Friday, March 12, 2010

Love at first bite

The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.

Having skipped last month's challenges, I felt like it was time to get back in the saddle! There has been a lot going on with work, and I also made a visit to Sweden. So, even though I love me some TiramisĂș (February's Daring Baker's Challenge) and meze (February's Daring Cooks Challenge), I decided to make them some other time.

Anyway, I was really excited about this challenge! I must say, shockingly enough, that I had never had risotto before. It was so good! Learning the versatility of it and how easily it is made, along with the high deliciousness factor, I'll will definitely make it again.

Preparation time:

Stock: 20 minutes prep time, 3 hours cooking.
Lemon Risotto: 10 minutes prep time, 20-30 minutes cooking.

Chicken Stock


1 large chicken 2-3 pounds about 1 kg
chicken bones 2-3 pounds 1 kg
2 onions, roughly diced
1 medium leek - white part only, roughly diced
2 sticks celery, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. white peppercorns ( Any type of whole peppercorn will do)
2 bay leaves (fresh or dried, it doesn't matter.)
peel of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. allspice


  1. Wash the chicken and bones and places in a 5 Litre pot, cover completely with water and bring to a boil
  2. Skim away any scum as it comes to the surface
  3. Add the vegetables and bring back to a boil
  4. Add the rest remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered for 1.5 hours
  5. Carefully lift out the chicken, set aside. The chicken meat can be removed from the chicken, shredded off and used for other things like soup!
  6. Simmer the stock gently for another hour. At , at the end you should have around 2 Liters
  7. Carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve, the less the bones and vegetables are disturbed in this process the clearer the stock will be. 
The stock is now ready for use. Freeze what you don't need for later use.

Risotto Base


olive oil 2 fluid oz 60 ml
1 small onion, quatered
rice 14 oz 400g
Any type of risotto rice will do. I use Arborio but the recipe itself says Vialone Nano. Another to look for is Carnaroli.
white wine 2 fl oz 60 ml
chicken or vegetable stock , simmering 2 pints 1 L


  1. Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard. (We diced ours and left it in as we like onion).
  2. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly.
  3. Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated.
  4. Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don't actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off.
  5. Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed.
  6. Repeat Step 5 making sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml. of stock for the final step. .
  7. Repeat, save 100ml for the final stage.
  8. Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.
I used zest from one lemon, mushrooms, chives, parmesan and a few tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small cubes. It turned out delicious! My husband cooked some steaks (to perfection!). It went wonderful together with the risotto.

Bon apetit!


Jo said...

Haha, I too never had risotto before and can only imagine the end result through photos before attempting this challenge. Looks like you succeeded and great job at it too.

Audax said...

Your risotto though simple must of been delicious sometimes the simplest is best. And your photos are so elegant and so clear. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

ap269 said...

Good job on your first risotto!

anjelikuh said...

Welcome back to the Daring kitchen! The risotto looks lovely and love your picture of the spices and close-up of the celery--very healthy looking. The shredded parmesan on top looks delish