Yummy risotto

25 Jun

This is a great dish for a special meal on a budget.

If you make meat balls a few hours before you cook them they hold together a lot better and taste better too. I rolled them while sitting in front of the tv, so get the kids to help here.

Meat balls are easy to make whether they are for your barbecue or the fry pan. Take 500 g (about 1lb) mince, add 1 whisked egg and about 1 cup breadcrumbs. Then you can flavour it with anything, tomato paste, fresh basil finely chopped, Cajun spice, mixed herbs, sweet chilli sauce etc. It need to have enough moisture in the mix to hold it together when you squeeze it into a ball. Meat balls are usually the size of a flat baseball, the ones I am having tonight are golf balls, they will cook more quickly and suit the rice dish. The best things about meat balls are they are tasty and cheap to make. This recipe should make enough for a family of five, or one person for five meals. More fill for the freezer.

Now the risotto. It takes a bit more time and attention but the secret is to get the ratio of rice to stock correct. So for every 1/2 cup of Arborio rice you need 1 cup of stock and will get two large serves from it.

In a large pot heat some oil, about 1 oz or tabs. I am using coconut oil at the moment because it is supposed to help lower cholesterol but generally I use olive oil as it is healthier than vegetable oil.

Into this put one finely diced onion and garlic clove plus a handful of pine nuts and fry til soft. Now add 1 & 1/2 cups of rice, stir to coat with oil. Into this add 1/4 cup white wine. (This gives a nice flavour and the alcohol is cooked off). Once wine is absorbed add stock, 3 cups, reduce heat to simmer and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat for 10 minutes

While waiting cook the meatballs.

The rice will be ready to eat now or you can add more flavour, chopped basil, chopped sun-dried tomato, parmesan cheese and cream. Any or all of these go well. Alternately you may add strong cheeses to make a cheese risotto or chopped cooked chicken for chicken risotto, either to be eaten alone. There will still be 4-6 serves as a main dish.

So you see this cooking thing is pretty easy if you ignore masterchef, who cooks like that outside a restaurant?

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