Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 2010 Daring Cooks' Risotto


The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.

This month's challenge was a delicious one risotto - creamy and luscious and oh so hearty. Thank you Eleanor and Jess for a wonderful challenge.

For my 1st batch I just wanted to try out my new imported risotto rice and use a simple chicken wing stock just to see what results I could get.

Chicken Flavoured Risotto
My expensive 2 kg bag of risotto rice

Close up view of risotto rice grains

Home made chicken wing stock – heavy with gelatinous goodness. Roast 1 kg of chicken wings and then simmer in 2 litres of water for 1 hour (with veggies and herbs/spices) and refrigerate overnight. Remember the golden rule The better the stock the better the risotto.

Initial coating the grains of rice with oil – notice the transparent coating on the rice and the interior white capsule of rice. Risotto rice has a outside coating of starch that forms the creamy texture of the finished risotto, and an inside nodule of firmer rice that stays 'firm' even when fully cooked.

Process of cooking the rice photos taken every 6 minutes.

Final risotto rice – nice and creamy and I didn't have to add cheese or cream, since the stock and rice were the of the highest quality.

Comparison of the uncooked and cooked grains of rice.

Second Batch
I wanted to make a vegan umami risotto – I used powered shiitake mushrooms, powered seaweed, sesame seeds with sweet corn. My stock was seaweed with garden veggies.

Vegan Umami Risotto (Sweetcorn, shiitake mushroom and seaweed)
Powdered shiitake mushrooms and seaweed.

Finished Risotto

This risotto was extremely tasty in fact it had such a 'meaty' taste I thought that I had used beef stock instead of the seaweed veggie stock I had prepared but I checked and I had used the correct stock. This was so colourful and superb as a lunch snack.

What to with left over risotto?
Arancini di Riso (Cheese-Filled Risotto Croquettes)
I had some left-over risotto so I made arancini di riso – add an egg yolk and some grated hard cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano is best) to the cold risotto mixture form into balls (use about 1 ½ tablespoon of mixture), you can place a small cube of soft cheese in the centre if you wish, then coat the rice ball in fresh sour dough breadcrumbs then deep-fry until golden if your arancini are very large you can place the freshly deep-fried croquettes into a 180C (350F) oven for ten mins.

The name Arancini derives from the food's shape and color, which is reminiscent of an orange (the Italian word for orange is arancia, and in Sicilian, arancici means "little oranges"). Arancini is masculine plural, the singular is arancino (or in Sicilian arancinu). In some parts of Sicily, the feminine plural, arancine, is common.

Arancini are usually filled with ragù (meat sauce), tomato sauce, mozzarella, and/or peas. Though I really like roasted eggplant a lot and mushrooms are wonderful.

Here is a link to a video showing you how to make them it is best to form the balls and place them in the fridge for an hour before deep-frying them.

Here is link to a great classic recipe for arancini (the recipe is on the second page you have to click on the continue button on the bottom of the page.

Risotto al salto
Risotto pancakes (risotto al salto) are best made with classic risotto Milanese, flavoured only with onions, butter, cheese and saffron. Simply mix leftover risotto with egg as a binder (about one beaten egg per cup of cold risotto), form thin patties and sauté over relatively high heat until crusty on each side. It’s a great luncheon dish with salad or vegetable.

Risotto stuffing
Plain, mushroom or other risotto makes a great stuffing for poultry and many vegetables. Simply stuff the bird and bake. For peppers, artichokes, zucchini and eggplant, steam or boil until they’re barely tender, then scoop out the centers, stuff and bake until soft and the rice is crusty. Cabbage and green leaves are other possibilities, needing only brief blanching before stuffing. Tomatoes don’t need to be pre-cooked, just emptied of seeds and juice.

Risotto Focaccia
You can make bread with left over risotto - use your favourite focaccia recipe but replace 1/2 of the flour with pureed risotto rice, and follow your recipe.

Unbaked focaccia
Baked risotto focaccia
Close up of risotto focaccia
Underside of the baked risotto focaccia
The cut focaccia bread - notice the large holes of the crumb - typical of rice bread

Risotto Recipe

Preparation time:
Stock: 20 minutes prep time, 3 hours cooking.
Pumpkin Risotto: 10 minutes prep time, 20-30 minutes cooking. ,
Lemon Risotto: 10 minutes prep time, 20-30 minutes cooking.

Equipment required
• 5 Litre stock pot, or other large pan
• knife
• chopping board
• tablespoon
• teaspoon
• sieve
• ladle
• hand blender (optional)
• wooden spoon or other stirring implement
• grater
• saucepans
• measuring cups
• scales

Chicken Stock

1 large chicken 2-3 pounds about 1 kg
chicken bones 2-3 pounds 1 kg
2 onions, roughly diced
1 medium leek - white part only, roughly diced
2 sticks celery, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. white peppercorns ( Any type of whole peppercorn will do)
2 bay leaves (fresh or dried, it doesn't matter.)
peel of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. allspice


1. Wash the chicken and bones and places in a 5 Litre pot, cover completely with water and bring to a boil
2. Skim away any scum as it comes to the surface
3. Add the vegetables and bring back to a boil
4. Add the rest remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered for 1.5 hours
5. Carefully lift out the chicken, set aside. The chicken meat can be removed from the chicken, shredded off and used for other things like soup!
6. Simmer the stock gently for another hour. At , at the end you should have around 2 Liters
7. Carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve, the less the bones and vegetables are disturbed in this process the clearer the stock will be. 
The stock is now ready for use. Freeze what you don't need for later use.

Risotto Base

olive oil 2 fluid oz 60 ml
1 small onion, quatered
rice 14 oz 400g
Any type of risotto rice will do. I use Arborio but the recipe itself says Vialone Nano. Another to look for is Carnaroli.
white wine 2 fl oz 60 ml
chicken or vegetable stock , simmering 2 pints 1 L


1. Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard. (We diced ours and left it in as we like onion).
2. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly.
3. Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated.
4. Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don't actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off.
5. Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed.
6. Repeat Step 5 making sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml. of stock for the final step. .
7. Repeat, save 100ml for the final stage.
8. Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.


Basht said...

WOW! those look awesome!

Judy said...

It all looks so delicious. I've always wanted to make arancini, but I never have any risotto left over.

Lolah said...

A great job, Audax!
I like your idea of making arancini with the risotto left over.

Asha @ FSK said...

Audax, once again you bowl us over with you creativity!! Love the umami creation..

Sue said...

I so look forward to all of your creations! Your creamy risotto looks lovely but I am especially enamored with the arancini and risotto al salto.

Fahrenheit 350° said...

You are amazing, and you know it! I love Hell's Kitchen and I've always wanted to make risotto. I'm not a Daring Cook (just Baker), but I must make this per your instructions!

Jenn said...

Looks awesome! I def. need to try some arancini sometime!

cuppy said...

I'm a shamrock, I'm so green with envy. :o

Everything looks wonderful!!!

Sue said...

All of your risotto variations are making me very hungry! It all looks so delicious!!!

Anonymous said...

Pretty incredible. I love all the creative uses of the leftovers!

My next risotto will definitely be a umami version. I'm feeling quite inspired!

Barbara Bakes said...

Yours is always the first post I see on the completed challenge and the first one in my Google Reader! Amazing job as always! A made a sweet version tonight and still have to write my post.

Begoña said...

How many kinds of risotto!!!!
You make a great job.
Un saludo, Begoña

Team Rose said...

Thanks for your kind words on our blog! I love the sound of your vegan umami risotto - I think I might give that a go some time.
(We are also in Sydney).

Anonymous said...

Very interesting as always. The use of leftovers in a focaccia or to make a pancake is quite novel to me, so will have to give it a go - I always have leftovers as I make huge quantities of risotto. It's never particularly good the next day, so I might give these ideas a try. I do love arancini - and absolutely recommend a square of soft cheese in the centre. Yum!


Wic said...

wow this is amazing. it all looks delicious and it`s so clever to use the risotto as a base for a focaccia.

pigpigscorner said...

OMG everything looks amazing! The Risotto Focaccia is really interesting, I've never heard of that before. Very creative!

Unknown said...

Waw, really interesting your risotto and especially the way you transform the leftovers in some really yummi dishes.:)))))))))

Denise said...

Audax - You sure found some incredible ways to use that bag of risotto! You're definitely The Man!

Unknown said...

I want to make more risotto so I can make some of those croquettes! Love that you always make so many different things for each challenge!

blepharisma said...

Lots of fun ideas to explore! Definitely bookmarking this one...

blepharisma said...

Lots of fun ideas to explore! Definitely bookmarking this one...

Anonymous said...

Your arancini look incredible! And I definitely will make the risotto al salto because that sounds very yummy!

Lauren said...

Gorgeous job Audax! I really love the risotto focaccia. Very cool!

Charli said...

I love what you did with the leftovers! And those pictures of the before and after rice are fabulous!

shelley c. said...

Really beautiful and very inspiring! I learned so much from you on this challenge. Amazing.

Evelyne @ CheapEthnicEatz said...

I can't believe the variety of recipes, everything looks so good. Croquettes are my fave

Alisa-Foodista said...

It looks delicious! You have a really wonderful blog!

Kim said...

Of course, you never cease to amaze me. Your pictures and recipes look phenomenal! Especially the arancini.

chef_d said...

Yummy variations of risotto! The risotto focaccia sounds very interesting!

Heather Mulholland said...

Thank you so much for your kind comment :) I actually would love to take photos for a cookbook if someone would let me lol

Can't wait for the next challenge!

Maria Beatrix said...

Amazing job, as always, Audax. I have nothing more to say to you. You always rocks

tariqata said...

Beautiful risottos - especially the vegan variation! And thank you so much for posting the arancini recipe, and for all of the other creative ways to use the leftover risotto.

This is only my second challenge, but it didn't take long to learn to look for your posts for great ideas and information!

Sarah said...

Wow. What a great post. I especially like the last one - the risotto cakes. And the focaccia is a great idea, too. Well done, as usual!

S. said...

You are just off the hook... seriously.

Ina said...

I like the leftover ideas but sadly I never ever had leftover risotto (thanks to my greedy boyfriend) ...

Milagritos said...

What a wonderful, titanic effort! I love the way you explain the background of certain words, e.g. arancino, arancini. Knowing the background of your food definitely enhances the flavour. I also love your idea of turning leftover risotto into bread ... bravissimo, Audax!

innBrooklyn said...

So glad to get some good ideas from you. I need to make chicken stock again and roast the chicken first. And I need to have left overs to try the arancini, they look amazing!!!

Halfandhalfs said...

I think I'm going to whip up another batch of risotto just so I can make those arancini. Those look amazing!

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious! The shiitakes and seaweed really lend an interesting texture to the rice. Awesome ideas.

Ruth H. said...

Amazing! I love how you take the idea and run with it! It is so great to see all of the things you have done with your risotto. Those stuffed tomatoes look SO good!

Jo said...

Audax, everything looks so delicious as always. I simply love your creativity in each and every challenge. Bravo!

Adriana said...

Everything looks so delicious, especially the Arancini di Riso! You have such great ideas, can't wait to see what you come up with next challenge.

The Burmese Mom said...

Hello Audax, thanks for stopping by giving me a nice welcome. Look at all the varations you've made! I'm very impressed. They all look delish!

TaGa_Luto said...

Another awesome job, Audax! I'm "stealing" your tomato risotto stuffing idea!=;)

Lisa said... ss usual you rocked a challenge, creatively, photgraphically, and drool factor wise. However..I'm in awe and wonderment of that risotto focaccia. OMG, not only does it look amazing, but if there's a stone left unturned, you find it! I think you should win the award for one of the most dedicated and creative Daring Baker/Cooks ever. Must try that focaccia!

Simones Kitchen said...

Audax.. you've outdone yourself again! That all looks gorgeous but I especially like the idea of those little risotto croquettes! Brilliant!

Marisa said...

Wow - so many options! Didn't know you could make all of that from risotto. Your pics of the different stages of cooking is also very helpful for unsure risotto fans. :-)

Amy @Cheerful Cookery said...

Wow - your risotto looks great, both the first time and after. Now I wish I had more leftovers to work with! I've made arancini before and always love them, but the risotto al salto looks amazing. It reminds me of the rice pancakes my grandmother used to make with last night's leftovers - the outer grains of rice get delicously crisp and sweet where they touch the hot pan, yummmm...

Oggi said...

Wonderful array of risotto dishes!

The Vegan Umami with corn looks delicious, a must try.

Dawn said...

I am so intrigued by the foccacia. I made some last week for a post for St. Patrick's Day but I am going to be making another batch now. Thanks for the great idea.

stephiblu said...

Thank you thank you for ways to use up leftover risotto! i am not a fan of wasting food so i truly appreciate these ideas!
also, thanks for checking out my blog.

MyMacaroniPie said...

OMG - your dishes look amazing. Well done! The foccacia looks tasty - nice and crispy outside and I'm sure fluffy inside.

Margie said...

I'm going to try those risotto pancakes for lunch today. Great suggestions for using leftover risotto! I love the idea of your vegan umami risotto... inspires me to try a seafood risotto made with dashi.

Lo said...

As always, you've gone above and beyond with this challenge! I love it.

Risotto balls are one of my favorite things to do with leftover risotto... the tragedy is, that doesn't happen nearly often enough!

natalia said...

Ciao Audax, How great that you are so ingenious with the give recipes and now with the leftovers too ! The focaccia is wonderful I would knock on your door now !!!

Mom on the Run said...

I will take one of everything please. All the different recipes looks so good. I am in love with the risotto balls. Those would be dangerous to have around my house.

Mary Bergfeld said...

I don't often comment, but I stop by often. You really did a spectacular job with this challenge. All your iterations looks fantastic. Kudos, yet again. You are very creative.

Eve said...

Woman, you are amazing!! ;) I am always so inspired to read your blog. You are such a creative person, and I love your take on this month's challenge. Keep up the good work and keep inspiring us all!
Ps! Thank you for your sweet comment!

Esther said...

wonderful as always and I love the little balls and the pancakes, my problem was getting my lot to leave me some to try it with!!

Unknown said...

Hi! Thanks a lot for your comments!!

What you cooked looks wonderful and so delicious!!

See you around!

Angelica said...

The very first picture of the transculent rice is a WINNER! And how'd u get the idea of risotto foccacia? that is absolutely genius!

Unknown said...

Thanks Audex. It was pretty yummy. I've never really worked with beets until this month, I'm surprised at how good they are.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a cross section photo of the focaccia. That really sounds delicious and I am curious of the crumb on a risotto based bread. Excellent work on everything. Your corn dish makes me long for summer.

Sarah said...

I want to try the umami risotto! Great ideas to use up leftover risotto only with me there is never any left...I just don't tire of it. ;) Thank you for the comment!

Lori said...

So what did you like the best?

That risotto al salta sounds wonderful.

And I totally love arancini.

As usual you have done and amazing job. I like how you thoroughly investigate each new challenge looking at it from various angles.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Audax!!!!!
Amazing, as always!!!

The risotto pancakes are a great idea -- I love to see how one meal can have so many re-purposes!

Bunnee said...

Here's the info on the terra cotta risotto pan. It's made by an Italian company based in Lucca, but is available in the states and on internet. I couldn't find the exact risotto pan I have, which is not surprising because I've had it since 1999 - my trip to Tuscany and cooking school. We visited Lucca, I saw the dish but didn't want to buy it because it was breakable and I had so much other stuff to haul with me to Venice before going home and what if I found glass in Venice I needed? But, when I returned to Tacoma, I found the very same risotto pan in a kitchen shop which is now out of business (of course).

I googled Mamma Ro terra cotta risotto pan and found lots of hits - but none for the exact pan I have with the handle on it. They do still make a terra cotta casserole in a couple sizes which looks identical other than the handle. I love this piece! I always make my risotto in it because it makes me feel authentic even though I have not a drop of Italian blood and never even heard of risotto until well into my adulthood.

Thanks for the nice comments. You both did risottos which intrigue me, so I may have to get my pan out very soon!


Sarah said...

Hi Audax. I tried anacini for the first time at a restaurant recently--thanks for showing me how to make them. All my risotto was eaten up, though. :) Next time I will have to make more. Also, I didn't know that you can make focaccia with risotto. That's neat!

zorra said...

You are so creative! I love your Arancini but also the rest.

Kris Ngoei said...

I am simply impressed with the time and efforts you put into this challenge. Lots of variety, and really like the way you explore every single step along the process..... even turning the leftover into foccasia bread, gosh!! Thumbs up :-)

Sawadee from Bangkok,

Deana Sidney said...

Great work on the post... so full of information and easy to follow... would that all recipes were done do well!!

NKP said...

Wow, I love your daring posts. You always have such a variety of interpretations of the challenge. Wonderful job!

Anonymous said...

The arancini make such gorgeous golden puffs of flavour, and I love the idea of the foccacia. Fabulous job!

Holly said...

Awesome! You sure covered a lot here with everything you made with Risotto! Everything looks absolutely delicious!
Thanks for stopping by blog and leaving a comment the other day, It sure was nice to see you on there.

Dani said...

Great job on the challenge, as usual, Audax. Thanks for the heads up about the grace period- I had no idea :)


Rose said...

As always, this looks fantastic! Happy to see you are taking charge of the Daring Kitchen as always :D I've been skipping around playing with my own challenges, but am pleased as usual to see your creativity shining! I've never made arancini, but those looks wonderful :D Cheers to you!!!

Eat4Fun said...

Hi Audax,

All your risottos look awesome! I like the deep fried croquettes. They look very delicious. Marvelous job!

Olive said...

great job Audax as always..your versions of risotto all look great..I love the arancini,thanks for sharing the recipe, I'm sure my kids will love it :)

Madeline said...

Thanks for the advice on the wording of the challenge, I didn't realize we had to word them a certain way. Your risotto are wonderful and I particularly love Arancini!

lis@whiskygreentea said...

Wow Audax !! you have really taken this to the next level..! love the focaccia idea.. something i'll need to try out the next time i have some leftover risotto.. :)

Nate @ House of Annie said...

Well done pictures and tutorial!

Since you're using homegrown veggies, share your dish in our Grow Your Own roundup this month! Full details at

Vivian Thiele said...

Audax, thanks for visiting my blog. Your blog is amazing! What fabulously drool worthy pictures you have! Looking forward to seeing what you do with the next challenge.

Anonymous said...

Hey Audax, I want to thank you sincerely for letting me know about that blog thief. I have filed a notice of copyright violation with Blogger.

Thanks for posting the cross-section photo of the bread. I was expecting it to be more dense. Looks very light and delicious.

Vicki said...

Hey Audax thanks for visiting my blog! I'm in awe of your skills and appreciate that you read my little bloggy blog. And thanks for the tip - I had no idea what "blog checking lines" were. As you can see I am still brand-new-baby-new to this. Will include them from now on!

Lovlie said...

Audax, where do you get the time for all this! I love the umami one! And the croquettes! They are so cool, I saw them on your post the Daring Kitchen forum, great ideas for party bites! Awesome post, I really loved this challenge!

Faery said...

That risotto looks great and I love the arancini di riso...everythings looks great, when I come here I know that i'll only see great taste in your dishes.
I love these Italian dishes.

Sara @ Belly Rumbles said...

Your risotto looked amazing. I love what you did with the leftovers. I would of never thought of using it in focaccia, thank you for sharing that we us.

Cooking Rookie said...

All your risotto pictures look so delicious! I am really sorry that I missed that challenge. I guess I will have to try the recipe by myself - I am really inspired :-)

penny aka jeroxie said...

you are super creative! Using powdered shiitake mushrooms and seaweed is very umami indeed :)

And also love the pancake and the foccacia!

Morwenna Hill said...

Hi Audax! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for leaving such a lovely comment :)
Your risotto creations look amazing and I expect they tasted divine

Mjosé said...

Your risotto looks awesome.
Thanks for the comment in my blog.

Ago said...

Audax but you are a daring cook, too? Beautiful risotto, but I think that the focaccia is so delicious...and arancini...the best in the world!
Ago from Italy :-D

FamilySpice said...

I am not worthy! You are so creative. I never thought of doing all those things with risotto! The croquettes look delicious!

nikki said...

You are the master of many risotto(s). Love the croquettes, pancakes, and the "beefy" umami!

Monica said...

Thanks for commenting on my post.. and I have to say, you put us all to shame with your risotto creativity... I only did one dish.

Wanted to do the arancini's (they remind me so much of living in italy).. but I guess the risotto was a huge hit with my family.. there was no leftover to be had.

Flavinha said...

Hi Audax, I am looking for a Rice bread recipe with large holes of the crumble just like your photo, Could you sent to me please? Thanks a lot Flavia (