Risotto – Daring Cooks Challenge

The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. 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.

I am in Spain right now and had access to a rental apartment kitchen where we are staying with friends, so I had to make do with a few less kitchen implements and spices than at home.  I wanted to make something with more than rice, so I chose spinach for the added flavour.   I followed the recipe from Daring Cooks, with the addition of cooked spinach, garlic, and also I added some brandy to the stock.  I was able to have the help of my friend J. as sou chef, and she stirred the risotto the whole time while I worked on the spinach. For the garnish we added “jamon de serrano” and “queso” (dry cured ham and cheese). Having a sous chef is definitely a plus for risotto, and J. did an exemplary job.

The resulting risotto received good reviews from my friends here in Spain. When I get home I will make this again since it was actually better than I remembered from my previous efforts.  Because it takes a lot of attention to stir the rice I usually get fed up and just throw in the stock all at once. However, I have to admit the texture is better when it is made authentically, so I will try to be pure with the method in the future.

While here in Spain I have seen many plates of paella, a cousin to risotto in terms of the rice method, so I hope to try the Spanish paella while we are here.   I am including a picture of the restaurant we ate in tonight that had a sea of Jamon de Serrano hanging overhead while we ate.  I was hoping they were all well attached to the ceiling! Hasta luego.

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