Microwave Mushroom Risotto

Microwave Mushroom Risotto

Microwave Mushroom Risotto

In true “Mother” fashion this recipe is a winner as it involves very little prep and even less effort in cooking. Some light cutting work, a few taps on the microwave and boom super simple, flavour packed risotto is yours to enjoy. Delicious on its own, perfect as a side or add some grilled chicken and crispy pancetta for an amazing main. Add it to your repertoire of meals and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of McCain Sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 cup of Arborio or Risotto rice
  • 60g butter – chopped
  • 1 brown onion – finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese – grated
  • 1/3 cup of parsley – chopped

Method

  1. Combine 20g butter, onion, garlic and thyme in an 8-cup capacity, heatproof, microwave-safe dish. Cover loosely with paper towel and microwave on HIGH (100%) for 2 minutes or until onion is soft.
  2. Add rice and stir to coat. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH (100%) for 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups of stock, cover and microwave on HIGH (100%) for 5 minutes, followed by 7 minutes on MEDIUM (50%).
  3. Stir in McCain Sliced Mushrooms, cover and microwave on MEDIUM (50%) for a further 7 minutes. Add ¼ cup of parmesan, ¼ cup of parsley and remaining butter, stir to combine, cover and cook for a further 7 minutes on HIGH (100%). Stir, cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into bowls, top with remaining parmesan and parsley and serve.

Enjoy!

 

Pea and Asparagus Risotto

Easy Pea-sy Risotto

Pea and Asparagus Risotto

This risotto is fabulous any time of the year, you can use either frozen or fresh peas, when they are in season. It’s a simple and nourishing meal that is purely delicious comfort food and makes you feel great from the inside out.

The one pot, all liquid in, absorption approach means it’s quick and easy to make, which is perfect for after a long day at work! Great as a main meal topped with some roasted cherry tomatoes and crispy prosciutto, or the perfect side to slow cooked meat.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs of butter
  • 1 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 brown onion – finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic – diced, dependent on taste
  • 3 cups of Arborio rice
  • 4 cups of hot chicken stock – you can use vegetable stock if you would like to make this meal vegetarian friendly
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • ½ tsp of dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp of ground dried oregano
  • 2 ½ cups of McCain Peas
  • 2 bunches of asparagus – cut into 5cm lengths
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup of shaved parmesan, to serve
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Heat oil and butter in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring for 3-5 minutes or until softened and translucent.

2. Add rice and herbs and stir to coat. Add stock and 1 cup of boiling water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 12 minutes or until rice is tender.

3. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and add 1 cup of boiling water, McCain Peas, asparagus, lemon and 1 cup of grated parmesan. Stir well and cover for 5 minutes.

4. Remove lid, stir well and serve in bowls topped with shaved parmesan.

Enjoy!

Spanish Paella

Paella is one of those festive looking dishes that is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the taste-buds. With a base hue of bright yellow and splashes of red and green throughout this dish is as synonymous with Spain as tapas or sangria or really bad wine hangovers for that matter.

Originating in the rice-growing region of Valencia, Paella was traditionally a dish to feed farm workers and peasants, but aren’t the best? Consequently, it was bulked up with whatever was at hand, typically rabbit, chicken, snails and beans dependent on the farm location with each region adding their own twist; like seafood which is not in the original incarnation of paella, however is now a popular inclusion in variations found by the coast.

While within reason you can throw just about anything into your Paella there is one crucial rule that you must follow – DO NOT STIR! Paella is meant to be a dry rice dish that relies on the delicate partnership of absorption and evaporation. At the end of cooking, the aim is for the surface to be pitted with holes and the base crusty, crispy and slightly caramelised. This is called a socarrat and is the sign of a good Paella.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs olive oil – this seems like a lot but you need it to coat the rice
  • 1 large brown onion – diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 long red chilli – deseeded and finely chopped
  • 500g short grain rice such as calasparra or arborio which is more common to find
  • 2 good quality chorizo – sliced diagonally
  • 500g chicken thigh fillets – trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tbs of turmeric – you’re welcome to use saffron here if you can afford it would like
  • 2 tbs of smoked paprika
  • 2 tbs of sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of ground oregano
  • 1 tsp of dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1.5L of good quality chicken stock
  • 500g green prawns with tails in tact
  • 1 large red capsicum – cut into strips
  • 1 cup of frozen green baby peas
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley – coarsely chopped
  • 1 lemon – cheeks cut off to serve

Method

  1. Heat half the oil in a Paella pan or a large flat pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and fry until translucent.
  2. Add the rice and chorizo to the pan and allow to fry, constantly stirring, until the rice and chorizo turn golden. Do not freak out that the chorizo will release oil, this oil will act as a delicious flavour base for the Paella.
  3. Add the remaining oil, chicken and all spices, salt and pepper to the pan and fry until fragrant the chicken has browned. Add the stock, cover, turn the pan down to a simmer and allow to cook for ten minutes. This is where you will stop stirring.
  4. If your burner is not big enough to directly heat the entire pan ensure you are rotating the pan every two minutes so that your Paella cooks evenly.
  5. Uncover and add the prawns to the Paella by pushing them into the rice mixture with the tails slightly visible at the top. Cover and allow to cook for another five minutes.
  6. Uncover the Paella and check the consistency of the rice and the amount of liquid in the pan. The rice should be almost cooked and almost all of the liquid absorbed. If the rice is still hard and there is not much liquid you will need to add a little more, use your best judgement but you shouldn’t need anymore than 250ml.
  7. Pour the lemon juice evenly over the top of the Paella, arrange the capsicum strips to fan out from the centre of the pan and sprinkle the peas over the top. Cover and allow to cook for another five minutes.
  8. Remove the lid from the pan, sprinkle with chopped parley and arrange with lemon cheeks. Serve the pan straight to the table for your guests to serve themselves.

Enjoy!

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 large brown onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 shallots – white part very finely sliced and green part roughly chopped
  • 500g arborio rice
  • 500g chicken (I used thighs but you can use breast if you would like)
  • 300g mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 cup of baby green peas (they are sweeter than regular peas)
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 500ml water
  • a dash of milk (I used skim, probably 1/4 to 1/2 a cup)
  • fresh rocket/roquette/green space ships
  • fresh parmesan cheese
  • oil olive
  • raw sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
  • dried rosemary, garlic, onion, basil, oregano, chilli, marjoram, sage, thyme

Method

  1. Finely chop onions and add with crushed garlic and finely sliced white part of the shallots to a hot pan with a dash of oil. Cook until translucent.
  2. Add the mushrooms, diced chicken, a sprinkle of raw sugar and spices. Stir and cook until all chicken sealed.
  3. Add rice and fry until rice appears slightly translucent. This helps the rice to absorb the liquids slowly with becoming soggy and is called “Toasting the Rice”. The color should remain pearly white, not turn brown.
  4. Once this happens turn the pan to a medium heat and begin adding ladles of the hot stock to the rice, stirring until all is absorbed. Repeat until you run out of stock. It is important to add hot stock, not cold, to the rice during the cooking process. Adding cold broth to hot rice results in a hard, uncooked kernel in the center of the grain.
  5. Add peas and repeat the absorption process with the water. It is important to note that the quantity of liquid suggested in the risotto recipes is always approximate. In actual cooking, you should be prepared to use more, or sometimes less, as each risotto is different.
  6. Once the rice is cooked to your liking, traditionally risotto is served al dente, meaning the rice is firm but not hard, add the green parts of the shallots and a dash of milk, stir; this will help make your risotto creamy without the addition of cream, season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve on a bed of rocket/roquette/green space ships and top with fresh parmesan cheese.

Note: NEVER wash the rice before you make risotto. Every bit of the rice starch helps make risotto creamy.

Enjoy!