Tag Archives: healthy risotto

Pea and mint risotto, gourmet cats, cremated glasses, and orange dust

Our cat, ‘Minou’, is feral. When he first came to stay, he, conveniently for us, caught mice to eat. Luc quickly decided he was easy on the eye, and useful (possibly the same appraisal as when he met me), so started to buy him cat food to encourage him to stay. (I feel I should point out here that he didn’t entice me to stay with cat food.) Minou quickly went off the original cat food, so we upgraded to premium tinned cat food, which appeased him for a little while. When he went off that, Luc thought that home-cooked things ‘in a sauce’ would probably please him. Which they did, and still do. Which means that I spent yesterday evening, after having made and served human dinner, cooking Venison Bourguignon for Minou. I think the next logical step will be starred Michelin restaurant fare, because the only way he’s going to even consider a mouse now is served ‘en croûte au foie gras’…

Apparently some people are NST (not safe in taxis); I’m NSG (not safe with glasses). I have always had issues with glasses, and we frequently part company. Unfortunately, searching for glasses is boring, time-wasting, and difficult because you can’t see properly because you’re, err, looking for your glasses. Last Friday I lost them properly. Whole house upheaval, everyone involved properly. Luc inadvertently found them on Sunday evening in the embers of the fireplace. WTAF? It would seem I’d had a rare tidy freak moment, and thrown everything of a combustible nature within reach into the fire, glasses included.

Last week everything in our area had a pinky red tinge from dust blown up from the Sahara; this week we’ve got fluorescent yellowy green from pine pollen dust. In our case everything is orange, a combination of the two, as I still hadn’t got around to removing the Sahara when the pines put in an appearance.

Ingredients (serves 4)

40g coconut oil (you could use olive oil)

400g Basmati rice

4 shallots, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

200ml dry white wine

800ml vegetable stock

300g garden peas

100g garden peas, pureed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Handful mint leaves, finely chopped

4 tablespoons grated parmesan

Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan, then add the shallots and garlic and fry for about 8 minutes until soft is soft. Add the rice and continue to heat until translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring.

Add a ladle of hot stock and turn down the heat. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring constantly and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed completely before adding the next. Add the peas when there are a couple of ladlefuls left. Stir until the rice is soft but still has a slight bite, then season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and add the freshly chopped mint and the Parmesan.

Coconut crab risotto and bathroom devotion

crabcoconutrisotto

Admittedly an unfortunate juxtaposition for my risotto, but I spent today mixing concrete. Never let it be said that I don’t lead a glamorous life. For the uninitiated amongst you, cement mixing is not dissimilar to mixing a very large cake, which I suppose doesn’t say much for my cakes. It’s very therapeutic though, concrete; I now better understand Winston Churchill’s passion for building walls. There was a bit of a low point this morning when I tripped and fell flat on my face, leaving 25kg of sloppy concrete mix to ooze in my wake, but other than that I think I did quite well. Although I’m obviously no expert, one top tip would be to keep the dogs well out of the way, because they will be tempted to come and ‘help’:

pawprint

We’re in the process of building another bathroom – my husband is a big fan; adding on bathrooms is a hobby of his. If publications such as ‘Bathroom Weekly’ or ‘Faucets and Drains Today’ existed, he would certainly subscribe. In our previous house, last count, we had ten bathrooms. This is why we had to sell really – we had exhausted its bathroom potential. We’ve been in our present house for seven years and are now on our fourth. Hopefully we won’t break through the bathroom ceiling any time soon though because I like it here…

This is a recipe for a quick, easy but nonetheless delicious risotto. It never fails to please. And if ever you need advice on mixing cement, I’m your girl.

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

3 shallots, finely chopped

1 red pepper, sliced and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated

280g rice (I used whole basmati)

120ml white wine

700ml chicken or vegetable stock

Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

1 teaspoon chilli powder

150g sweetcorn

200ml coconut milk

300g tinned crabmeat

Handful of fresh basil, shredded

Heat the oil in large pan over a low heat, add the shallots and cook for five minutes until softened. Add the pepper, garlic and ginger and cook a little more. Add the rice and stir until it’s well coated with oil. Pour in the wine, stirring until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the stock little by little and stir until almost completely absorbed. Repeat this process, adding the stock a ladle at a time, stirring constantly until all the stock has been used up (about 20 minutes). Add the seasoning and you can add more water if the rice isn’t cooked (this will be the case if you’re using whole basmati, as I did). Add the sweetcorn and coconut milk, stirring until the coconut milk absorbs. Add the crabmeat, cover and leave to heat through for about five minutes. Add the shredded basil to serve.