Monday, September 20, 2010

Cauliflower Cheese & Chili Risotto

I found this recipe on Jamie Oliver's website.  We were both craving risotto and I really wanted to try something new.

First things first.  Could he be any cuter?

Next he cooks the way I like to cook - clean, fresh ingredients, with minimum muss and fuss.  The food comes out tasting of simplicity yet is robust.

Finally I love his commitment trying to help children, families and schools see a healthier way of living life.  His Food Revolution.  The philosophy is to learn to enjoy everything in a modest way.

Sounds simple, huh?

One final gush, the Food Revolution show that was filmed and broadcast here in the U.S. won an Emmy award for Outstanding Reality Program.

Ok now for the recipe.  Fabulous.  Outstanding.  The texture was soft yet chewy and with the vegetable being cauliflower, it didn't overpower the rice, instead it blended perfectly.  A note - I used broca-flower to put s touch of green into the dish while still using the mildness of the cauliflower.

Cauliflower Cheese & Chili Risotto (Recipe by Jamie Oliver)

1 large red onion
2 sticks of celery
Few sprigs of fresh thyme
2 knobs of butter(I discovered a "knob" is kind of like a "pinch" - no real definition but close to 1 T.)
Olive oil
10oz/300g cauliflower
1½pt/800ml chicken stock, preferably organic
1 fresh red chilli
3½oz/100g parmesan cheese
10oz/300g risotto rice
7fl oz/200ml white wine
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat the oven to the lowest setting and place your plates in the oven to warm.
  • Place a large saucepan on a low to medium heat. Peel the onion and trim the celery sticks then finely chop or coarsely grate them. Pick the thyme leaves.
  • Add a knob of butter to the hot pan with the onion, celery, thyme, a splash of olive oil, and a splash of water. Cook over a low heat for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft.
  • Break the cauliflower into florets and finely slice the stem. Bring the stock to the boil in a medium saucepan, then turn the heat down to low and add the cauliflower.
  • Chop the chilli finely (deseed it if you don’t like things too spicy) and put to one side for later. Finely grate the parmesan.
  • Once your vegetables are very soft (but not browned) add the rice.
  • Stir and fry the rice for a minute until translucent, then add the wine and keep stirring until it has all been absorbed by the rice.
  • Turn the heat under the rice up to medium then add a ladleful of hot stock and cauliflower.
  • Stir constantly and continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, waiting for the rice to soak it up before adding the next ladleful.
  • Gently mash the cauliflower into the rice as it cooks. Continue until the rice is cooked and the risotto has a nice oozy consistency. If you run out of stock, use boiling water.
  • Take the pan of risotto off the heat and stir in your remaining knob of butter and half the Parmesan. Taste the risotto and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cover with a lid.
  • This is the perfect time to make your table look respectable so get the cutlery, salt and pepper and drinks set out nicely.
  • Get your plates out of the oven then divide the risotto between them. Top each one with the remaining Parmesan and a sprinkle of chilli.

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