My experience of cooking risotto has not been good. The problem is that I have the attention span of a child and, regardless of how Nigella says she finds it soothing to stand stirring for 25 minutes, I get bored and wander off. And it hurts my back, and knees and neck, because even though I am barely middle-aged, I have the body of a ninety-year-old woman.
Yet, I love risotto, so it’s a monstrous, life-altering situation. Then I came across a recipe (BBC Food) that broke all the rules and allowed you to bake the risotto in the oven for 20 minutes, after a bit of initial stirring.
I am aware that there is a lot of haddock-snobbery out there, we should all be buying undyed and from a fishmongers. I buy the fake orangey smoked haddock from Lidl, it tastes the same to me but then I am probably quite a low rent sort of person.
Serves 4 (good for lunch/leftovers the next day) Prep: 20 mins Cooking time: 20-25 mins
1 large leek, sliced
1 tbsp of butter
300g of Arborio rice
375g of smoked haddock, skinned and chopped into large chunks.
100g of raw or cooked prawns, defrosted. I used Tesco Finest Jumbo King Prawns.
600ml of stock (I used chicken)
250ml of milk
2 tbsp of crème fraiche
A couple of handfuls of spinach, washed
Parmesan (or other hard cheese) and black pepper to serve.
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. In an ovenproof pan, fry the leeks in the butter until soft. Do not brown.
- Add the rice and stir until translucent.
- Add the milk and the stock and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Place the chunks of smoked haddock on the top, stir lightly, and cover with a lid (you could use foil if you don’t have a lid).
- Oven bake for 15 minutes until the rice and fish are cooked.
- Remove from the oven and fold in the prawns, then return to the oven for five more minutes.
- Make sure the prawns are cooked through (they should be completely pink if you used raw) and fold in the spinach leaves and crème fraiche.
- Return to the oven for a few more minutes until the spinach has wilted. Serve with Parmesan and black pepper.