The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.
This was another one I looked forward to because, inexplicably to The Boy*, I have a deep, enduring love of risotto. Sadly, it turns out that I did not love the risotto I ended up making but I’m fairly sure that has to do with my stock not being concentrated enough to imbue enough flavour.
For the stock, I took the suggestion of throwing a whole (skinned) chicken in, and I threw in the bones of a previously-roasted one too for good measure (more gelatin = better, right?) pausing to remove the meat from the whole chicken about 35 minutes into the process.
This was my first time adding peppercorns and cinnamon to the stock, but I am glad I did: it added a really nice warmth to the smell of it, along with all the more “regular” stock fixings (onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf).
That said, although I left it to simmer for a good long while, I think I trapped too much of the steam. Had I let more of it evaporate away, the stock would have (obviously) made for a much tastier risotto experience. Ah well.
For the risotto itself, I decided to go pretty basic.
Some onions and garlic in the pan before throwing in the rice, while I roasted a couple red peppers. Toward the end, I mixed the peppers in along with a good amount of parmesan, and served the whole thing with tilapia (en papillote!) and asparagus.
* The following is the discussion I had with The Boy while eating the results of this month’s challenge:
Me, after tasting it: Oh. I’m sorry, it’s boring.
Boy, mouth full: Huh? That’s okay; risotto’s always boring.
Me: What?! No, crappy risotto is boring. Good risotto is amazing.
Boy: * shrug *
Apparently he’s never had good risotto. I’ll have to get over my abysmal failure, and make him some to further his education.