Ok, here’s my first recipe for a long time – so I enlisted the help of fellow Wheelie Good Mealer Alice to help me make this recipe. I know I say about speaking to people on twitter and people often think I’m exaggerating or “the boy who cries wolf”. I have some good cyber friends who I speak to regularly and have met through facebook and twitter – some of which I’ve met in real life. Theo Randall and I started speaking in 2012 after an episode of Saturday Kitchen, we’ve tweeted a few times afterwards but then we started tweeting regularly when I first set up Wheelie Good Meals in 2014. Theo is a chef I admire and enjoy watching on television (even if he is a Liverpool fan) 🙂
The ingredients are fairly simple, I’ve obviously altered them to suit what I had in the house so they are:
For the Tomato Sauce:
1 tin of tomatoes
Good glug of Rapeseed Oil
2 heaped teaspoons of Lazy Garlic
10 Basil Leaves
For the Risotto
1 finely chopped stick of celery
2 finely chopped red onions
200g Carnaroli Rice
1 glass of white wine
1 litre of hot chicken stock
2 or 3 Basil leaves
100g grated Parmesan Cheese
The recipe calls for extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic and fresh tomatoes…. but I was making do with what I had lol.
Firstly, as always prep all your ingredients, as I always say it works for me to set them aside in small containers ready for putting in the pan… I’m not organised often but I try to be in the kitchen.
We’re going to make the tomato sauce first, put a large glug of oil in a pan and heat – you don’t need to use as much as I did above either Alice or I were heavy handed.
Cook the garlic on a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
After a couple of minutes add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly, cook them for a couple of minutes.
Add the chopped basil and stir thoroughly, cook for ten minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Once that happened we took it off the heat.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan, Alice and I only had my wok at hand but it worked fine. Once the oil in the pan is heated add the onion and celery and cook on a low heat.
Add the rice and stir to combine, making sure the rice is covered in the stock and all the ingredients have got to know each other.
At this point increase the heat and then add the wine, stir thoroughly until the wine has almost evaporated. They say you shouldn’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink, I can see the logic but does it really matter, in this recipe Alice and I used a glass of Casillero Del Diablo Chardonnay. This is one of my favourite white wines, it translates to Devil’s Locker/Cellar. I thought this was appropriate beings how I’m a Man United fan… and then they went and sponsored Manchester United… win win!
Now comes the slow relaxing bit, we are adding the stock, some people get put off by this stage but it’s really not as bad as it sounds. Add the stock ladle by ladle, when the stock has been absorbed, add the next ladle of stock and stir. Stir continuously until each ladle full have been evaporated, when cooked the rice should have a bite but not have a crunch.
When the risotto is almost ready add the tomato sauce and butter and stir.
Last step of the process, add the grated parmesan and finely chopped basil and stir thoroughly.
The risotto was fantastic, deep and rich with flavours of tomato, parmesan with a slight bite of celery. Alice and I thoroughly enjoyed it and would most certainly cook it again.
The book is fantastic, there’s lots of insights into each recipe, the book explains Theo’s relationship to the recipes and what they mean to him. You all know I love a good recipe book and have read this one cover to cover. The other impressive thing about this book is that you don’t feel you need a catering degree to achieve the recipes, they’re explained clearly and laid out in a way that makes you a) want to follow them ad b) have confidence that you can achieve the end result. You can rest assured that more recipes will be coming in the near future.
The risotto didn’t touch the side as you can see, you’ll notice that the obligatory basil leaf is included, my mother would have been proud of us for including it lol. I know I normally eat that… I love basil leaves but the risotto was too good.
Well I’ve been away for a while but I’m back with a stunning recipe, thanks to Theo for his online friendship and support. Alice has done a brilliant job taking the photos, and if I’m honest cooking the majority of this… but ssshhh don’t tell her I said that lol.
Cooking has taken a back seat over the last couple of months because of work but we’re back to normal again. Don’t get me wrong business and life is manic, I’m running for council and working on lots of community projects but I’m cooking a lot more again.
I’ve taken part recently in a series of Come Dine With Me Nights with Rhian and her family. We’ve had two good nights so far, my main course (Cajun Chicken and Herby Potatoes) and dessert (Lemon Posset) are pictured above, we’ve got one more night to go. As soon as the scores are in I’ll let you know who the winner is. I’ve got to mention Rhian, we’ve been friends for 14 years and she’s worked with volunteered with me for ten years. I’m very lucky to have a fantastic group of friends, Greg, Gemma, Hayleigh and Rhian is no different she’s backed every event, campaign and cause I’ve been involved in. Rhian is now going to work in the big wide world and has moved on to pastures new, I’d like to say she’d be missed but she knows I’d be lying lol. Thank you Rhian for everything 😆
I’m planning a night out soon with Greg and my mother… but again ssshhh they don’t know that yet lol. Don’t forget you can get in touch with me via Social Media, I’m back next Wednesday with a great “Waste Not Want Not Wednesday recipe, so keep your eyes peeled. In the mean time, enjoy the Paralympics.
Take care, enjoy the weekend!