While in our local supermarket the other day buying food for my demo at the Redhill Boat Show I came across Whitworths mushroom barley risotto mix. I bought a pack as I thought it should be ideal for my thermal cooker.
Today for lunch I decided to try it out in my Mr D’s® Thermal Cooker. On the packet it says to mix the contents with 4 parts water which turned out to be 2 litres. I now think that 1 litre would be better. Also you will need a stock cube a knob of butter and plenty of Grated Parmesan Cheese.
The way I made it was to put the water (I would suggest 1 litre) along with a stock cube in my inner pot and bring to the boil. I then added the contents of the risotto mix and brought back to the boil. Once boiing I turned off the heat and placed the inner pot into the insulated outer container of my Mr Ds Thermal Cooker and shut the lid.
You need to leave the risotto to cook without power for a minimum of 1 hour. After this time I opened the outer container and removed the inner pot. I then added a good sized knob of butter and plenty of Parmesan cheese before serving.
Facts about asparagus:
Asparagus is a member of the Lily family and their spears grow from a crown that is planted about a foot deep in sandy soils. Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10″ in a 24-hour period and will send spears up for about 6-7 weeks during the spring and early summer. The outdoor temperature determines how much time will be between each picking…early in the season, there may be 4-5 days between pickings and as the days and nights get warmer, a particular field may have to be picked every 24 hours. After harvesting is done the spears grow into ferns, which produce red berries and the food and nutrients necessary for a healthy and productive crop the next season.
An asparagus planting is usually not harvested for the first 3 years after the crowns are planted allowing the crown to develop a strong fibrous root system.
A well cared for asparagus planting will generally produce for about 15 years without being replanted.
Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food which in high in Folic Acid and is a good source of potassium, fibre, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin.
Asparagus has No Fat, contains No Cholesterol and is low in Sodium. (Information from the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board)
- 2 x 300 g asparagus, tips cut off and the stems roughly chopped
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 2 leeks, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 tbsp parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1¼ cup arborio rice
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 1 ltr vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp lemon zest
- ½ cup freshly grated ”Not Just a Pasta Cheese” cheese (this is a vegetarian cheese similar to Parmesan which is not vegetarian)
- In the inner pot, melt the butter.
- Add the leeks and half the parsley and mint. Cook until soft.
- Add the rice and stir to coat each grain.
- Add the asparagus stems (keeping the tips for later) and stir.
- Stir in the wine and the stock. Bring to the boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes stirring all the time.
- Put on the lid, turn off the heat and transfer the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
- Shut the lid and leave to thermal cook without power for 2 hours.
- When ready stir in the cheese, lemon juice, zest, salt and the asparagus tips.
- Serve on heated plates garnished with the remaining parsley, mint and slivers of cheese.
This is a great risotto for those who like Thai flavours. You could substitute or add prawns and the addition of peas would be nice.
- 2 tbsp of vegetable oil.
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp of Thai green paste
- 3 tbsp of fish sauce
- 225g of risotto rice
- 600ml of chicken stock
- ½tsp of fresh ground pepper
- Put the oil and butter in the inner pot.
- Heat over a medium heat until the butter melts.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onion is soft. Don’t let it colour.
- Add the chicken and Thai paste.
- Cook stirring for 1 minute until the chicken is sealed.
- Add the rice and stir well.
- Add the stock, fish sauce and pepper. Stir and bring to the boil.
- Once boiling turn down to a simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Give the mixture a stir before putting on the lid and transferring the inner pot to the insulated outer container.
- Shut the lid and leave to thermal cook without power for a minimum of 1 hour.