Monday, 26 September 2011

Risi e Bisi for babies and toddlers (and adults)

I made this for my husband and son this lunchtime.  I'd been meaning to make a risotto for some time but you know, all that standing and stirring isn't really practical.  Risi e bisi is a good compromise, you get a lot of that risotto unctuousness but without all the stirring.  The finished texture is somewhat up to you.  Look at the instructions towards the end for variations.



Risi e Bisi - serves one husband and one little toddler (ok for babies on soft lumps, just keep an eye on salt intake through the day as it contains cheese.)

Ingredients

100g risotto rice (I used arborio)
Half an onion
600ml Chicken or vegetable stock (preferably home made or use a low salt stock cube)
Approx 25g unsalted butter
1 tsp olive oil
Two small handfuls of frozen peas
Approx 40g grated grana padano (or parmesan)

Method

Heat half the butter and oil in a pan.  Finely dice the onion and sweat in the oil and butter slowly until softened and translucent (approx 5-10 mins).  In the meantime, heat up the stock.  Add the rice to the onion and stir around for a couple of minutes.  Add the stock and bring to the boil.  Now rices vary on how long they cook so I suggest simmering for 10 minutes and then testing until it's the texture you prefer.  My rice took 16 minutes to cook in total which I boiled hard for the last 5 minutes to drive off the excess liquid, however, it's up to you.  Risi e Bisi can be served as a soup or thicker like risotto.  If you want the former, just simmer and add more water if it's too thick for you.

When the rice is cooked to your liking, take off the heat and beat in the remaining butter and cheese.  Put a child size portion into a small bowl uncovered to cool and leave the remainder covered for you.  This helps the texture as it gets slightly thicker as it stands.

Serve!

If you're following a vegetarian diet for your child or yourself, use vegetable stock and substitute the grana padano for another cheese.  There are 'parmesan like' cheeses for sale, or alternatively use a very well aged vegetarian cheddar, e.g. 20 months plus.

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