Dead quick and easy risotto. This was utterly delicious. Serves 2 very hungry people, or 3 normal people.
You will need:
- 200g risotto rice
- a large mug full of frozen peas
- half a large onion or 1 small onion
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 glass of dry white Vermouth
- optional: a thimbleful of pastis / Pernod
- optional: a homeopathic quantity of shrimp paste
- a large mug full of prawns – I used frozen cooked ones, just use whatever your budget allows
- a handful of fresh mint leaves, washed
- a few dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 Sainsbury’s Basics chicken stock cube (or veg stock if you must)
- parmesan cheese
- salt, pepper, olive oil, water
- half a lemon
This is what you do:
In a small saucepan, simmer the stock cube, frozen peas, porcini, shrimp paste (and prawns if they are frozen) with half a litre or so of water. Chop half the mint and add to the stock.
Finely chop the onion, garlic and celery. In a large frying pan with a lid, fry in olive oil on a low heat until soft & translucent.
Chuck in the risotto rice and turn the heat up. When the rice is starting to go translucent, but before it burns, throw in the vermouth. Inhale deeply. Life doesn’t get better than this.
Add the pastis at this point if you have some. Turn the heat down and stir. You’ve gotta keep stirring. As the liquid gets incorporated, add stock a ladleful at a time. If a few peas, mushrooms or prawns get in, no matter. Keep stirring. I know the phone’s ringing. Ignore it. Keep stirring.
When you run out of stock and added all the prawns & peas, taste the risotto. Adjust seasoning with some sea salt and plenty of pepper. If the rice isn’t cooked, add a bit of boiling water from the kettle. Keep stirring. You want the rice and celery to have a little bit of crunch left.
When it’s cooked, add big shavings of parmesan cheese using a vegetable peeler. Stir. Put the lid on and leave for 5 minutes.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and the rest of the mint leaves, whilst listening to fip and drinking cold white wine. Then watch Jules et Jim.