Sausage, broccoli and courgette risotto

Sausage, broccoli and courgette risotto

D and I are both pretty busy working full time, writing and doing amdram (he’s just landed a part doing the History Boys!). In fact you could technically say we were a busy family if you count the rabbits demolishing cardboard boxes and hiding behind the sofa. Anyway I’ve started trying to think of some relatively quick and healthy recipes that’ll keep us going all evening.

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Anyway, I felt like a start home maker (for once) making this as I used home made chicken stock in this, which did actually make all the difference (but is absolutely not essential and alas I now have no more).

To make enough risotto for 4 people you will need:

6 sausages

250g-300g risotto rice (not going to lie, I just used up a bag of rice and didn’t measure)

1 small onion – sliced

1 clove garlic – peeled and crushed

Chicken stock (about 1L)

1 glass white wine

1/2 broccoli head – cut into small pieces

1 courgette

Rosemary

Pecorino cheese

Salt and pepper

Butter

Fry the onion and garlic in butter until soft over a gentle heat. Remove the sausages from their skins and fry them with the onion and squish this into small pieces before the sausage is cooked.

Fry the rice in this for 1 minute and then add half the chicken stock, rosemary and wine and turn down to a low heat. Stir this occasionally and add more stock as the rice absorbs the liquid (and it evaporates). Once the rice seems partially cooked add the broccoli and either spiralize in the courgette (or use a potato peeler to make small pieces of it). Once the rice and vegetables are cooked season with salt and pepper. To serve top with the percorino cheese.

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Serve to your busy (and hungry) family members. Although perhaps not to your bunnies/cat/goldfish.

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Haddock, saffron and pea risotto

Haddock, saffron and pea risotto

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This recipe is a real “fill your boots” sort of a recipe.I find risotto filling and having such a high protein ingredient such as fish makes it even more hearty. However, white fish is an incredibly lean source of protein and there is no cheese in this recipe so this makes for a very low fat meal for the days when you’re hungry but don’t want to compromise when it comes to healthy eating.

I also think this recipe is one of those great “store cupboard” recipes. I used frozen haddock and peas in this and the only reason I put chorizo in was because I had one in my fridge that needed using up (I’ll actually most likely not use chorizo in this recipe again as D is not a fan!).

Anyway; for 3-4 portions of risotto you will need:

1 onion

2 large(ish) fillets of frozen haddock (or other white fish)

1 clove garlic

1 10cm cooking chorizo (optional)

About 10g butter if not using chorizo

1 large handful of frozen peas

Vegetable stock

1 pinch saffron

200g risotto rice

Salt and pepper

1 glass of white wine

Peel and slice your onion and crush your garlic. If using the chorizo peel the skin off it and dice it. On a medium heat fry the chorizo, garlic and onion/butter garlic and onion until soft.

Add the risotto rice and fry for about 30 seconds. Cover this with the stock and wine. Add the peas, fish and the saffron and season with salt and pepper. Cook over a low heat. Add more stock as needed when the rice dries out.

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Once the rice is pretty much cooked reseason to taste with the salt and pepper.

I actually love the yellow colour the saffron gives this. It cheered me right up on a cold January day.

Italian sausage risotto stuffed peppers

Italian sausage risotto stuffed peppers

As much as I loved Christmas, I’m glad to be back in my kitchen tinkering with recipes. Risotto stuffed peppers proved to be a triumph, combining the warm comforting feeling of having risotto in your stomach while feeling all virtuous about the vegetables you’ve consumed in this. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I like occasionally removing skins from sausages and using it like mince in dishes and the herbs in the Italian style sausages add a wonderful depth of flavour. The other benefit in this recipe is that if you use gluten free sausages this would be perfect for those who suffer with coeliac disease (and other gluten free diets).

Anyway, the risotto on this is so delicious D and I were both scraping it out once the peppers were in the oven.

Anyway to make these you will need.

4-5 peppers (depending on how packed with rice you want the peppers to be)

1 pack of Italian style sausages or similar (6 sausages)

1 small onion (sliced)

200g risotto rice

1 clove of garlic (crushed)

Chicken stock

Splash of passata

100g frozen spinach

1 sprig of rosemary

Salt and pepper

Percorino cheese

Cooking spray (I used flora cooking spray)

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Half your peppers and scoop out the sleeves and arrange them onto a roasting tray. Keep the stalks on the pepper halves in order to keep more of the filling in.

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Fry the onion and garlic over a gentle heat until soft. To skin the sausages use the flat of a knife to squish out the meat so it is more like mince. Add this to the onion and garlic and fry until the meat is no longer pink. Add the rice and then about 300ml chicken stock, the spinach, rosemary and passata. Season with a little salt and pepper.

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Cook over a gentle heat, topping the rice mixture up with water when it dries out too much. Remove from the heat once the rice is cooked. The risotto should have slightly more liquid in it that most risotto as it will dry out a little when it is in the oven. Reseason with salt and pepper to taste.

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Divide this mixture between the peppers. Top the rice mixture with a little grated pecorino and bake the peppers for 15-20 minutes.

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I suppose you could serve these with salad or as part of a bigger spread of food; but honestly we had these on their own and they were a delicious week night meal. Perfect if you have a little more time. I think D liked them as a post gym meal too.

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Jinnah – Harrogate

Jinnah – Harrogate

So it was my birthday yesterday. Somehow I ended up doing rather a lot of things to celebrate reaching my quarter century. This involved two of my friends visiting me in Harrogate for the first time. We ended up eating out rather a lot and also visiting the Turkish baths. (Now the Turkish baths are well worth a visit, we left feeling amazingly relaxed and soft skinned). One of the places we visited was a restaurant called Jinnah which is an Indian restaurant which also does some Persian, Goan, Nepalese and other dishes.

The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and the staff are helpful. There are a lot of dishes on the menu that you don’t get on standard Indian menus which impressed me as I like variety in dishes between places I go to eat.

We started with poppadoms and pickles. My friend RC was the one who suggested ordering them but AW and I dug in thus confirming the awkwardness of most women.

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I was mighty impressed by the pickle selection

Now I forget the name of each dish we ordered. I ordered a chicken Parsi and AW had king prawn malai. I *think* RC had a lamb malai, but I can’t remember! Either way the dishes were all tasty and we enjoyed trying them all and mixing them with different pickles.

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Parsi – the nicest dish
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The king prawn malai is at the back

What Indian restaurant order is complete without some naan?

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I really enjoyed Jinnah, it was well worth a visit, the staff were helpful and I thought it was very reasonably priced, considering how stuffed we felt once we’d finished.

You can find out information about Jinnah here.

One pot king prawn, rice and chorizo

I love chorizo and I’ll be honest, I bought the chorizo I used in this to put in a chilli Miss S and I made earlier in the week. (Chorizo in a chilli? Amazing!) Now, I wouldn’t exactly say this was a risotto and from my limited paella knowledge I wouldn’t say it was one of those either, but it is tasty. It’s also colourful and I like colourful food. It takes about 30 minutes to make this so its a straightforward meal during the week and good for when you have a friend round, or want to impress whoever you are feeding.

To make this you will need:

Uncooked king prawns (I used about 7 but I was just feeding myself, you’ll want more for more people as people get quite upset over a lack of prawns)

1/3 of a chorizo ring

1 pepper

1 courgette

Approximately 200g rice (I used basmati)

Chicken stock

1 and 1/2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp mixed herbs

 

Peel and slice the onion and garlic, pepper and courgette. Dice the chorizo. Butterfly the prawns by slicing them down their backs (not all the way through the prawn). Put the prawns, chorizo, courgette and peppers to one side and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft.

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I’m really starting to wonder how many of my blog posts include a picture of a frying pan with some onion in it?

Add the diced chorizo and fry for 2-4 minutes.

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I definitely got my camera lens steamed up!

Add the courgette and green pepper and fry until the vegetables look slightly cooked. They should go orange because of the chorizo oil.

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Add the rice and fry for 30 seconds – 1 minute.

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Add enough stock to cover all of the rice, plus a bit extra. Add the paprika, turmeric and mixed herbs. Turn down onto a medium low heat and leave the rice to absorb the water, stirring it all occasionally.

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If the mixture starts to dry out add some more water or stock.

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Once the rice is pretty much cooked, add the prawns and stir until the prawns turn pink and opaque.

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This bit shouldn’t take too long – 3 or 4 minutes at most.

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Enjoy your beautifully colourful meal!

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This recipe could also be made with chicken for people who dislike seafood, or white fish (if you hae a shellfish allergy like J’s mum). Just add the chicken at the start or add the fish just before the rice starts to look fully cooked.

Sweet potato, spinach and goats cheese risotto

Sweet potato, spinach and goats cheese risotto

It would seem its sometimes worthwhile looking through your blog drafts. I found this recipe I made in January! I was having various phone issues and couldn’t get my pictures shared properly (I am loving Dropbox now). This recipe is pretty hearty and filling and it is a great one if you’ve been exercising all day. Or you just like lying on the sofa having dreams based around excessive carbohydrate consumption. As you can probably guess from what I blog about I am a little bit “meh” about eating lots of carb based meals but it’s nice once in a while.

Sweet potato risotto is  to all intents and purposes a more healthy way of having a carb fest than most foods. Its filling, delicious and comfortingly stodgy on a cold day. As an added bonus (as I found out when totting up the calories on my fitness pal) it’s not spectacularly calorific. I would definitely say this is one for when you have that friend coming over who has an insatiable appetite (we all have at least one!)

This recipe also has the bonus of having all ingredients easy to find in your local supermarket, you don’t need much cheese and you could easily substitute the cheese for different types of cheese; or bacon, ham or lardons.

For this recipe you will need:

200g risotto rice

A large sweet potato (or 2 smaller ones) peeled and chopped into approx 1cm pieces

About 50g soft goats cheese (or light Philadelphia)

2 shallots/1 onion finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic

Mixed herbs

A glass of white wine (you can substitute this with tart fruit juice)

A bag of fresh spinach or about 5 briquettes of frozen spinach

A small amount or butter or olive oil

A chicken stock cube and hot water

Salt and pepper

Henderson’s relish or Worcester sauce (optional)

(Makes 4 medium portions or 3 larger portions)

Heat the butter or oil in a large non stick pan. Add the onion and crushed garlic and heat gently until soft.

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Add the sweet potato and fry until the sweet potato is golden brown in parts.

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I tried eating raw sweet potato once to make J laugh…it tasted of starchy carrot

Add the rice and fry for 30 seconds then add the white wine, water, mixed herbs and the stock cube. Turn the heat down and stir gently until the stock cube has dissolved.

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Leave the risotto cook and the rice to absorb the liquid. Stir it occasionally and add more water if the mixture starts looking dry.

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I have noticed that when bored and waiting to cook I get very impatient and tend to nibble on partially cooked rice. Not the world’s best idea.

Once the rice looks cooked stir in the goats cheese and spinach and heat until the spinach is wilted and the goats cheese has melted into the rice.

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Green and groovy

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Now my parents tend to drink risotto with water as it’s a dish that can make you thirsty, I just enjoy it with a cold drink really. When serving less it’s definitely more, as this is very filling!

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As a side note this can stored and reheated the following day. Just make sure the rice is piping hot before eating as lukewarm rice can give you an upset stomach. Don’t keep it any longer than 24 hours (unless you want to keep it in the freezer).