{.grand marnier risotto.}

by devourslowly

Here at DS&D GHQ we eat simply but thoughtfully.  We break up each week into two or three small shops rather than one big weekly shop.  Though time consuming, we find this is the only way to enjoy fresh food everyday.

Which means from time to time the fridge will get emptied and the content rustled up into nutritious yum-yums.  Today is one of those days.

On the menu tonight, Clear Out Day Grand Marnier Risotto.

Ferron Vialone Nano Rice

Milk

Homemade vegetable stock

Cream

Celery

Cherry tomoatos

Mushrooms

Parmigiano Reggiano

Lemon

Onion

Fresh Chilli

Thyme

Coriander

Olive Oil

Sabato Salsa Verde

Notes on ingredients –

  1. I find the Grand Marnier a good substitution for traditional white wine because it brings a sweet tangy kick to the dish.  Feel free to use a cooking white if that is handier.
  2. I am quite fastidious about using Ferron Vialone Nano Rice – one of my few tried-and-true pantry staple.  It is a starchy plump grain that makes your risotto quite moist but still keeps its integrity.  Moist risotto can be ruined by soggy and mushy grains.  Of course if you have preference for other grains because of texture, taste or even accessibility – feel free to substitute.  Just adjust the liquid to your liking.  Some people like their risotto quite dry, I don’t understand that but I respect it.
  3. Homemade stock – We have at home what we call a ‘stock bag’.  Which is really a big zip-lock bag we keep in the freezer.  Every time we cook, off cuts of vegetables (e.g. onion skin, melon skin, fruit peels, ends of carrots etc) and meat/bones will be frozen in the bag.  At the end of the week the entire content of the bag will be emptied into a stock pot with water and off we go.  In New Zealand you can get charged $17 for 1L of stock from stores.  I don’t know about you but I don’t have that kind of money to spend on flavoured water.
  4. I always have a good stock of lemon at home because they are so handy.  If there is one thing in your kitchen that is organic, make it organic lemons.  The most economical way of using a lemon is to zest it AND juice it.  Imagine eating the zest of a lemon that has been sprayed with pesticide … ’nuff said.
  5. This is a clear out day dish so go through your fridge and come up with creative ways to use up all the perishable food!

Before starting – I always say this to friends: let the recipe inspire you rather than instruct you.  Don’t worry about topping up on ingredients if you have a well stocked pantry and fridge.  Sustainable eating is about making full use of what you have.  Cooking should be fun and creative so take your time and create something especially for you 🙂

  1. If you are using mushroom in the dish make sure you pan fry them first and leave them aside.  what I have done is fried them with some thyme and garlic on high heat and then vapourised some cream with the mushrooms.  set the mushrooms aside.
  2. Heat oil in heavy base pan and sauté onion, garlic and chilli.
  3. Add in the rice and make sure all the grains are coated with oil – heat till you can smell the rice but do not brown the rice.
  4. Add in diced celery chunks.
  5. Add stock, cream, milk and let the rice cook through.  Keep the dish creamy rather than dry.
  6. Add in the zest of one lemon and grate in Parmigiano Reggiano.  Stir through.
  7. Stir through salsa verde so that the rice has little speckles of green.
  8. Stir in a dash of Grand Marnier for a thick tangy taste.
  9. Stir through juice of one lemon.
  10. Stir in halved cherry tomatoes and cooked mushroom.
  11. Put the pan under hot grill until the tomatoes start to wrinkle ever so slightly.
  12. Salt and pepper to taste and scatter through the coriander.
  13. Serve with a drop of wine and salad and have a great meal 🙂

Remember: use a heavy base pan, preferably a cast iron one – make it a low heat and slow dish – nothing worse than soggy celery!

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