OK, sure - I have noded risotto before, so you may already have the technique down. This little risotto however, uses different ingredients and serves to show that once you have the one simple method under your belt, you can substitute different ingredients to come up with your own unique dish.
I pumped this risotto out a few nights ago for staff dinner. You have never seen a more ravenous bunch than a crew of waiters and bar staff, and they were getting tired of the porcini risotto on our menu. It was time to experiment.
Tarago River Shadows of Blue is a sensational new addition to our cheese plate. It is a creamy, mild blue cheese from Victoria that is perfect for newcomers to blue mould cheese. It has none of the potency of aged Stilton, or a forthright Gorgonzola - just a mild tang of blue mould coupled with a creamy and soft centre. This stuff is highly addictive.
Add a few ingredients that I had lying around - Trevisio radicchio, and thinly sliced prosciutto - and you have a filling dish that will keep your staff, or family nice and quiet.
Of course, feel free to substitute any of the main ingredients. Ain't got prosciutto? - Use bacon instead. Fresh out of radicchio? - Try spinach. And a good substitute for Shadows of Blue is Blue Castello cheese.
Let's get to it
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
250 gm (1/2 lb) Arborio rice (or use carnaroli or vialone nano rice)
1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine
3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock
125 gm (1/4 lb) prosciutto, finely sliced
1 head radicchio, chopped
100 gm (3 oz) soft blue cheese
50 gm grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbs butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the chicken stock in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Heat the olive oil and 1 Tbs of butter in a large heavy based saucepan, then add the onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the rice. Stir until each grain is coated with oil, and then add the wine.
Stir until the rice is starting to look dry. Add a ladle of hot stock, and then stir until it is absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is just a little firm to the bite - soft, yet a tiny bit chalky in the centre.
Add the radicchio and prosciutto and stir well. Add the blue cheese, as well as salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes more, until the rice is cooked - but has a bite to the centre - al dente. Add some more water, and keep cooking and stirring if the rice is too hard.
Just as the rice is cooked, add the remaining butter and half the Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and divide between 4 bowls. Top with the remaining Parmesan and serve with a crisp dry white wine - such a dry Riesling or an un-wooded chardonnay.