Thursday, March 31, 2011

lamb risotto

what you need

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 lb lamb, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

5 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup red onion, finely diced

1 cup Arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

2oz feta (about 1/4 cup), crumbled

what to do

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat, add lamb, salt, pepper and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes Use a slotted spoon to remove lamb, set aside.

Bring stock to a boil in a medium sized pot then simmer and maintain over low heat.

In separate large saucepan heat oil over medium heat, add onion and sauté until onions are soft. Add rice, stir until each grain is well coated with oil and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add wine, stir until absorbed.

Add stock one ladleful at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. After about 4 cups of stock, check to see if the risotto is done. If it’s still firm add another 1/2 cup broth and check again. Continue until risotto is tender. When done remove from heat and add lamb and Feta. Mix well.

Garnish with crumbled feta if desired.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lemon Semifreddo

what you need

Oil, to brush

4 savoiardi sponge-finger biscuits

80ml Vin Santo or dry marsala*

4 eggs, separated

2 lemons, rind grated

110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

500ml (2 cups) thickened cream, whipped

Candied lemons

2 lemons, sliced

110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

what to do

Lightly brush a 24 x 10cm terrine with oil and line with plastic wrap.

Roughly break up the sponge fingers and place in a bowl with the Vin Santo. Beat egg yolks, lemon rind and sugar until pale. In a separate bowl, beat the eggwhites until soft peaks form. Fold together sponge fingers, egg yolk mixture, eggwhites and cream, then pour into prepared terrine. Freeze overnight.

To make the candied lemons, place lemon slices in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, cook for 1 minute then drain. Discard the water and set the lemons aside.

Place the sugar and 425ml cold water in the saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then add the lemon slices and simmer for about 30 minutes (the lemons should be translucent and the liquid well-reduced). Drain the lemons on a rack over a tray until cool.

Allow the terrine to soften in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour. To serve, slice the semifreddo and serve with the candied lemons and cream, if desired.

chef’s note

* Vin Santo is Italian wine and is available either sweet or dry. If unavailable, use a good-quality dry marsala

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spinach Pesto

Spinach Pesto a wonderful fresh variant on the more traditional basil pesto, and is a combination of spinach, garlic and with a hint of basil that is great as a topping for bruschetta, stirred through pasta or with grilled chicken

what you need
8 cups fresh spinach
1 cup fresh basil
½ cup toasted pine nuts
1 garlic clove
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

what to do
Put small amounts of spinach, basil, pine nuts and garlic into a food processor or blender. Pulse and continue to add the remaining ingredients until all of them are able to fit in the blender.
Add olive oil and continue to process until the mixture is creamy.
Transfer to a bowl.

Stir in the grated cheese, salt and pepper, and it's ready to serve.

Place the pesto in an airtight container and ensure it is covered with olive oil, this will keep for several weeks in the fridge.

beetroot risotto

what you need

3 large fresh beetroot

1 tbs olive oil

30g butter

1 onion, diced

2 cups arborio rice

4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

100grs grated parmesan

2 tablespoons butter

what to do

Peel the beetroot and cut into julienne strips. Wash the beetroot tops and chop into 7cm pieces.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy saucepan, saute the onion for 3 mins or until soft. Add the beetroot and cook stirring over a moderate heat for 2 mins. Add rice and stir until translucent.

Add a ladle of stock at a time to rice and stir until absorbed. Continue stirring in the stock, gradually, until the rice is just cooked. This process should take around 20 mins.

Season to taste with salt and pepper

Stir in butter and parmesan. let stand for 5 minutes. Then serve topped with diced beetroot and shaved parmesan.