Thursday, 13 October 2011

Chorizo Risotto

Chorizo risotto

Luscious creamy oozy risotto with chorizo...
I love chorizo, the spicy spanish sausages.  It's such a treat to have them and it's darn well difficult to find any good ones here.  And even if you do, you end up paying a small fortune for these imported deli products.  Having heard me lament time and again about my deprivation, my lovely sister-in-law took pity on me and brought some from Borough Market in London.

Down to my last link (wink, hint) I decided to make some risotto with them.  Risotto and me, it wasn't love at first sight.  I guess because my first risotto tasted like watery porridge and was very carby and heavy. However having eaten better risotto since then, I have a better appreciation for this dish.  Risotto is a very versatile dish, and you can have it vegetarian, or pescetarian or not.  You can make it as decadent or as simple as you like - from champagne & truffles to simply mushrooms.  It's rather like the Chinese all-in-one-pot rice - anything goes! 

Asian rice isn't suitable for risotto - you end up with porridge.  Use arborio rice, a short-grain rice which contains a lot of starch.  It is this starch that gives the risotto its creamy texture. This dish takes some patience as you have to stir to massage the starch out of the rice.  The key to making creamy risotto is to rest it for a couple of minutes at the end, covered with a lid.  This allows the risotto and the starch to settle into a creamier velvety texture. 

Cooking time is approximately 25 - 30 minutes for this.  The rice should be tender with a slight chewiness to it.  It should still look very wet at this stage, but once you rest it a bit the starch will settle (unfortunately the photo I took doesn't show this very well).  And don't worry about having to stir continuously for 25 minutes - your arm will drop off!  Just give it a couple of stirs everytime you add stock to the rice.  As a general rule, you will need 3 cups of liquid to 1 cup of rice. And the liquid has to be hot, otherwise the rice won't cook.  If you like more complex flavours, susbstitute about 150ml of stock for red wine. 

Recipe adapted from Rachel Allen : Home cooking
1 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
1 onion peeled and chopped
350g risotto rice
2 handsful cherry tomatoes, halved
1150ml of stock (chicken or vegetable) - kept at a simmer until needed
75g grated parmesan or any other hard cheese
200g chorizo, diced
125g peas
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method :
1.  Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  When the butter has melted, add the onions and fry gently for about 8 - 10 minutes until the onions are softened but not browned.
2.  Add rice and stir for 2- 3 minutes.  This seals the rice and ensures it remains chewy.
3.  Add a ladlefull of stock to the rice and bring to simmer gently.  Stir regularly until stock has been absorbed.  Continue to add stock one ladle at a time and stir.  Repeat.  About 10 minutes into the process, add in the diced tomatoes.  Repeat the stock/stir process until all the stock has been used up, the rice is tender, and the risotto is creamy.  This should take approximately a total of 25 minutes.
4.  Stir in the peas.
5.  Stir in the cheese, reserve a little for serving.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the pan with a lid, and rest the risotto.
6.  Heat another frying pan over medium to high heat.  Add the choriso and fry for 1 -2 minutes until the oil has been released.  Remove from pan and drain on kitchen paper.  Reserve the oil released by the chorizo for serving.
7.  Stir the cooked chorizo and peas into the risotto and garnish with the chopped parsley, remaining grated cheese and drizzle the reserved oil over.
8.  Serve with a lightly dressed green salad.


  1. hint noted with a wink. ;) shall get you some paprika too!

  2. can't wait for fresh supplies :) thanks!


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