Risotto, I have never made one, ever. When I’m out I always order one especially if it’s an Italian restaurant. I’m not a great lover of pizza to be honest and as a result usually order either pasta or a rice dish. I think the main reason I have never made a risotto is people have always told me that it takes forever! I remember once at university one of my housemates making an amazing risotto complete with homemade stock that had been happily bubbling away in our kitchen for the past day, Making the house smell slightly of chicken for the next couple of weeks.
The end result was an incredibly creamy and flavour packed risotto, the only issue I had was that the risotto had taken ages. Adding a little stock, waiting for it to absorb, then adding a little more and so on until all the stock had been incorporated, and a bottle of red wine had mysteriously emptied itself as well.
However that being said I have discovered that you can make a risotto in the oven! I thought it would be too good to be true but it works! So last night I made my first homemade risotto. It came to be made after having spent the day wondering what to do for last night’s meal, having had Coley the day before and sea bass before that and no chance of Moules Mariniere due to not having an mussels in the fridge.
What I did manage to pick up was some un-dyed smoked haddock, my first thoughts being ‘I could make a kedgeree with that.’ But after much deliberation I decided against the kedgeree idea as that’s all I ever seem to make with the smoked haddock I buy, i wanted something different and so the risotto was the answer. Luckily for me it turned out to be a real store cupboard meal as well. I had a Leek in the fridge that was previously destined to be smothered in a cheese sauce and paired with some roast chicken. I had some rice (although not Risotto rice, just plain old long grain, but it worked) and most surprisingly of all, I had some fish stock I’d picked up on a whim last weekend with intention of making a stew or something. So for the Smoked Haddock and Leek Risotto you’ll need:
- 1 large leek, thinly sliced
- 300g risotto rice , such as Arborio or Carnaroli
- 800ml fish or vegetable stock
- 150ml full-fat milk
- 375g undyed smoked haddock , skinned and cut into large chunks
- 2 tbsp yoghurt
- 100g baby spinach
What you’re going to need to do first is slice your leek and get that in the pan so that it starts to soften up. Next throw in your rice and give it a good stir around and try not to get so it sticks to the bottom (keep the temperature low). Once that rice has cooked in the pan for a while add the stock and the milk, give it a good stir around for about 2 minutes and season liberally.
After that is doesn’t get much simpler, cover you pan with a lid and stick in the oven for around 20 minutes at 200c, just before serving stir through the yoghurt and also the spinach. Then ladel in warm bowls and enjoy it!