Risotto (Daring Cooks Challenge March 10)

The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.

I’ve made many risottos in the past but this challenge gave me the opportunity to make chicken stock for the first time. This process reminded me very much of vegetable dying fabrics – a process that makes me feel very much like a witch stirring a cauldron for hours…unlike the nauseous fumes from bark, husks& beetles, the chicken gave off lovely aromas. I made three different types of savory risotto simultaneously, I needed an extra arm to do all that stirring! Inspired by the Italian flag, I made green, white and red risottos.

Green: Pea, cabbage & pesto

White: Garlic, onion, preserved lemon

Red: Spicy red wine & beetroot risotto

These were all really delicious but my favorite has to be the preserved lemon risotto, so unusual but very tasty!

I also attempted sweet risotto:

Rose & pistachio, Black current & chocolate, Ube & marzipan.

It was very much like making rice pudding but instead of stock or milk I used water. This produced a lighter stodge-free pudding with delicate flavors.

Preparation time:
Stock: 20 minutes prep time, 3 hours cooking.
Pumpkin Risotto: 10 minutes prep time, 20-30 minutes cooking. ,
Lemon Risotto: 10 minutes prep time, 20-30 minutes cooking.

Chicken Stock

1 large chicken 2-3 pounds about 1 kg
chicken bones 2-3 pounds 1 kg
2 onions, roughly diced
1 medium leek – white part only, roughly diced
2 sticks celery, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. white peppercorns ( Any type of whole peppercorn will do)
2 bay leaves (fresh or dried, it doesn’t matter.)
peel of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. allspice


Wash the chicken and bones and places in a 5 Litre pot, cover completely with water and bring to a boil

Skim away any scum as it comes to the surface

Add the vegetables and bring back to a boil

Add the rest remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered for 1.5 hours

Carefully lift out the chicken, set aside. The chicken meat can be removed from the chicken, shredded off and used for other things like soup!

Simmer the stock gently for another hour. At , at the end you should have around 2 Liters

Carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve, the less the bones and vegetables are disturbed in this process the clearer the stock will be. 
The stock is now ready for use. Freeze what you don’t need for later use.

Risotto Base

olive oil 2 fluid oz 60 ml
1 small onion, quatered
rice 14 oz 400g
Any type of risotto rice will do. I use Arborio but the recipe itself says Vialone Nano. Another to look for is Carnaroli.
white wine 2 fl oz 60 ml
chicken or vegetable stock , simmering 2 pints 1 L


Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard. (We diced ours and left it in as we like onion).

Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly.

Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated.

Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don’t actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off.

Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed.

Repeat Step 5 making sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml. of stock for the final step. .

Repeat, save 100ml for the final stage.

Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.

Pumpkin Risotto (OPTIONAL recipe)

pumpkin, grated 7oz 200g Don’t use butternut, the taste will be too watery
thyme, chopped 1 Tbsp
unsalted butter 3.5 oz 100g chilled and cut into small cubes
parmesan cheese, grated 2 oz 60g


Melt half the butter in a saucepan. Add pumpkin and cook until tender. Set aside (optional – blend for a smoother texture)

Make the base up until the end of step 8.

Stir through the pumpkin mixture and thyme

Add the final 100ml of stock and hte remaining butter and stir until both are completely absorbed. Stir through the parmesan, stick the lid on and let it sit for a few minutes.

Preserved Lemon Risotto (OPTIONAL recipe)

Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch

1 preserved lemon, peel only, finely diced. (The lemons from last months challenge should be perfect by now, otherwise you can buy them. Regular lemon zest will work as well.)
celery leaves, from the heart, finely chopped 1 Tbsp
unsalted butter 3.5 oz 100g chilled and cut into small cubes
parmesan cheese, grated 2 oz 60g


Make the base until the end of step 8.

Stir through the preserved lemon

Add the final 100ml of stock and butter and stir until both are completely absorbed. Stir through the parmesan, stick the lid on and let it sit for a few minutes.

This one has a very strong taste, it is best served as a base with something else. We stirred through goats cheese. It was delicious.



11 responses to “Risotto (Daring Cooks Challenge March 10)

  1. wow wow wow!

    I liked the looks of your savory risotto dishes, so I came to check out the sweet, and I’m definitely impressed! ;D All of it look so great!!

    And that tiramisu below – oh my!!!! You have a very awesome creative mind in the kitchen!! 🙂

  2. You did six versions of the challenge WELL DONE. I have to admit that the spicy red wine and beetroot caught my eye I just love beetroot. Your dessert risottos are amazing that ube (yam) and marzipan has just a gorgeous colour and the rose and pistachio is especially tasty. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    I love the first picture it looks like a flower.

  3. Well done, you did a fantastic job! The spicy red wine & beetroot risotto was really delicious, every part of the Italian flag tasted good actually. I loved the sweet ristottos as well. As always, I am lucky to get to try these creations!

  4. As I already said in the forum, your Italian flag risotto looks really cute! Also, the combination of black currants and chocolate – OMG, this sounds soooo yummy!

  5. The Italian flag of risotto is precious! I love it =D. The sweet versions are sensational! The most creative flavours I’ve seen =D.

  6. Wow. you really knocked this challenge out of the ballpark! All of your risottos loook beautiful and creamy, but I especially love the colors and flavors of your Italian flag trifecta of risottos. Beautifully done!

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