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Daring Cooks March – Risotto

The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of Melbourne Food Geek and Jess of Jess the Baker. 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 obligatory items to make were stock and the risotto base, with the final flavourings being our choice.

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Chicken Stock

Ingredients:

1 lg. chicken 2-3 lbs.  1 kg.
Onions 2 medium   roughly diced
Leek 1 medium   white part only, roughly diced
Celery 2 stalks   roughly diced
Garlic 2 cloves   halved
Cinnamon  1 stick   Or 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
White
peppercorns
1 tsp.   Any type of peppercorn will do
Bay leaf 2   Fresh or dried
Lemon peel ½ lemon   Doesn’t have to be zested
Allspice ¼ tsp.

Directions:

1. Wash the chicken and bones and places in a 5 Litre pot, cover completely with water and bring to a boil
2. Skim away any scum as it comes to the surface
3. Add the vegetables and bring back to a boil
4. Add the rest remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered for 1.5 hours
5. Carefully lift out the chicken, set aside. The chicken meat can be removed from the chicken, shredded off and used for other things like soup!
6. Simmer the stock gently for another hour.  At , at the end you should have around 2 litres
7. Carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve, the less the bones and vegetables are disturbed in this process the clearer the stock will be. 
The stock is now ready for use. Freeze what you don’t need for later use.

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Risotto Base

Ingredients:

Olive Oil 4 TBS. 2 fluid oz. 60 ml.
Onion 1 small  quartered
Risotto Rice 1 3/4 cups 14 oz. 400 gr. Arborio, Vialone Nano, Carnaroli, etc.
White Wine 4 TBS.  2 fluid oz. 60 ml.
Stock 4 cups 2 pints 1 litre Chicken, Vegetable, etc. HOMEMADE

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard.
(We diced ours and left it in as we like onion).
2. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast
slightly.
3. Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated.
4. Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don’t
actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off.
5. Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of
the stock has been absorbed.
6. Repeat Step 5 making sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml. (approx. ½ cup) of stock
for the final step.  Repeat, save 100 ml. (approx. ½ cup) for the final stage.
7. Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.

I decided to use some of the morels sent to my by Kirstin from the Foodie Exchange.

I also happened to have some fresh organic asparagus and peas in a pod from our organic box delivery that I needed to use up so I did a search for a risotto recipe using those items.  And voilà, Risotto with Asparagus and Morel ragout (from Gourmet, April 2006).

My thoughts?  I love the taste of homemade chicken stock and wish I could think to make it more often.  It really is so easy and much more flavourful than canned or boxed versions.  This particular risotto was a special treat since morels are not that easy to come by here (well I am sure if I hunted them down, I could find them but on a  day to day basis they’re not just on every supermarket shelf…). With a hint of lemon zest and the bright green vegetables, it was a nice taste of spring on a rainy night in March.

Thanks Eleanor and Jess for a great challenge!

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50 Responses to Daring Cooks March – Risotto

  1. Nicole @ Making Good Choices March 14, 2010 at 08:24 #

    Homemade chicken stock is so much better, but it does take some time to make rather than opening a box or a can (like everything else takes time). Looks like you had a great meal! risotto is just SO good.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 15, 2010 at 18:15 #

      I think the secret is to make a big batch of it and always have some on hand in the freezer.

  2. bunkycooks March 14, 2010 at 09:19 #

    Very nice dish! Homemade chicken stock makes everything taste sooo much better!

  3. Jenn March 14, 2010 at 09:21 #

    Morels, asparagus and peas – this risotto just screams Springtime! Absolutely lovely!

  4. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz March 14, 2010 at 10:11 #

    Nice risotto and its perfect indeed for the morels. Looks yummy

  5. A Canadian Foodie March 14, 2010 at 10:15 #

    Do you often make risotto? I use the Jamie Oliver recipe? I wonder how this would compare. In any case, I love risotto, peas, and morels…. how could it not be a hit? Just curious about how this recipe varied from your usual – if you have a usual.
    :)
    Valerie

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 15, 2010 at 18:13 #

      We often make risotto using a base recipe very similar to this one. Only difference was my recipe calls for saffron.

  6. Tangled Noodle March 14, 2010 at 10:31 #

    What a wonderful dish! You should consider sending it over to Leela at SheSimmers and Mel at GourmetFury for their monthly Beet’n’Squash You event – April is Battle Asparagus.

    Accompanying a nice, juicy lamb chop, this will make a terrific meal!

  7. Conor @ HoldtheBeef March 14, 2010 at 10:53 #

    Ooh la la! Fancy print version buttons to go with your fancy mushroom risotto!

    I like to believe I’ll make my own stock one day. You make it seem quite doable.

  8. 5 Star Foodie March 14, 2010 at 11:38 #

    Your risotto sounds amazing with asparagus and morels, totally delicious!

  9. MyMansBelly March 14, 2010 at 12:35 #

    I started making homemade stock whenever I bought a bunch of bone in chix breasts. I always felt so guilty throwing them away. Then I just pour the stock into a resealable bag and freeze it. I like that I am able to make it taste the way we like it.

  10. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction March 14, 2010 at 21:13 #

    Yum! This is making me wish I was a Daring Cook! :)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 15, 2010 at 18:10 #

      Jen you should join – I have to say none of the recipes has been particularly challenging so far ( she says and you watch – the next one will be really hard!!!)

  11. penny aka jeroxie March 14, 2010 at 22:43 #

    Oh YUM!!! Thos morels are so gorgeous! How lucky.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 15, 2010 at 18:10 #

      Well I don’t know about gorgeous, they look a bit like organs in my opinion but they sure taste a lot better!

  12. Meeta March 15, 2010 at 03:33 #

    delicious risotto and even more so with the homemade stock. this looks grand!

  13. Debi (Table Talk) March 15, 2010 at 06:34 #

    A lovely spring time risotto with peas and morels! I agree, homemade stock is the way to go.

  14. Barbara Bakes March 15, 2010 at 07:53 #

    It really is a gorgeous meal of Spring! You did a great job on this challenge!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 15, 2010 at 18:09 #

      Thanks so much! I was really happy to discover another new standby but now need to source some morels…

  15. Divina March 15, 2010 at 09:02 #

    There’s always room for risotto at any time of the year. Lovely spring flavors.

  16. candice March 15, 2010 at 09:24 #

    Looks so fresh and delicious! Great spring time dish. I really need to start making risotto more to hone my skills. Do you think any dried mushroom would work?
    Cheers!
    C

  17. Cat March 15, 2010 at 12:23 #

    that looks like a lovely spring meal – the comfort food aspect of the risotto with the bright spring asparagus, peas, and lemon – nice!

  18. French Cooking for Dummies March 15, 2010 at 14:26 #

    OMG, it had to be delicious… I’m sure fresh asparagus and morels gave it an amazing taste.

    I just gave you an AWARD! Come over & pick it up! http://ow.ly/1qscVT

  19. Fuji Mama March 15, 2010 at 18:55 #

    Morels? Oh yum! Just say that word and you have me drooling!

  20. Robert March 15, 2010 at 23:07 #

    Upon seeing the challenge last month I immediately thought of doing it with morels. But alas, they are REALLY hard to come by up here. Your meal looks beautiful and in my opinion you really respected the ingredients quality.

  21. mademoiselle délicieuse March 16, 2010 at 07:34 #

    Just had risotto for dinner tonight – one of the perfect comfort foods in this world.

  22. Natashya March 16, 2010 at 08:06 #

    Delicious! I love that you used morels, I still have never tried them.. or seen them up close. :)
    Great job on the challenge!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 17, 2010 at 09:30 #

      Thanks Natashya – I LOVE morels but they are just so hard to come by. Was happy to have some to use!

  23. Mr. Neil March 17, 2010 at 15:13 #

    I think the fact they look like organs makes them extra special.

  24. Lisa March 22, 2010 at 07:43 #

    WOW, that’s one good looking risotto, and the asparagus- morel addition is simply mouth watering. Also, your macarons are gorgeous and the flavors wonderful! Nicely done!

  25. Joanne March 24, 2010 at 23:17 #

    Asparagus goes so well with risotto! Love the morels. This is a lovely spring dish.

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