Cheesy Leek Risotto
I’m sorry! I’m sorry that I’m posting yet ANOTHER Risotto recipe. But I just can’t help it. I’m sure you are absolutely sick of me and my Risotto recipes and me gushing over how amazing Risotto is, but unfortunately, I won’t be stopping that behaviour any time soon.
Now, I don’t expect you to make this on a week night during ‘suicide hour’, but I urge you to make Risotto sometime, if you haven’t done it before. There is something so incredibly comforting and soothing about stirring chicken stock into rice and watching it transform fat, hard grains of Riso Arborio into creamy and oozy Risotto. It’s intensely satisfying and really exciting to witness something go from quite ordinary and bland into something flavorful, rich and delicious. And Risotto, to me, is the ultimate blank canvas in cooking. It can be taken in any direction and if it doesn’t taste good, you have only yourself to blame. You can literally add anything (I’ve even seen recipes for Chocolate Risotto) or omit anything and make it something truly unique. Can you tell I’m excited?
Last night, yet again, I really had a craving for Risotto but I didn’t want something too fussy (like my Chilli Risotto with Crispy Calamari , albeit delicious) but it had to be seriously yummy. My problem was that I did not do menu planning this week so I wasn’t prepared for this deliciousness I was craving. All I had in the fridge was 2 packs of leeks and some mature cheddar. Thank goodness these things go so incredibly well together, because a star was born. Leek Risotto, in itself, is always a winner, but add intensely sharp cheddar to the mix and you have something really special. I added a teaspoon of Sambal Ulek (a chilli paste made with chillies, salt and vinegar) to my Risotto for some kick but you can substitute any hot sauce or fresh chillies or completely leave them out if you don’t like spicy food.
8 large leeks, trimmed, rinsed and sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1kg Arborio rice
300ml dry white wine
2l chicken stock (you might not need all of it)
2 bay leaves
1tsp chilli paste/fresh chillies (optional)
1tsp dijon mustard
2-3 cups grated mature cheddar
salt & pepper to taste
- In a large pot/pan, fry the leeks in the butter until soft. Add the garlic and fry for another minute or two.
- Add the rice and stir, coating the rice with the oil. Add the wine and allow to reduce. Add the bay leaves, paprika, chilli paste and dijon mustard.
- Now, add the stock ladle by ladle. Stirring in between and allowing the rice to absorb the stock. The rice shouldn’t be completely dry before you add more, it should always be moist. Take care not to stir too much as you don’t want it to go stodgy.
- When the rice is cooked to your liking, after approximately 30-45 minutes, add the cheese and stir through. The rice should be pleasant to eat but not mushy.
- Season to taste and serve.