Friday, 26 April 2013

Carrot Saffron Risotto with Carrot Chips and Toasted Almonds

Another dinner party. Yes, this is what I do at university.  This is what my planner is filled with - 3, 4 dinner parties a week.  What do you do at university?

I like dishes that have different textural components to it.  So this has soft velvety risotto that you eat against the crunchy carrot chips and almond flakes :) 

Do you like the way it looks?  I'm trying, Masterchef is inspirational.  Speaking of which I'm like 4 episodes behind, I'm so scared that by the time I"ll have time for Masterchef they will have deleted them off iPlayer.

I'd also like to share with you some useful advice: when you can't find a cork screw, as you might often do, and you find yourself facing a bottle of wine.  Worry not, there are ways.

Coathanger? No.  Doesn't work.

Get a wooden spoon, bang on the cork and you can push the cork down.  It may be dangerous.  Actually, don't take my advice.  I don't want you to hurt yourself.  Just get a cork screw.  It's worth the investment. 

It took ages to open up that bottle of wine for the risotto. 

Carrot Chips
Olive oil

1 small white onion, finely chopped
2-3 medium carrots, finely chopped
1/2 glass white wine
400g arborio rice/barley
1 tsp ground saffron
2L Vegetable stock

Toasted almonds

for the carrot chips:
Preheat oven to 180C.

Peel the carrots, and holding them lengthwise, shave into thin strips with your vegetable peeler.  Toss with olive oil and salt.

Put the strips in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Do not let them overlap and bake for about 5-10 minutes, until just starting to brown.  Don't worry if they seem slightly soggy, they'll dry up a bit more once they are out of the oven. 

for the risotto:
Make the risotto by frying the onions and carrots in a bit of olive oil until softened but not browned.  Add your rice and toss, make sure everything is coated.  Add your wine and cook until evaporated.  Continue stirring until the wine evaporates (ie the rice is dry) then add a ladle-full of stock.

Stir until all the stock is evaporated and then add another ladle-full.  Continue this process for about 40 minutes, you may not need all the stock.  Taste the rice/barley to see if it's up to your standard (note: barley will always remain a bit al dente).  Stir in the saffron. 

Serve with carrot chips and toasted almonds. 

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