I frequently find myself in the following scenario. Despite my cupboards being well stocked I am missing pieces to my dinner puzzle- a hunk of something here and a little of something there, not quite enough of this or that to make a delicious filling meal. Just bits & pieces. Searching desperately in my memory bank for a recipe that would consist of all my odds and ends, I scratch my head and grab the first thing I see in my cupboard. Arborio risotto rice! Not quite enough for two but with a little luck I may be able to bulk it out.
To the fridge I wonder, I reach for some dubious smelling goat’s cheese, an opened jar of pesto and some freezer scolded peas. I also have a shrivelled carrot and the sad remnants of a celery heart in the bottom of the fridge that defiantly need using.
Tonight I’m a fridge raider plain and simple. I find myself resorting to this habit all too often, especially when I’ve not had the foresight to plan a meal; the results interesting. It’s the spontaneity of the situation that enables me to be at my most creative in the kitchen; it is culinary Abstractism.
I have two options at this point, either make a vegetable stock for the risotto or finely chop the remnants of celery and wrinkly carrot. I decide the latter and use the ingredients as my base. I soften in a little olive oil and a knob of butter, add garlic and then the rice. I stir in the rice until the gluten’s release and the rice starts to leave a creamy residue as you stir it around the pan. If you have left over white wine about a glass, then this is the perfect time to use it.
As I don’t have any wine, I add vegetable stock a little at a time until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Once all the stock has been absorbed and the rice cooked (Al dente) I stir through the remaining pesto, approximately a table spoon and decorate the top with goat’s cheese; this melts instantaneously as it is already incredibly umptious.
And there it is a Fridge Raiders delight. Arborio rice is such a great cupboard stable.So many flavors compliment the comforting elegance of a risotto, variations can include Courgette with lemon, Butternut squash & Pancetta or Red wine, chorizo & peas ; the combinations endless. Arborio rice is like your favourite pair of shoes or Jeans- a perfect base in-which to create a fantastic outfit or should I say meal.