Tag Archives: shallots

Brown Rice Risotto With Mixed Mushrooms

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It wasn’t so long back that I would never have thought brown rice can become irresistible and fit for a fine dinning experience. I always liked it and thought it was OK, but for a dinner party……not really.

Well here that theory is blown out of the water. Continually searching for healthy options around classic meals I went round the block and back with risotto using barley, kamut and spelt. Quinoa will work but is nowhere near the consistency of a good risotto and really, it is not a risotto. A risotto is with rice, in this case round brown Italian rice.

Using the round brown Italian rice is perfect for this dish. Health food shops and sections at the supermarkets will stock it. It might not even say it on the packet in the supermarket, just look for the smallest roundest grain. Cooking the rice a bit longer than directed gives it a similar richness to what butter gives  which is that creaminess. Brown rice is very forgiving as it will retain a bite even when it goes a bit over. The ‘bite’ in risotto is so important. So over cook it a little to add a rich texture. You can lose the parmesan easily, yeast flakes would work as a substitute and therefore becoming a vegan option or it stands alone with the depth of the mushrooms.

Brown rice outweighs the health benefits of any white rice. A dish like this has a certain air of originality about it as well.  Making healthy food taste good is very popular at the moment.  If you are familiar with brown rice then you will know what a chore it can be to cook time wise which is why I pre-cook this for twenty minutes before starting the recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4)

200g round brown Italian rice
200g chestnut mushrooms (use any mix of mushrooms, these are just easy to get)
150g portobello mushrooms
75g dried mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
2 litres of veg stock (cubes or powder)
150ml white wine, sherry or vermouth
30g parmesan
1 green chilli (optional)
100g spinach
Maldon salt and black pepper
1 spring onion or chives
1 lemon

Prep list

Soak the dried mushrooms for twenty minutes (the dish is noticeably better with them and I saw them in all supermarkets when I was back in the UK). Cook the rice in boiling water for 20 mins and drain. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bit sticky.

MixedmushPeel and cut the shallots into small squares. Brush any dirt off the chestnut mushrooms, do not wash though as this gives the mushrooms a sliminess which tends to put people off them. Cut into similar sized squares as the shallots. Cut the portobello mushroom into thick slices. Chop the soaked mushrooms as finely as possible. Press the garlic to a pulp. De-seed and chop the chilli. Grate the parmesan. Make up the stock which needs to be kept hot and add the liquor from the soaked mushrooms to it.

Method

Sautee the portobello slices until browned on each side (if you are using them). Take out of pan and put onto paper to remove excess oil. Fry off the chestnut mushrooms (or mixed mushrooms) and the dried ones in oil. When they start browning add the shallots. When it is all browned and dry add the garlic and green chilli ,combine and cook for a further two mins. Add the precooked rice and stir it in until the excess oil has been absorbed. Add the white wine and let the liquid cook out.

RisottopanWhen the rice starts sticking to the bottom add the stock, a ladleful at a time. Everytime it reduces add more stock. Keep it moving with a spatula which stops it sticking to the bottom.

P1090274After 20mins taste a grain and if its soft but with some bite turn off the heat making sure it is still wet. Add the grated parmesan, ground black pepper, spinach leaves and cooked portobello mushrooms. Put a lid (or cover with foil) on and leave for 5 mins. Take the lid off and gently fold the contents until they are evenly mixed through and the cheese has melted. Be gentle so as not to break or mash up the contents. The risotto needs to be loose so add some more stock if necessary.

To plate up put the risotto put a spoonful in the middle of the plate and smooth it over the surface, to make it nice and flat instead of a pile. Sprinkle to finish with finely cut spring onions.

Black Rice with Spinach and Prawns

Black rice is quite new to me, but it’s a whole food which means I can use it on retreats. As a result, I have been trying out different recipes and it has really grabbed me.  A search on the internet yielded many dessert recipes but few savoury ideas. Black rice is packed full of the good stuff (see store-cupboard) and is visually amazing.  It is not the same as wild rice. It’s much softer and smoother to eat.  The biggest drawback is the cooking time, it’s like brown rice in that it takes 35-40 mins, but it’s worth it for the visual impact and the original velvety taste.

 

Ingredients

400g Prawns (fresh and unshelled)
8 small shallots
4 cloves of garlic
300g black rice
1.5 litres of stock (powder or good cube is fine)
200g spinach
1 lemon
2 spring onions
20g coriander
2 small red chillies

Method

Dice the shallots, quite small, and press the garlic. Fry both off in olive oil in a heavy bottom pan. When they are turning brown add the rice and stir in well. Add the stock and once it’s at a rolling boil, turn it down to a simmer. Keep an eye on it and stir gently occasionally.

Peel and de-vein the prawns – do this job next to running water, as it can get messy.

Zest the lemon, de-seed and finely chop the chilli, and pick the coriander.

Heat a saucepan of water.  Drop in the prawns and cook with lid on for two minutes.  Take a prawn out and cut into one of them to make sure it is cooked (if it’s not give it another 20 seconds).

Put the drained prawns in a mixing bowl and add the chili, spring onion and half the lemon zest with a tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of half the lemon and a pinch of sea salt.  Gently turn the prawns over until it is mixed together.

After 30-35 minutes when the rice is cooked turn off the heat and taste for seasoning. Squeeze in the other half of lemon and add the spinach. Put a lid on the pan (keep the heat off) and leave for a minute. Take off the lid and fold the wilted spinach into the rice.

To serve lay a spoon full of the rice and spinach into a bowl or on a plate. Place a circle of prawns as in the picture. Garnish with the lemon zest that is left and the coriander.