Monday, September 8, 2008

Risotto with Prosciutto and Goat's Cheese

This is a deliciously rich risotto - definately one for a day when you feel like spoiling yourself. Go easy on the goat's cheese if you are not a big fan, or if you are like me, go for the strongest one you can find. Also, try to chop the celery as fine as you can, otherwise, they may not soften enough and you might end up with crunchy bits in your risotto! The base risotto can be used to make any type of risotto you like - other favourites of mine are mushroom, asparagus, or just plain cheesy risotto with some lemon zest and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Yum!

Approx 1.1 litres chicken stock (substitute veg if using for a vegetarian risotto)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 head celery, finely chopped
400g arborio rice
2 wine glasses of white wine
70g butter
115g freshly grated parmasan cheese

2 handfuls fresh lemon thyme, leaves picked
115g freshly grated pecorino
155g goat's cheese
8 slices prosciutto

Heat the stock. In a separate pan, heat the olive oil. Add shallots, garlic and celery and cook gently for 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add rice, and turn up the heat. Stir constantly for 1 minute, until the rice looks slightly translucent. Add the wine and continue stirring until the wine has cooked into the rice.

Add the lemon thyme, and then the stock one ladleful at a time, stirring until it is fully absorbed before adding the next ladleful. Have the heat at a simmer, so the outside of the rice doesn't cook too quickly. Continue adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite to it.

Remove from the heat, and gently stir in the butter, parmasan and pecorino. Season to taste. Place a lid on the pan and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes. Divide into bowls, lay over the prosciutto slices, and top with a generous serve of crumbled goat's cheese. Serves 6.

Recipe from The Return of the Naked Chef

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