Monday, April 4, 2011

Roasted sweet garlic, thyme and marscapone risotto with toasted almonds and breadcrumbs

This comes from Jamie Oliver's, The Return of the Naked Chef. I am going to try to do the risotto in my pressure cooker to save time. I've done it once with great results.

serves 6

• 1 x basic risotto recipe
• 2 large heads of garlic, whole and unpeeled
• 1 good handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
• 155g/5½oz shelled and peeled almonds, lightly crushed, cracked or chopped
• 2 handfuls of coarse fresh breadcrumbs
• olive oil
• 2 heaped tablespoons mascarpone cheese

Roast the whole garlic heads on a dish in the oven at 230°C/450°F/gas
8 for about 30 minutes until soft. Separate the cloves and squeeze out
the sweet insides. Add with the thyme at the start of Stage 3 of the
basic risotto recipe. In a frying pan toast the almonds and
breadcrumbs in a little olive oil until crisp and golden. Season with
a little salt. Set to one side. Serve the risotto with a dollop of
mascarpone on the top and sprinkle over the toasted almonds and
breadcrumbs. Lovely.

Jamie Oliver's basic risotto recipe 

approx• 1.1 litres/2 pints stock (chicken, fish or vegetable as appropriate)
• 1 knob of butter
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• ½ a head of celery, finely chopped
• 400g/14oz risotto rice
• 2 wineglasses of dry white vermouth (dry Martini or Noilly Prat) or dry white wine
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 70g/2½oz butter
• 115g/4oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese

stage 1

Heat the stock. In a separate pan heat the olive oil and butter, add the onions, garlic and celery, and fry very slowly for about 15 minutes without colouring. When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.

stage 2

The rice will now begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the vermouth or wine and keep stirring — it will smell fantastic. Any harsh alcohol flavours will evaporate and leave the rice with a tasty essence.

stage 3

Once the vermouth or 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 ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 15 minutes. Taste the rice — is it cooked? Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Don’t forget to check the seasoning carefully. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some boiling water.

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 outrageously creamy and oozy like it should be. Eat it as soon as possible, while the risotto retains its beautiful texture.
 ** I roasted one head of garlic and I thought it was a bit too much. I was too hungry and tired to do the almonds and breadcrumbs. And to top it all off- I didn't have time to get the marscapone. I used the pressure cooker for the risotto. I sauteed the onion in butter, then added 1 1/2 C arborio rice- coating it well with the butter. I then added 3 1/2 C stock, took it to high pressure for 6 minutes, then quick-released the steam. I squashed the roasted garlic cloves and stirred them into the risotto along with the fresh thyme. Good flavor, right texture.
##Not a big hit for leftovers. I'll turn it along with the carrots into risotto cakes.

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