Friday, January 29, 2010

Cooking challenge

So last week I didn't do my cooking challenge, for various reasons. Am making up for it this week by making two new recipes (although I must admit, one of them hardly counts as a recipe, or really for that matter, cooking). Both are from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat.

First up, Pea Risotto. I've never made risotto before. All that stirring really put me off, I suppose. But I liked the sound of this and since part of this challenge is to try new things, I thought I'd give it a whirl.
It was really very good! I think I could have cooked it a tad longer, but I was running out of time. And the constant stirring really wasn't that bad (listening to the Australian Open tennis in the background probably helped!). I would definitely make this again, especially as it basically uses ingredients that you would most likely already have in your pantry and fridge/freezer.

Next, a dessert. I do love a dessert! Roasted Sugar-sprinkled Peaches. Here's the before (I used white sugar on one and brown sugar on the other):

And the after:
Yum!! I think brown sugar works better, although they both tasted very similar. These are so easy, all you do is cut the peaches in half, remove the stone, put some dots of butter and a teaspoon or so of sugar in the hole and on the flesh of the peach, bake for 20 mins in the oven, and serve with icecream. SO EASY! I will definitely be making these again! Probably this weekend!

19 comments:

bellsknits said...

Making risotto is one of my favourite things (I learned from Nigella!). It's become a habit now to have the spoon in one hand (I hvae a special risotto wooden spoon - it has a hole in the middle) and a glass of wine in the other! It's quite relaxing really. And pea risotto is yum.

I'd always prefer the brown sugar on the peaches - it caramelises nicely. Fabulous!

DrK said...

oh god i love a good risotto. i have this excellent recipe that only requires stirring after the addition of each liquid bit. i love when it sticks to the bottom a bit too! these both look fantastic. some fool on twitter was saying that no one actually cooks from nigella books. hello!

Susanne said...

Oooh, those peaches look so yummy, I'm going to have to try that one.

I made a risotto the other night too with chicken, came out very nicely, but the stirring can get a bit much. I think I have a no stir recipe somewhere, think I'll have to find it out again.

LynS said...

I also love risotto - such wonderful comfort food. And I've never minded the stirring - it adds to the sense of routine and comfort.

amy said...

Risotto is a staple here. That is the only way my boys eat rice now, and rice is good for them. Plus I love risotto--such a comfort food, and good in all seasons. When I wasn't cooking for kids I'd add various vegetables (I particularly like it with either mushrooms or zucchini), but now I just do straight up risotto with shallots. (The 5yo must have shallots in the risotto, can you imagine? I never even knew what shallots were until I was in my 20s!!) As for the stirring, it's a myth, really. It'll do JUST FINE if you let it be for a bit in between. Although, if it comes to the point where you're trying to make risotto and the baby wants to nurse, I recommend taking the pan off the heat while you do, otherwise the bottom really sticks way too much!

Olivia said...

I have read a book while stirring risotto (I also read sometimes while felting with the plunger). But now I do risotto by absorption - after reducing the wine, I dump in ALL the stock, turn it down low and put the lid on. I do come back to check it occasionally. Tastes the same to me. I know there are oven recipes for risotto too.

missfee said...

oooo I love risotto and peaches too - I grill them with lots of butter and sugar mmmmmm
There are some baked risotto recipes out there somewhere...

Jan said...

Love risotto too and make it oven sometimes. Add liquid, cover and put in moderate oven. Forget for a while and it's done.

Those peaches brought back memories. We used to cook them over the campfire in a frying pan. Bit of butter, bit of brown sugar, sliced peaches and camp flavouring. Camp flavouring? We camped often while building a bridge onto our country land and a house while sons were younger. A bit of smoke, perhaps tiny bit of ash, you name it, all contributed to "camp flavouring." They still mention it nostalgically in the winter when making porridge for breakfast.

2paw said...

Fantastic risotto,you'll be whipping one up all the time now. I usually save an exciting part of a book to read while I do it. The peaches look so yummy. I always cheat and just grill them!! You are doing very well with your cook from a book ( as I have christened it)

Sarah said...

Oh yum - risotto is one of my favourite dishes and I am excited to try those peaches.

mooncalf said...

Sometimes I make 'baked' risotto. Apparently it is a real thing but lefts you shove everything in a bowl into the oven and just come back when it is ready :) Don't tell the real cooks.

I am pining for your dessert.

MadMad said...

I just had a great risotto the other day (but at a restaurant, lazy me) than included gorgonzola, walnuts and pears. O, M and some G. Amazing. Good for you for making it on your own. Love your cookbook idea, and have been inspired to try it, too... of course.... I've only made new cookies so far. But they were good. Does that count?

Leonie said...

Love risotto, I make a leek and pumpkin one that gets cooked in the oven with the timer on because it is wayyyyyy to easy to get distracted and end up with stuck rice!! Wonderful with oven baked tomatoes which become so rich in flavour beside the risotto, yummo!

Try the peach recipe with nectarines too they also turn out all sweet and yummy.

Oh and there's a surprise for you over at my blog :-)

del said...

How I love an easy recipe and that peach one looks so yummy!

Kuka said...

yum! aren't the peaches lovely at the moment? yours look delicious!

Lynne said...

That peach recipe is so simple. Must try it!

Right now, I'm sitting at the dining table, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with the fruit bowl less than a metre from my laptop and the smell of ripening white peaches and white nectarines making me very hungry! WM has the BBQ firing up for a big brunch! I love holidays!! LOL

Ann said...

Mmm...looks so yummy. I love risotto too, in fact the whole family does & I cook it quite often. My favorite is risotto with spinach & mushroom with plenty of cheese.

Jejune said...

Oh yum on both counts! We're big risotto fans at our house, especially :D Must give those peaches a try while they're in season.

I've been cooking my way through "Nigella Express" which Hubby gave me for Christmas, my first experiences with Nigella's recipes. Very delish!

Nellie said...

Yum! I love risotto - its such great comfort food, I even find the stirring comforting. The peaches look delish.