I’m always changing things in my mind. From what I want to eat, to how I want this blog to reflect me and even from how I want my own sense of style to be (literally looking at my wardrobe and I need new clothes) – But one thing that always sticks with me – friendships.
This week my dear friend Alex has come back from South Korea for a few weeks and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for me to cook her my risotto. I cooked this for her so many times before that I know it’s a certainty she’ll enjoy seconds (or in this case.. thirds!)
We’re off to the Humber Street Sesh with a few Uni friends this weekend – so expect something a little different than ‘Joey Cooks’ – because I’ll be too busy eating other peoples food to cook my own – so I plan to eat, drink and review as much food as possible!
Back to the Risotto – I honestly started creating this just after I left Uni and moved in to a ‘professional’ house share – I needed to start making meals with more skill and more flavour than just bacon sandwiches. After a few different attempts and different ingredients, I decided to stick with this one – I find the balance of salty pancetta and creamy buttery risotto is perfection.
300g of Arborio Risotto
1lt of Vegetable Stock
1 White Onion
3 cloves of garlic
150gr Petit Pois
175Gr of Salted Butter
2 tbsp Salt
2 tbsp Pepper
1 tbsp Rosemary,
1 tbsp Thyme
1 tbsp Tarragon
Add 75gr of butter, garlic and diced onion to a pan on low/medium heat and cook until onions are translucent, you’ll know why this is a winner within the first few minutes of the aroma filling the kitchen. Add the risotto and stir until all combined. Grind all the spices together until a coarse powder forms, add this to the pan. Once you see the dry risotto glistening with buttery goodness, turn up to a medium heat, add a ladle of stock at a time and mix until absorbed, repeat this process for around twenty-five minutes.
In a separate pan, cook off your pancetta until crispy and add it straight to the pan – fat included, it’ll give a punch later. Slice your mushrooms and add to the pan, folding through and adding a ladle of stock and mix again. Leave to simmer for around 5 more minutes. Add the petit pois to the pan and mix through, here is where you will see the pop of green, amongst the deeper reds of the pancetta and creaminess of the rice.
Now that the rice is almost cooked through, add the rest of the butter in small chunks to the pan and cover with a lid, turn the heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes, when done, give it one final fold through and this will create the creamy texture you’re looking for.
Dish out into portions for your guests, this will feed around four people. Sprinkle with black pepper. We went for Casillero Del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc for this, a delicious, fresh wine with a heavy note of Peach, with slight hints of gooseberry and tropical fruit.