hob, slow cooker and microwave option to offer some flexibility.
OVEN : Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius (190 degrees fan assisted)
In a large roomy frying pan that has a well fitting lid, add the oil then add the chopped onion and mixed dried herbs, stir then pop into the oven uncovered and cook for 10 minutes until the onion is softening but not coloured.
Whilst the pan is in the oven prepare the mushrooms, leek and walnuts. Wipe or peel the mushrooms then slice thinly. Chop the walnuts into small pieces and thinly slice the leek. If you don’t eat nuts then omit from the recipe and add the peas instead.
Take the pan from the oven, add the mushrooms, leek and nuts plus the garlic. Give a good stir around to combine then back into the oven uncovered for 15 minutes to fry.
Whilst the pan is in the oven make up the stock using a quality stock pot or cube – the stock needs to be hot and have ready the weighed out rice and measured fennel, nutmeg, salt and pepper. If you are using peas – have them out of the freezer ready to add to the risotto after cooking.
Take the pan from the oven, add the rice, fennel seed and spices – give a good stir then pour over 750ml of the hot stock (keep a little back in case it needs to be slackened off after the cooking time. Stir well then add the lid and back into the oven and set your timer for 30 minutes.
Half way through cooking (after 15 minutes) take the pan from the oven, take the lid off and give it a stir then back on with the lid and back into the oven for the final 15 minutes.
Test your risotto rice to make sure it is cooked through then stir in the frozen peas if using though I tend to add just a good handful of freshly chopped herbs.
Stir through the double cream or vegan alternative and check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if required and a final splash of stock if your risotto needs to be loosened slightly.
Serve on warm plates topped off with grated parmesan or non-dairy equivalent.
HOB : Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or saucepan then on a medium heat fry the onion for about 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add then the sliced leek, herbs, spice, garlic, seasoning, mushrooms and walnuts and stir until the mushrooms and leeks are beginning to brown at the edges. Turn the heat down, add the rice, stir then pour in 700ml of the hot stock. Stir well, turn down the heat to the lowest setting, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring from time to time. The rice will absorb the stock as it cooks so add the remainder if necessary towards the end of the cooking time.
Add the peas if using, stir through the cream, more stock if necessary and serve on warmed plates with parmesan shavings.
MULTICOOKER / SLOW COOKER
Follow the instruction for Hob method above but add all of the stock. Stir, cover and slow cook on High for 1.5 hours stirring half way through. Add peas etc just before serving.
In a deep non metal dish or casserole with a lid (I use Pyrex) place the oil and the chopped onions and power on high for 2 minutes.
Stir then add the sliced leeks and cook a further 1 minute.
Add in then the sliced mushrooms, nuts, spices, seasoning, rice and stock – give a good stir and microwave on High for 5 minutes or until you see that the mix is boiling.
Stir well then turn down to 10 per cent power or 100 watts and microwave for 30-40 minutes covered – stirring half way through. Microwaves differ so check after 30 minutes cooking time. My rice was cooked just right but you may need a further 10 minutes or so then leave to stand for 2-3 minutes.
At the end of the cooking time, stir well, add peas if using plus more hot stock/water if necessary – check the seasoning and stir in the cream. Serve onto hot plates with parmesan etc.
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