Monday, 20 February 2012

Cauliflower and Mascarpone Risotto with Spicy Chorizo

I have spent the weekend travelling the length of the country... It was a packed trip full of friends and family, parties and trips round the beautiful countryside. We drove round the grounds of Woburn Abbey on Saturday, it was very pretty, even in the rain, with huge herds of deer roaming all over the place. Unfortunately they huddled under the trees and we huddled in the car, as the torrential rain began to batter us with some force... Woburn is a beautiful little Georgian village in Bedfordshire, where we made a run for cover to a cosy little country pub, and ate and drank until the sun came out...



On Saturday night we danced around a cricket club to old Whitney hits at a lovely little birthday party. Add in constant eating, different cakes every day, quite a bit of wine, many different friends to visit and it all adds up to a bit of a tired Monday... It's a comfort food situation I think. There's been a few of them recently. After researching my article for Appetite magazine I have been cooking a lot of pies, slow stews and risottos. This one is a creamy mascarpone laced risotto with soft cauliflower and spicy hot chorizo scattered over the top.


To begin finely chop one medium onion and soften in some olive oil on a low heat until soft and translucent. Then add the risotto rice, I used 200g of arborio rice which served two people and a little for left overs. Add the rice to the onion, turn the heat up a little and cook for a few minutes until it starts to turn translucent at the edges. Then add a glass of white wine, anything old or new will do.


The wine will bubble and hiss as soon as you add it to the hot pan, so just stir until it's absorbed. Then begin to add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring each until it is absorbed. I used chicken stock about 500ml, but just use water if it runs out. After the first ladle of stock chop half a small cauliflower into little pieces like peas and add to the rice.


Continue to add stock until the rice is creamy and cooked, but still has a little bite to it. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to suit. Finally add 2 tablespoons of mascarpone and 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese and stir everything together. Turn the heat off and put a lid on it, allowing it to sit for 5 minutes.


While it sits quickly dice up a handful of picante chorizo per person and fry off until hot and sizzling... Serve the creamy risotto in bowls and sprinkle over the chorizo with a little of its oil. The little spicy porky chorizo squares work perfectly with the creamy cheesy risotto and the earthy delicious cauliflower. I can't wait to grow more of my own this year...



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