It was cold and overcast and I wanted risotto the way that a lush wants gin, not that I’d know anything about that. I had the ingredients, but there was one small problem. I am really very lazy. And my kitchen doesn’t have a working stove. Alright, genius – two small problems then!
It occurred to me that I had a perfectly good slow-cooker (that’s a crock-pot if you’re American, I believe) and a small portable gas ring that I bought years ago for Korean BBQ, so I figured I’d give it a go.
It all started normally enough – I fried the chorizo and onion, removing them to one side when they were done and then I fried the arborio rice in the scented oil. While I was waiting for this to be done, I poured my stock into a jug and microwaved it until piping hot. When the rice was at that perfect pearly/translucent stage, I threw the rice, chorizo/onion mix and stock into the slow cooker, chopped and added a couple of leeks that I had lying about, gave it a thorough stir and left it to do its thing while I went off and did mine.
Twenty minutes later I gave it another good stir, added a little more stock, the frozen prawns straight out of the freezer and the English spinach that had been lurking in my crisper, and left it for another 10 minutes.
At this point, it was nearly done but I felt it needed a little more stock, so I gave it another splash, stirred thoroughly, added a tad more salt and turned off the pot and let it sit another 10 minutes to cook in its own heat. The prawns had cooked, the spinach was nicely wilted but still perky and green, and the rice was soft but with some body. I guess you’d call this al dente, but I prefer toothsome. I’m a bit odd about things like that, I guess.
I like my risotto fairly sloppy but The Husband prefers his quite stiff, with the grains somewhat fluffy and fairly distinct. The above cooking times are a guide and will give you a fairly sturdy risotto. Personally, I would have preferred to add more stock, but marriage sometimes requires compromises and this wasn’t a hill I wanted to die on.
Also, I was starving and couldn’t wait any longer, so that was what it got. Such is life!
Risotto purists and food snobs will probably be clutching at their pearls by this stage, but with a little parmesan sprinkled on top and some wine, this was a damned tasty lunch and I got to play Minecraft rather than standing at the stove and stirring all the while.