Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

RISOTTO. RISOTTO. RISOTTO.

Garden Pea Risotto with Smoked Salmon / Jackie Cameron (p)

Garden Pea Risotto with Smoked Salmon / Jackie Cameron (p)

Risotto
"Risotto/Arborio rice cooked with broth and sprinkled with cheese'

Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

Risotto (rice cooked with broth and sprinkled with cheese) has become one of my favourite home-cooked meals. It's always a winner - just follow the simple rules.

I get a thrill watching a few grains of rice plump up and take another complete form. The process, from featureless to incredible, is exciting to witness as the metamorphosis takes place in a pot. My enthusiasm encourages me to persuade you to go out and buy a packet of rice; then watch it happen for yourself.

The most important rules:

  • Always ensure your butter-and-oil amount coats every rice grain
  • Your stock must be boiling and have an enticing flavour
  • Continuously stir in stock, ladle-by-ladle
  • Never finish off with cream

I recently represented Hartford House at the KwaZulu-Natal Bubbly Celebrations at Piggly Wiggly Farm Stall in Tweedie where some 20 bubbly makers showcased their products and four restaurants cooked up a few taste combinations.

Our menu comprised a delicious creamy, garden-fresh pea risotto with a portion of smoked salmon, a light drizzle of a lemon-infused olive oil and freshly-ground black pepper.

For home-cooked warmth that has elegant grandeur try rich, roasted-butternut-puree-flavoured risotto, hand-crumbled gorgonzola and hot-roasted pine kernels.

Little beats a winter treat of basic risotto finished off with left-over, shredded oxtail, lamb shank or even curry. This makes a hearty meal. Add red wine and a blazing fire!

For something unusual try a corn-and-coconut-milk combination topped with Parma ham or crispy bacon. Add a few pieces of sushi ginger to enhance the freshness.

Chunky mushroom risotto can be served to complement main courses, such as crispy sage-seared chicken breast; oven-roasted fillet; or have it just on its own for a vegetarian delight.

I know my pots will be filled with risotto this winter. Made once there is no turning back... enjoy the cold months.

Take these recipes and try them.

rice spoon

GARDEN PEA RISOTTO WITH SMOKED SALMON
BUTTERNUT RISOTTO WITH CRUMBED GORGONZOLA
OXTAIL RISOTTO
CORN AND COCONUT RISOTTO
BROWN MUSHROOM RISOTTO

Send comments and food-related questions to jackie@hartford.co.za. I always look forward to hearing from you. For the latest on local foodie news add me as a friend on FACEBOOK. Find me on Twitter - jackie_cameron.

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713

Assisted by Elaine Boshoff and Zinthle Majola for recipe development.