Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto

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) 🙂

Ingredients for Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto

Ingredients for Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto

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

Rapeseed Oil

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

Butter

The recipe calls for extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic and fresh tomatoes…. but I was making do with what I had lol.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto - Chopping the onion and celery

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto – Chopping the onion and celery

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.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto - Heating the oil to make the tomato sauce

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto – Heating the oil to make the tomato sauce

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.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto - Frying the garlic for the tomato sauce

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto – Frying the garlic for the tomato sauce

Cook the garlic on a medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto - Adding the tinned tomatoes to make the tomato sauce

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto – Adding the tinned tomatoes to make the tomato sauce

After a couple of minutes add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly, cook them for a couple of minutes.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto - Finishing off the tomato sauce by tearing up some basil leaves

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto – Finishing off the tomato sauce by tearing up some basil leaves

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.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto - Adding the onion and celery to the Pan

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto – Adding the onion and celery to the Pan

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.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto - Add the rice to the vegetables

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto – Add the rice to the vegetables

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.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto - Add the wine and cook through

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto – Add the wine and cook through

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!

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto - Add the stock ladle by ladle

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto – Add the stock ladle by ladle

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.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto - Stir in the butter to thicken and enrichen the sauce

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto – Stir in the butter to thicken and enrichen the sauce

When the risotto is almost ready add the tomato sauce and butter and stir.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto - Stir in the butter to thicken and enrichen the sauce - Finish off with grated parmesan and finely chopped basil

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto – Stir in the butter to thicken and enrichen the sauce – Finish off with grated parmesan and finely chopped basil

Last step of the process, add the grated parmesan and finely chopped basil and stir thoroughly.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto

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.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto with Theo's recipe book "My Simple Italian"

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto with Theo’s recipe book “My Simple Italian”

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.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto - all gone!

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto – all gone!

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.

Theo Randall's Tomato Risotto

Theo Randall’s Tomato Risotto

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.

My main course and dessert from my Come Dine With Me night

My main course and dessert from my Come Dine With Me night

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 😆 Wheelie Good Meals Social Networking

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!

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto

I’ve gone in a different direction today for my Time-Saving Tuesday’s post. I saw Sorted Food host a Question and Answer session on twitter recently so I asked them what their favourite Time-Saving gadget was in the kitchen and they said the microwave… so in honour of that here is my Homemade Microwave Tomato Risotto.

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto Ingredients

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto Ingredients

Here are the ingredients for the risotto. They’re quite easy to get hold of, I used Arborio Rice as that’s my preferred rice grain for risottos. There are two standout ingredients are Sun-dried tomato paste from Sainsbury’s which I use regular basis. The other key ingredient was a soft Brie style cheese from Pant Mawr Farmhouse Cheese. It’s a cheese I bought from my visit to the Brecon Food Festival, a review on that event to come.

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto - Pant Mawr Farmhouse Cheese

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto – Pant Mawr Farmhouse Cheese

The cheese is stunning, it’s soft and has a nice strong taste, but a cheese that anyone could eat even if you weren’t a cheese lover.  The recipe I adapted this from used Mozzarella but I chose to use the cheese from Pantmawr Farmhouse Cheese instead, but you could use Mozzarella.

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto - Adding Onion, Rice and Butter to start the process

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto – Adding Onion, Rice and Butter to start the process

First thing you need to do is prepare all the ingredients, blitz the onions in a food processor, weigh the rice and butter. You can also measure out the vegetable stock at this point and grate or food process some hard cheese. The hard cheese I featured in the picture of the ingredients is not the one I used, this like the Pantmawr Farmhouse Cheese, was bought from the Brecon Food Festival. I was going to use it but I thought I’d use one cheese at a time. Put half the butter, the rice and the onion in a large microwaveable bowl.

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto - Microwaveable dish covered and ready to cook

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto – Microwaveable dish covered and ready to cook

Cover and cook in the microwave on high for 3 minutes, remember that as I always say kitchen equipment varies in temperature and how they are used so use my times as a guideline.

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto - Adding Stock and Tinned Tomatoes

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto – Adding Stock and Tinned Tomatoes

Take out of the microwave and stir in the stock and the tinned tomatoes.  Add some water to the tin of tomatoes once you’ve emptied them into the bowl, slosh the water around to ensure you have all the tomato in the risotto. The original recipe uses Tomato Passata but I didn’t have any so I used tinned tomatoes and the Sun-dried tomato paste. Place back in the microwave and cook uncovered for ten minutes on high power.

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto - Adding Caws Preseli Cheese and the Sun-dried Tomato Paste

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto – Adding Caws Preseli Cheese and the Sun-dried Tomato Paste

Once the eight minutes is up, take out of the microwave and give it a good stir. Then add the soft cheese and the Sun-dried tomato paste and stir through thoroughly. You need to break the cheese up into small chunks and so that it distributes throughout the risotto, place back in the microwave and cook for 8 minutes.

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto - The risotto relaxing before final stages of cooking

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto – The risotto relaxing before final stages of cooking

Take out of the microwave and let it rest for a few minutes, do nothing to it because it needs to sit and relax. At this point all the flavours are settling down and getting to know each other.

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto - Adding the hard Cheese, Basil and butter before serving

Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto – Adding the hard Cheese, Basil and butter before serving

We’re now at the final stages of the process, stir in the remaining butter, hard cheese and the basil. Season give it a good stir, leave it for a couple of minutes to allow the hard cheese and the butter to ooze through the risotto.

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto

You are ready to serve now, I served mine on a plate, but I’d probably use a bowl next time and decorate with a bit of basil… you know my mother she loves a bit of green. This is a stunning recipe and I really enjoyed making it, I’m going to turn the leftovers into Arancini so keep your eyes peeled for that. You can download a step by step guide to my recipe here, give it a go, it couldn’t be easier.  This can be served as either a starter or as a main course, I had it as a main course.Sorted

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Sorted Food Tweet!

Here’s the tweet I received from Sorted food… not sure the ready meal reviews would be popular with them 😆 .

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, as always you can sign up to the blog for updates or you can visit us on our social media pages which are listed below.

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Thursday I’ll be reviewing the Brecon Food Festival I went to with Greg recently, then there’s another #StrictlySupper… I wonder what that could be??

Thanks for stopping by, see you Thursday.

Rich
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

New Time-Saving Tuesdays Logo

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto

Time-Saving Tuesdays – 2 Ready Meals From Annabel Karmel

Time-Saving Tuesdays – 2 Ready Meals From Annabel Karmel

You may remember that some time ago… as a plonker…. I bought two children’s ready meals made by Annabel Karmel. The first one I’ve reviewed was the “Delicious Beef Cottage Pie” on 9th June 2015. When reviewing that I gave it a 3 when looking at it as an adult meal and 6 when looking at it from a child’s persepective.

Was I harsh, well a little it probably could have had a higher score as a child’s ready meal but it’s how I felt at the time. Anyway onwards to the second ready meal I bought from Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto.

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto in it's box

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto in it’s box

Like the Cottage Pie, I think the package is great, it was clean and eye catching, it was concise but yet engaging for children. It had a clear description of what the product was and also a nice message from Annabel herself

As a mum I understand how important it is to give our children the best, even on those days. That’s why I’ve created a range of easy meals inspired by my trusty homemade recipes. They are full of flavour and fun to eat – just like my cookbook favourites. Toddlers and children will love them.

The box describes it as “Just like you’d make it at home” – I’m not sure if that’s strictly true because I’ve never made a risotto at home 🙄 . I know Mel has over at Melanie’s Food Adventures so maybe we should ask her what a homemade Risotto is like 😆 .

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto nutritional information

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto nutritional information

You may remember I asked Melanie for her advice on the nutritional information as I don’t have a clue. I noticed that the quantities of Salt and Sugars are much higher in this ready meal, I’m wondering why this is, below is a table of the breakdown of Salt, Sugar and Protein in both the Cottage Pie and the Risotto.

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto ingredients list

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto ingredients list

I really liked the ingredient list, like the rest of the packaging it was clear and well laid out, there was very little to confuse me other than anti-oxidant which I have no clue about. I looked it up on Wikipedia (my sister Heather Googles everything I Wikipedia everything…. it works for me 😀 )! Wikipedia says:

An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction involving the loss of electrons or an increase in oxidation state. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions.

Now the sciency people would understand this, people like Ben Way who have a handle of maths and science but for me it sounds like the start of one of my friend Graham’s music quizzes. The Free Radicals are a group based in America and well Chain Reaction…. (sings to himself) “And I was there and not dancing with anyone, You took a little, then you took me over, You set your mark on stealing my heart away, Crying, trying, anything for you….” I digress 😳 !

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto cooking instructions

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto cooking instructions

The microwave cooking instructions were really clear, however, it didn’t give the right time for my microwave. It did however, tell you how to cook it from chilled which you don’t see often, this I think is a really good idea. The cooking instructions for using an oven were also very clear and equally as informative.

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto served up and ready to eat

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto served up and ready to eat

The packaging described this ready meal as being

Chicken breast cooked with Arborio rice and vegetables.

I think this was a really simplistic way at looking at something which had a great deal of flavour, for a child’s ready meal. It was quite tomatoey with the sun-dried tomatoes and the tomato paste, I also felt the presence of two types of cheese worked well and held all the ingredients together. The rice was soft, it didn’t offer a great deal of textural difference to the dish, but there was chicken!!

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto, look at that chunk of chicken

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto, look at that chunk of chicken

Yes there was chicken lol! This was something I was so impressed with, the dish was quite soft, I understand that it was a child’s ready meal and that’s why but the presence of the nice sized pieces of chicken made it feel a bit more real, like it was a smaller portion of an adult’s ready meal.

What would I score this, well the last ready meal by Annabel Karmel I reviewed I gave two scores one for children (6) and one for adults (3). I’m not going to do that for this one, I’m going to give it one score, 5 out of 10. I enjoyed it, it was tasty, light and had plenty of chicken. Both these ready meals were a happy accident for me and I’d happily eat them again, I’m no expert on what children eat I’d certainly recommend these ready meals to my parent friends.5 starsCome back Thursday for my Sausage Meatballs in a Spicy Tomato Sauce. Don’t forget you can visit us on social media, please feel free to like and share the reviews and recipes on this site, get involved on my social media pages to tell me what you think, or give me some ideas for Time-Saving Tuesdays or recipes I can make.

Strictly Suppers 2014 Banner

Strictly Suppers 2014 Banner

Also if you’re a fan of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing you’ll know it’s coming back on soon. To mark that I’ll be re-launching my #StrictlySuppers feature again, so any ideas you have on that will be greatly appreciated. If anyone’s interested my money’s on Ainsley…. who else would it be on lol!

See you Thursday

Rich signature