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.
The challenge was to make your own stock and risotto base, the rest was left to you. As I have made dozen of risottos since I found out how delicious it is, this was a piece of cake for me. So sorry girls, I messed a little bit wiht your risotto base because I needed to do some adjustments for my recipe. It was inspired by a pasta sauce I cook regularly and which contains fennel, anchovy paste, tomatoes, garlic and sometimes (smoked) salmon. I decided for a vegetable stock, if you wish to have a 'fishier' taste, you can use fish stock. The taste of the risotto reminds me a lot of summer, so this is my ultimate summer risotto.
Butterfingers Summer Risotto with fennel, tomatoes and salmon
Vegetable stock (adjusted from Valentina Harris Risotto Cookbook):
- two carrots, cut into four pieces
- one large onion, halved
- two celery stalks, cut into four pieces
- two tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 leek
- eight lettuce leaves, halved
- two pinces of salt
- five juniper berries
- 1,2 l cold water
Put vegetables, berries and salt into a pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 90 minutes. Let it cool and pour through a sieve.
- 4 tbs. olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 teespoon of anchovy paste
- one clove of garlic (optional)
- one fennel, cut into small stripes
- 400 g risotto rice (Arborio)
- 60 ml dry white wine (Pinot Grigio)
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 3 medium-sized tomatoes, cut into large pieces
- two fillets of salmon, skinned, cut into cubes
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 2 tbs. butter
- salt and pepper
Heat oil in a pan and add the fennel and the anchovy paste and stew for about ten minutes until soft. Add the onion (and the garlic). Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly. Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated. Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger's width (about an inch or two). Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed. Repeat this step but make sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml. (approx. ½ cup) of stock for the final step. Usually a risotto needs 20 minutes to be ready (soft on the outside and firm on the bite inside) from the point of adding the wine. So for the following steps I'm counting the minutes after the fist (adding wine) step: (+10) Add the tomatoes. (+15) Add the salmon and the lemon zest. (+18) Add the final 100ml of stock and the butter and stir until both are completely absorbed, season with salt and pepper (no parmesan because this is a seafood risotto). Stick the lid on and let it sit for two minutes.
Did I mention Robert said he thinks he is addicted to this risotto? So am I ;)