Hey hey it’s Donna Hay day!#8 Tempo di Risotto!

(italiani, leggete giù!)

So this time it’s my turn to host Barbara’s Donna Hay Day! Well, you could have guessed, this time Donna Hay goes Italian, and why not since this month’s host happens to live in the eternal city (well really I’m in Paris at the moment, however) and since Donna’s books often include some nice risotto recepies. I thought this would definitely be the time to try out to cook some risotto if you never did before and to discover by yourselves that it’s not that hard to make a damn good risotto. And it’s great comfort food too. So, what are you still wainting for?? (oh, right, the receipe! :-)

My eye felt on this lemon and prawn risotto from Entertaining (well really I made a few minor changes), the standard procedure for any other risotto is quite the same, so you just need to follow the cooking instructions, and stir in or add on top any other ingredient you feel like…

For the lemon risotto:

carnaroli or arborio rice 200g
stock 1l
white wine 2dl
oignon 1, chopped
lemon 1, rind grated and squeezed
parmesan, grated 50g
chives 3 tblsp, chopped
butter 25g
olive oil 4 tblsp
sea salt & cracked black pepper

For the prawns:

prawns about 16 (but it depends on how big they are, mine unfortunately were rather tiny)
butter 25g, melted
sea salt & cracked black pepper
fresh basil leaves 8

Put the onion in a large saucepan, add the oil and let cook for one minute over medium-high heat, or until the onion is soft. Add the rice and stir for 1 or 2 minutes until all the grains seem coated with the oil. At high heat, add the wine and let it evaporate, add then gradually the boiling stock (one cup at a time, add new stock when the precedent cup has been absorbed). The whole cooking process should take 18 minutes. To be sure, taste the rice at the end, it shouldn’t be hard but definitely not too chewy either (al dente, that is). At this time take the risotto of the heat, and add 4 tablespoons lemon juice, the grated rind, the parmesan and the butter, salt & pepper to taste, stir well and let it rest for a few minutes.
Before starting to cook the risotto you should prepare the prawns: wash them first, cut of their head and cut the tail over the lenghth. Put the prawns in a heat-proof oventray, fleshy-side up, melt the butter and poor it over the prawns. Add salt, pepper and the whole basil leaves, and put the prawns under a hot grill for about five minutes. When serving the risotto, top with the chives and the prawns. Serves 4.

The tricks to get it right:

- Risotto should be all’onda, that means it should be creamy, and make kind of waves on the surface. So, you shouldn’t make it too dry (well, I must confess that mine, in order to make the picture, was left a bit dryer than I usually do…). If it is, add another bit of stock.
The secret of overwhelming risotto is really simple: it’s all in the stock you use. So please, do forget about tablets and powders, make it yourself! You’ll see, it’s really easy, and it will amazingly boost the final flavour of your risotto. What kind of stock to use depends on the ingredients in the risotto: use vegetable or chicken stock for vegetable or meat risotto, and fish stock for fishy risotto like mine. Just make the stock whenever you happen to have too much vegetables around, raw chicken, bones or fish leftovers, make the stock (remember always to put your ingredients in cold water and to heat the whole thing up together), and then freeze it. This way you’ll have the most important ingredient for a perfect risotto, right there in the freezer.
You need to stir! Risotto unfortunately is not one of those dishes that can cook on their own while you go and iron your husbands shirts, risotto needs your complete attention. So during the 18 minutes the rice needs to cook, you’ll just have to stand there and stir. But then that’s the (small) price you have to pay in order to be greatly rewarded…
– Risotto is at it’s best al momento, if you have leftovers, try this Italian style recycling: in stead of microwaving, just put your risotto in a non stick pan with a spoon of melted butter, spreading it to make a 1cm thick fritter, let cook until golden on both sides, and you’ll have riso al salto. Great with a green salad on the side.

Entries should be sent by 27th november, to risottofordonna(at)gmail(dot)com mentionning Donna Hay Day #8 entry in the subject. Please specify, in the body of your message, entry title and link to your risotto-post, as also a link to your entry’s picture, to your blog’s homepage, hometown and of course your name.

Oh, I almost forgot… to make it a bit more interesting, this months best entry will be prised with a 100% italian goody box, sent to your home wherever on earth you are, by San Lorenzo, italian on-line gourmet store. The giftbox includes a bottle of olive oil, a bottle of balsamico vinaiger, some exellent rice for risotto, a pesto that’s pretty similar to the one I make at home, a jar of black olive paste and one of orange zabaione.

En italien dans le texte:

Siiiii, stavolta ce n’è pure per voi :) Insomma, ho vinto l’ultimo round del Donna Hay Day e quindi mi tocca organizzarlo. Si trata di un evento che nasce nella foodblogosfera australiana e che si ispira appunto alla loro cuoca più stylish e mediatica che ci sia in giro. Chi organizza propone un tema e riproduce una ricetta di Donna Hay, poi chi vuole partecipa proponendo una variante su quella ricetta. Ora l’evento in sé si fa in inglese e così deve rimanere, però, visto che a voi annoiano i post in inglese e soprattutto visto che si tratta di una cuoca che amo molto (per dire, il mio primissimo libro di cucina era uno dei suoi, e rimangono abbastanza insuperabili per quanto sono chic e semplici), ho pensato a un concorsetto italiano on the side, separato da quello ufficiale, in inglese.

Ora l’idea sarebbe quindi: chi vuole posta o manda (facciamo che non dovete per forza avere un blog per partecipare, su) una sua personale ricetta di risotto, con foto. Pubblicheremo qui tutte le partecipazioni dopodiché sempre voi potrete votare per la ricetta e la foto che vi convincono di più. Otteremo così due vincitori (migliore ricetta & migliore foto) i quali riceveranno a casa il bellissimissimo Cucinare in un istante di Donna Hay, appena tradotto in italiano (da me, s’il vous plait! :-) e fresco di stampa.

Non vi faccio l’insulto di ripetere in italiano la ricetta del risotto al limone con gamberi proposto qui sopra, su, lo sapete fare un risotto, non c’è bisogno che ve lo stia a spiegare io… Per inviare la vostra ricetta, mandate, entro e non oltre il 27 novembre, una mail a risottofordonna(chiocciola)gmail(punto)com, menzionando Donna Hay Italia nell’oggetto. Poi mi serve il titolo della vostra ricetta, il link al post da voi pubblicato, il link alla foto del vostro risotto, nome e indirizzo del blog. Per chi non avesse un blog: considerate l’occasione per aprirne uno, oppure mandatemi la ricetta scritta nella mail di cui dicevo, però per favore vedete di caricare la foto da qualche parte in rete (chessò, su flickr per esempio) onde evitare di mandarmi la foto in allegato. Grazie!

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  • Jennifer

    Can’t wait for the roundup!

    Thanks for the paella tips.

  • Anna

    Barbara – it would still be a risotto, since you mix it at the end (it will come out creamy as a risotto should be)… Paella differs in the soffritto, in the kind of pan you use… and a paella shouldn’t ever be touched, ever, not even at the end…

  • L

    Looks heavenly, and it’s a great theme! I wish I could participate this month, but unfortunately I’m travelling. Can’t wait to see the round up though.

  • maricler

    Siamo stati forse i primi a pubblicare ufficialmente la ricetta per il concorso sul nostro blog? Si aspettano smentite…sennò un premio solo per la tempestività! In bocca al lupo a tutti…

  • Caroline@Bibliocook.com

    Hmmm…I’ve already a bag of risotto rice in the cupboard at home! Must get my thinking cap on…

  • joey

    This is a great theme! :) I have been wanting to join this event. I have also been planning to make risotto…for the very first time in my life! What a great occassion for my first attempt :)

  • Brilynn

    Excellent! I’ve been thinking about making a beet risotto adn this will be the perfect opportunity.

  • rosso fragola

    complimenti per la traduzione, del libro non del post :-))

    siamo seri; il 27 è molto vicino, diavoletto d’un cavoletto!

    Dovremo darci da fare; fammi pensare…

  • alemu

    complimenti per il libro!! l’avevo adocchiato proprio in questi giorni in libreria e ci avevo fatto un pensierino!!

  • Judy, Greg, Sam and Tom

    Excellent choice of recipe, Cenzina! I’m really looking forward to seeing all the entries. Hope it goes well.

    Best wishes from Down Under, Judy

  • Barbara

    Anna – but then it would a paella not a risotto!

  • catepol

    mi caschi a fagiolo…ricetta originale di risotto fatta oggi e anche fotografato il capolavoro…partecipo!

  • Orchidea

    La foto è stupenda… e anche la ricetta.
    Ciao.

  • Anna

    I just have to suggest using the Spanish method to cooking risotto. Although the kinds of rice are different, I’ve tried it and it works: add the amount of broth you need all at once, and give it a big stir at the end. Yoy might have to add it in two times in case you’re not sure how much broth you need, but really, there isn’t any difference!

  • Liborio

    Il tuo blog è davvero una goduria…

  • Gourmet

    Idem c.s… come si fa?? forse era il 14 dicembre???
    brava sigrid per la traduzione!

  • Anonymous

    Come faccio a partecipare se la data ultima per mandare la mail è il 14 novembre e il tuo post è del 19?
    Grazie Pincapallina

  • Tim

    The risotto looks fabulous and I think that your post has answered by questions on the Hay Hay its Donna Day idea! I will be sending a recipe shortly!

  • Thalie

    I’m already fond of this risotto !!
    I enjoy risotto so much since I’ve discovered it was not overcooked rice ;o) Yes, I know, I’m sorry but that was my thought, the first time I ate one… and god it was a real damn good one made by agenuine and superb italian man !!
    Sorry Alessandro ;o)
    I must read the donnay hay’s rules before entering the game, don’t I ?
    Ok, if I have enough time, it would be nice to participate for once…I can’t pass over a lovely risotto.
    Thanks Cenzina.

  • Barbara

    Beautiful risotto Cenzina. For those of us on this side of the world 2dl is 200ml.