If you’re a Masterchef fan, you’ll be well aware of the “death dish” on the show – it’s the cursed risotto that seems to send every contestant who cooks it straight home. Risotto is often thought of as a trickier dish that requires an exact balance of flavours and textures, and lots of attention as you diligently stir it over the cooktop.
But risotto is not difficult to make, and once mastered it’s the perfect winter warmer dish. It takes 10 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes to cook and is perfect not only for weekends but also for an easy and tasty weeknight dinner, serve to a large party of guests or a family or even eat entirely too much of yourself.
When SunRice asked me to join in on their Recipe Box Challenge, I knew it was a great opportunity to learn and share my quick and easy dinner ideas – and pick up a few tips along the way! I’m doing this challenge along with several other bloggers and Poh Ling Yeow, who is of Masterchef fame (runner up in Season 1), star of SBS’ Poh & Co and and SunRice ambassador. The first recipe I created was for my Kimchi Fried Rice which accurately sums up my favourite type of meal to cook during the week – tasty yet healthy, quick and easy to adapt based on what’s lying around in my fridge.
SunRice Recipe Box Challenge
Speaking of Masterchef, I was super excited when SunRice told us they were going to set individual Recipe Box Challenges – it was like the Mystery Box challenge from the show!
This week I received a box of ingredients chosen by Cintia from My Poppet, and my challenge was to create an easy weeknight dinner recipe using at least two of the ingredients along with a few pantry staples.
Here’s what Cintia chose for me:
- SunRice White Long Grain Rice
- Tinned tomatoes
- Red wine
- Parmesan cheese
As soon as I saw the ingredients I immediately thought risotto.
With Winter well and truly here to stay in Sydney, I naturally start craving heavier, heartier foods. In the spring months I like to make my risotto light and fresh with asparagus, white wine, lemon and chicken. But I was cold and I wanted something comforting, so I decided to experiment with adding red wine to my risotto. Not only would it bring a lovely red hue to the risotto, it would provide a depth of flavour that I thought would contrast perfectly with spicy chorizo sausage. This is one of my favourite things about risotto – it’s so versatile and can be adapted to suit any friends or family members who are gluten-free or vegetarian.
This risotto breaks 2 rules – firstly, we cook it in the oven as opposed to having to hover over the cooktop constantly stirring. And secondly, we skip the traditional Arborio rice in favour of long grain white rice. Traditional Risotto rice and Medium Grain rice are both perfect for risotto of course, but you can also use Long Grain rice as well, as it has all the flavour and creaminess of traditional risotto.
- 200g chorizo, diced
- 25g butter
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 350g SunRice White Long Grain Rice
- 100ml red wine
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 75g parmesan
- 125g frozen peas
- Pre-heat your oven to 200 °C.
- Place an ovenproof pan or casserole dish on the stovetop over medium heat (if you don't have an appropriate dish, cook the chorizo and onions in a fry pan and then transfer to an ovenproof dish).
- Cook the diced chorizo and sauté until golden and crisp. Remove chorizo but leave fat in the pan.
- Add butter to the pan and cook the onions until translucent (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add the rice and stir to coat the grains, around 1-2 minutes.
- Add the remaining wet ingredients - the red wine, chopped tomatoes and chicken stock. Clamp on a lid and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
- In the final 5 minutes, stir in the frozen peas and half of the parmesan. Return to the oven.
- The risotto is done when the moisture is absorbed and the rice is al dente.
- Serve with remaining parmesan and enjoy!
This recipe makes 4 big serves for hungry people, or a lighter dinner for 6. It’s the perfect easy weeknight meal washed down with a glass of red wine (well you had it opened, you wouldn’t want to waste it now would you?)
I hope you liked my easy and tasty twist on risotto. Next week I’ll be setting the recipe box challenge for Bruce from Big Family Little Income, I can’t wait to see what he’ll create with my ingredients!
What’s your favourite way to make risotto?