Saturday, 5 April 2014

Pear and Gorgonzola Risotto

Being in university and studying "serious" subjects like Economics and Finance and Management and International Relations, we're all expected to go  into the standard 9-5 office job with a fairly good pay that handles rent and all the rest.  I study Economics and Psychology.  My peers from the former are mostly going into the banking or consulting or all those things that I don't understand despite the last 4 years.  My peers from the latter are mostly going into further education and research and I really wish the best for them in terms of discovering things for the good of humanity.  They'll be truly important. 

I, on the other hand, want to be a chef.  And it's nice to hear other students also deciding to go down the risky route of following their dreams.  I know of someone studying French who's actively involved in the drama society here and is moving down to London to pursue her acting career.  I know of someone else studying Classics who's going into drama school for play directing.  I know of someone studying International Relations who's going to be an opera singer, and also another friend studying International Relations who's going into holistic nutrition.  We'll all be broke but hopefully happy and not addicts.
I have a friend studying Psychology and Management, who I had over for lunch yesterday (where I made this risotto), and she's...something.  She wants to start her own food company and it's all so exciting and I can't wait.  Hopefully she'll also consider hiring me as a chef in the future *ahem*.
She's a real foodie as well and I enjoy having her over for lunch for the great chat obviously but also because it's nice to impress foodies with your food.  It means a lot when she in particular likes my food, and this risotto was well-received. 

serves 2
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter
splash of white wine
500ml vegetable stock
160g arborio rice
60g gorgonzola, broken into small pieces
30g parmesan, grated

Pear puree and garnish
3 medium pears
2 tbsp pecans
Dash of single cream
Bit of honey

Keep the stock in a pot over low heat to keep warm.

Heat the oven to 100C.  Using a mandoline cut 1 pear into thin slices lengthway.  Or slice it thinly with a knife.  Place on a baking tray and put it in the oven for about 1-1.5 hours, flipping them halfway.

Peel, core and coarsely chop the remaining pears. Put in a small pot with a knob of butter and some milk. Cook over low heat with the cover, adding water whenever it became dry.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until softened.  Blend until smooth, add a bit of honey and add some cream. Reserve.

Melt the butter in the pot over medium high heat and add the onion.  Stir with a wooden spoon and as it becomes translucent add the rice.  Coat the rice in the butter and onion and then add the wine.  Stir until evaporated.

Add 1 cup stock to saucepan and cook, stirring, until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking, adding 1 cup of stock at a time and stirring until each addition has been absorbed before adding more. Continue process until rice is tender and creamy but still slightly al dente, about 20-30 minutes; you may not need to use all the stock.   Stir in half of the gorgonzola and stir until all melted.  Then stir in the rest along with the parmesan. 

Toast the pecans in the oven and then roughly chop.

Heat the pear puree. 

Serveby spreading the pear puree across the plate, spooning the risotto on top, insert pear crisp and sprinkle with pecans.


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