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First Risotto Success!

While I’ve enjoyed it a number of times, I’ve never made Risotto myself. I recently felt inspired to try doing it and found to be to fairly easy but also extremely delicious! This will definitely join my toolbelt of wonderful foods that are also fun to cook.

I used the directions on the back of the Waitrose Arborio rice package I bought with minor modifications:

  • 250g Arborio rice
  • 845 ml water + 2 beef bullion cubes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-ish tbsp olive oil
  • 77g¬†pancetta (or more!)
  • Butter, to serve
  • Parmesan cheese, to serve

I diced the onion and crushed the garlic, then brought the olive oil to a shimmer in a large sauce pan. I added the onions and garlic and stirred to coat them with oil and cooked until things got clear but before they carmelized. Then I added the rice to the mixture and stirred continuously until everything was well mixed.

Then, cup by cup, I added the broth to the rice, stirring until the liquid was absorbed, and repeating until all of the broth was consumed. Meanwhile, I got the pancetta cooking in a small pan. Once the risotto had absorbed the liquid, I added the pancetta to it with a slotted spoon and stirred. I served with a bit of butter and as much parmesan cheese as I felt like, which means a lot.

In the future, I’d probably use vegetable broth for a more neutral taste if I wanted to combine the risotto with a seafood, but this was good for a rich taste.

Red Lentil and Chorizo Soup

I recently had a hankering for some lentils, and I found a recipe for Red Lentil and Chorizo Soup.

It was spectacularly good. I took a few creative liberties with the recipe:

  • I replaced the chicken stock with vegetable stock
  • I used both Plain Yogurt and Sour Cream (one dollop of each on top!)
  • I used up all the chorizo on about half the soup, so more Chorizo is definitely desirable
  • I used more generous helpings of the olive oil, spices, and garlic
  • I used ground cumin rather than cumin seeds
  • I avoided the sugar
  • I didn’t blend it at the end at all

This recipe is relatively easy and absolutely fantastic. It’s definitely joining my regular repertoire!

To preserve it for posterity in case the BBC changes its links or whatever else might happen, the recipe is copied below:

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 200g cooking chorizo, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • pinch of cumin seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
  • small splash red wine vinegar
  • 250g red lentil
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomato
  • 850ml vegetable¬†stock
  • plain yogurt and/or sour cream, to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the chorizo and cook until crisp and it has released its oils. Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl, leaving the fat in the pan. Fry the onion, carrots and cumin seeds for 10 mins until soft and glistening, then add the garlic and fry for 1 min more. Scatter over the paprika and cook for 1 min, then splash in the vinegar. Simmer for a moment, then stir in the lentils, and pour over the tomatoes and vegetable stock.
  2. Give it a good stir, then simmer for 30 mins or until the lentils are tender. Can be made several days ahead or frozen for 6 months at this point. Serve in bowls, drizzled with yogurt and olive oil, scattered with the chorizo and a sprinkling of paprika.
  3. Nom nom nom

Ski Trip to Val Thorens, Les Trois Vallees

I just returned Saturday night from an amazing trip to the French Alps with frisbee team friends.¬†It was both my first time skiing in the Alps and my first week-long ski trip. I hope to do both again (I actually have another ski trip to the Alps planned already, but it’s only for an extended weekend).

The weather gave us a little bit of everything, including a three days of glorious sunshine, a few days of snow, some crazy wind, and combinations of the above, especially on the last day.

Overall a great experience.