Sunday, May 31, 2009

Roast pumpkin, mushroom and leek risotto - the Master Chef way

Posted by kel @ sweet treats at 8:06 PM
I was always of the belief that risotto was one of those dishes where you really had to be in the mood, and committed to the cause. Because really, who wants to stand there stirring a pot for half an hour? 'Risotto Arm' is not the most appealing side effect of this glorious dish. I was always under the impression that the 'right' way to cook risotto was to laboriously add stock, one ladle at a time, until it was all absorbed. Urghhh.

The other option I've tried is the lazy way. Yes, baked risotto and I tried to strike up a friendship once. But I found baking risotto to be unfulfilling, as there was no opportunity to really take pride in creating the dish.

I was watching Master Chef Australia the other night and I watched George cook this amazing risotto...and there was no stirring involved! WHAT! Yes, George believes that stirring breaks up the grains and leads to a starchy risotto. Instead, he advises to 'agitate' the risotto, keeping the grains covered with a thin layer of stock at all times. This apparently produces a more 'creamy' risotto.

So, with George's words of wisdom in mind, I set about putting together this roast pumpkin, mushroom and leek risotto.

Half a small butternut pumpkin, cubed
2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
Freshly ground sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1 leek, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup Arborio rice
4 cups boiling water
3 chicken stock cubes
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1 handful mozarella cheese
Grated parmesan cheese, to taste

Preheat oven to 200 celsius. Toss pumpkin in olive oil and sea salt. Put in oven and roast while you're preparing the risotto.

Put boiling water and stock cubes in a saucepan and keep over low heat.

Melt butter in a deep frypan and add leek and garlic. Saute until tender. Add rice and toss until the butter coats the rice evenly. Pour wine around the edge of the frypan and add enough stock to cover the rice. Keep tossing (err sorry George, 'agitating'!) the rice every couple of minutes, and add more stock when necessary (it will take approximately 20-25 minutes to add all the stock and get the rice al dente).

Towards the end of cooking (when the rice still has a little bit of 'bite' to it) add the mushrooms. Keep agitating the rice every couple of minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Add the roast pumpkin and mozarella, and gently stir these through.

Serve with grated parmesan on top. Delish!

4 comments on "Roast pumpkin, mushroom and leek risotto - the Master Chef way"

Renee on Monday, 01 June, 2009 said...

we saw this too and plan to make it tonight. Yours looks great!

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Kathmeista on Thursday, 26 January, 2012 said...

Thanks for this - I just saw a re-run of this episode and wanted to try making risotto using "agitation" not constant stirring. Yours looks amazing, hopefully mine turns out the same!

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