Seafood Risotto

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Ever since I watched Masterchef Australia, I have been terrified to make risotto. Finally, I built up the courage to make this daunting dish and thank goodness, it worked out so beautifully.

My advice is stick to the easy steps(stages) and buy the best marinara mix out there, you will taste the difference. You want the risotto to be smooth and creamy NOT thick and stodgy.

You can also leave out the seafood mix and make a plain risotto.


INGREDIENTS

1.5 litres stock, chicken, fish or vegetable (you might not use all of it)
1 small knob of butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400 g Arborio rice
2 wineglasses dry white wine
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 extra knob of butter
90 g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 packet marinara seafood mix (calamari, mussel meat, crab sticks)
2 tsp Italian parsley, chopped
Crispy onions sprinkles
1 lemon, quartered


EQUIPMENT

1 small sauce pan
1 large pot with a sealable lid
1 soup ladle


METHOD
Serves 6
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes


Stage 1 

Place the large pot on medium-low heat; add the olive oil and butter, and slowly sauté the chopped onions and garlic, season with a pinch of sea salt, cook for 15 minutes until soft be careful not to colour. Add 1 tbsp of stock to stop them colouring, if necessary.

In a separate pan, start boiling the stock.

When the vegetables have turned soft, add the rice and turn up the heat.


Stage 2 

The rice will now begin to lightly fry, keep stirring it. After a minute the rice will look slightly translucent.
Add the wine and keep stirring. All the alcohol will evaporate and it will smell amazing.


Stage 3

Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside.

Keep adding ladleful’s of stock, stirring the creamy starch out of the rice. It is important to allow each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 10 minutes. Once it has been cooking for 10 minutes add the seafood mix and keep stirring. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. From this point on, start adding less and less stock every time, to avoid the risk of forcing the rice to absorb too much stock.

Start to taste the odd grain of rice. You want to stop cooking when it still has a tiny crunchy uncooked bit in the centre. Don’t forget to check the seasoning carefully.


Stage 4

Remove from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes. This is the most important part of making the perfect risotto, as this is when it becomes deliciously creamy like it should be.

Eat it as soon as possible, dress with the chopped parsley and crispy onion bits.

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