This is by far one of my favourite dishes, based on a recipe in the Masterchef 2010 cook book, and I always go back for seconds! The champion ingredient for me is surprisingly the celery, both for its flavour and slight crunchy texture, whilst the smoked haddock provides the subtlest of flavour. You would think the dish was more indulgent than it actually is, with its creamy like texture, however its relatively healthy barring the butter, parmesan and good splash of white wine! This risotto is a great dish for a mid-week supper, starters at a dinner party or for tomorrow night’s leftovers (if there is any left of course!).
The risotto base ingredients of butter, onion, celery, white wine & chicken stock, I now use as my base anytime I make a risotto. I would then simply throw in whatever vegetables, meat or fish I can find in the fridge.
Ingredients (Serves 4):
- 50g unsalted Butter
- 1 Onion, diced
- 2 sticks of Celery, finely chopped
- 500g Arborio Rice
- 150mls White Wine
- 1 litre Chicken Stock
- Juice & zest of 1 Lemon
- 50g grated Parmesan
- 200g Smoked Haddock (skin removed, roughly chopped)
- Handful of Spinach
Add the celery & onions to the melted butter on a medium heat for a few minutes until softened. Add your rice and mix together, then add the wine after 30 seconds or so. When the wine has absorbed, slowly add your stock, approximately a ladle at a time as you continuously stir the rice until cooked. The rice will begin to turn a creamy, shiny consistency as it begins to cook. This should take around 20-30 minutes, depending on pan size and heat.
When the rice is almost cooked i.e. still has a slight hardness to it, add some salt & pepper, the lemon juice and zest, and the smoked haddock. The haddock only takes a few minutes to cook. Finnish of by adding the parmesan and spinach, giving it a good stir for a few more minutes. Taste to see if any more seasoning is required and then serve.
You can add a poached egg on top on each risotto portion once plated, this gives it some extra richness and colour, but for me it’s good enough just on its own.
Top tip: Avoid using frozen spinach, I tried this once and the risotto turned green! Fortunately though I was only cooking for myself that night!