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October 11, 2010

Life has been a little hectic lately in the brownie household but the other day I finally tuned in to twitter and came across some rather interesting tweets happening between a few tweeps about a #RisottoOff so naturally my risotto radar tuned in…..I love risotto and didn’t want to miss out on any challenges hehe. So I chatted to my friend @polkadotcupcake who happened to be the instigator behind the challenge, got all the info I needed and set to deciding what kind of risotto to make. Seeing as it was Monday I decided to go meatless in keeping with the worldwide trend of  Meatless Monday With the products that I had to hand I came up with a rather stunningly delicious, ooey, gooey creamy Toasted Walnut and Blue Cheese Risotto. Our meatless Mondays are a pretty recent addition in the brownie home. I have a hubby who loves meat, I can manage without it many nights a week 🙂 so its been a gradual introduction. The other night I made gnocchi in a delicious tomatoey based sauce but that was fobbed off as tiny little tasteless dumpling thingies in tomato sauce LOL! I thought it was rather good but then I also do like dumplings…….but THIS risotto! It was pronounced a winner and a keeper. My man loved it and said he would be prepared to eat it for all the Meatless Mondays in our future life together HAHA!

So herewith my entry into Polkadotcupcakes #RisottoOff challenge….oh and thanx to @neillanthony (personal chef to the stars and all awesome people)  for the secret tips along the way 🙂 …

Toasted Walnut & Blue Cheese Risotto


(Serves 4)

250g Arborio rice

30ml Olive Oil

30g Dried Mushrooms – Porcini or Chanterelles
1 small Onion – very finely chopped (I almost pureed mine)

Handful sliced porcini or portabellini mushrooms

Few sprigs Lemon Thyme – leaves picked from the stems

3 Cloves Confit Garlic

125ml Chardonnay  – warmed in the microwave

600ml Chicken stock – keep warm in separate saucepan over low heat

200g Blue Cheese at room temperature –  broken up into small chunks

80g butter – cut into cubes (I used Lurpack Lightly Salted – it pays to use the best ingredients in this case)

100g Walnuts dry toasted just until the aroma is released – roughly chopped when cool

100g Parmesan cheese – finely grated

Sundried Tomatoes in oil – sliced  and some Rocket to serve

Pour 125ml boiling water over the dried mushrooms and leave to stand 20 minutes, slice the mushrooms up (add the water to the chicken stock in the saucepan on the stove)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add a large knob of butter to melt

Add onions and mushrooms with the thyme leaves and fry gently until just golden – make the confit garlic into a paste, add to the pan and fry one minute then remove the onion mixture and set aside

Boil the kettle and pour boiling water onto the Arborio rice to blanche it. Drain well after one minute then add rice to the oil and butter in the saucepan and stirfry for a few minutes

Add the warm wine and cook until completely reduced stirring all the time

When the wine has been absorbed add the chopped dried mushrooms to the rice and start adding hot stock one ladle at a time and stir constantly until all the stock is absorbed.

Repeat until the rice is soft enough – it should be able to take all of the stock

Once all the liquid is almost absorbed stir the blue cheese into the rice and stir until it melts and coats all the rice in a gooey white sauce

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter, toasted walnuts, the onion & mushrooms and the parmesan cheese

Mix all together gently

Top each serving with some sliced sundried tomatoes and a few freshly picked Italian Rocket leaves.

I made my confit garlic like this:

Pour boiling water over about 20 or so whole unpeeled garlic cloves. Leave them for a minute then drain in a colander. Cut the end off then slip the skins off each clove

In a smallish saucepan slowly heat some good quality olive oil over the lowest heat just until tiny bubbles start appearing. Add the cloves of garlic and allow to poach gently in the heating oil for about 20-40 minutes until the cloves start looking a bit translucent. Place in a bottle with the oil and seal. Keep in the fridge for when you need them. The delicious oil can be used to flavour any dish or salad

21 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2010 12:48 PM

    This looks divine! And perfect for the cold-snap we are having…warm, creamy comfort food!

    • October 12, 2010 11:19 PM

      Thank you Linda. It is really cold in Cape Town at the moment. Winters last gasp hopefully :o) xx

  2. Young Wifey permalink
    October 11, 2010 1:24 PM

    Sounds and looks delicious!

  3. October 11, 2010 9:24 PM

    Oh this sounds so perfectly comforting and soothing. love the fact you added walnuts to the risotto!

  4. October 12, 2010 6:33 AM

    that sounds really great.

    i must start making risotto, i have to look for carb alternates to health bread

    • October 12, 2010 11:24 PM

      Thanx Sidey, it was really fun to make this…a bit of good music in the background and a nice glass of that wine to sip on…… :o) Why you need the alternative carb?xx

  5. October 12, 2010 1:25 PM

    OMG!! It is BOILING in Pretoria but I would still scoff a whole pot of that right now. That looks soooo good Colleen!

    • October 12, 2010 11:24 PM

      I guess risotto is pretty good to eat in all temperatures hey Ally_R? Thanx so much. It was absolutely delicious xx

  6. October 12, 2010 1:28 PM

    Sounds delish!!! I’ll definitely be giving that a try.

    • October 12, 2010 11:25 PM

      Thank you so much for popping by and leaving a comment Connie. Much appreciated xx

  7. October 25, 2010 6:20 AM

    Oh my………….. droooool !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This look so so so good Colleen, I’m book marking it for the next rainy/moody day.

  8. October 25, 2010 4:28 PM

    Thanx Bron!! It was seriously delicious. I feel like some more righ now revisiting the blog to answer comments. Lovely to see you this side of the pond! Thanx for the visit and lovely comment. Hugs xx

  9. janemaynard permalink
    November 15, 2010 8:41 PM

    hi there! just wanted to let you know we featured this post under “today’s specials” on the homepage today. looks like a great and unique recipe! thanks! jane

    • November 15, 2010 10:44 PM

      WOW! I am honoured thank you so much Jane. Much appreciated. It was a fabulous meal for sure. xx

  10. November 16, 2010 5:22 AM

    This looks so good!!

  11. November 16, 2010 8:57 AM

    Hi Megan, thank you so much for your comment. It was seriously good…xx

  12. February 23, 2011 10:59 PM

    Walnuts and blue cheese are such a wonderful pair but I never would have thought of pairing them with risotto. How brilliant! In my head I’m either sipping port while eating it after probably having added a splash to the mix during cooking as well. Yum!



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