Of course you’ve stumbled onto our blog desperate for the french onion risotto with grilled cheese – well, you know we’ll get there eventually. But first, some chunter. We haven’t had a theme week in what seems like ages – and this week’s theme is ONE-POT-MEALS. We’ve even created a new icon for the recipe page, which we’ll update when we’re done.
Although we’re generally quite good at keeping our meals simple, our recipes can leave your kitchen looking like someone’s crashed a small plane right through the window. We’ve got a cleaner so we’re not especially arsed but hey, we thought with this being the week of the kids going back to school, a lot of our readers might benefit from quick, no-mess dinners. Now, if you cook with all the grace and elan of someone having a cactus inserted into their anus, we can’t change that, and it might be that your kitchen still looks messy. But that’s your problem!
I can’t bear this time of year – I’ve had six weeks of being able to roll out of bed at 8.00am, have enough time for a good scratch of my balls and a morning poo, a warm shower and a hot coffee, then to make my merry way to work with no pressure or stress. Now the kids are back it means the roads are full of red-faced parents erratically driving cars the size of a combine harvester, swerving over the road as they simultaneously do their kid’s homework, feed them porridge and tan their backsides for being cheeky. Everywhere suddenly becomes super busy and I can’t even relax on Facebook as my feed is full of children in uniform standing in front of doorways showing off their uneven teeth and inappropriate-for-school-haircuts. Listen, I know you think your children are adorable and they undoubtedly are, but I’ll never find out why DENTISTS HATE THIS SOUTH SHIELDS WOMAN AND HER $20 TOOTH-WHITENING TRICK if all I can see is little Letitia and Amyl writ large and toothy on my iPad.
Caveat time: your children are fine. When I’m talking about annoying children, I obviously mean the offspring of everyone else.
One good thing that comes out of this return to school period, however, is the inevitable deluge of moon-faced parents doing a sad-face to camera in the local papers because the school sent home their little darlings for not observing the uniform rules. I’ve already seen one where the kid has hair like a pineapple and his mother is mooing about human rights, as though King John himself demanded a clause in the Magna Carta to cover dressing like an insufferable arse. I’m not a complete monster: I think sending kids home or putting them in isolation because they have grey trousers instead of black is ridiculous and often the sign of a power-mad tosser in charge, but when you’ve got teenagers walking around in skirts so short you can lip-read and boys with hair that looks as though it’s been cut underwater with a power-sander for a bet, you have to draw a line.
And that line should be 30cm off the ground in a light charcoal, thank you very much.
Perhaps these parents are the same folk who think going shopping in pyjamas is the correct and adult thing to do. Let me tell you now: it isn’t. You sleep in those clothes. You sweat in those clothes. Knowing at least half of the readers of this blog, you probably scratch your minnie until your lips turn blue in that outfit. I don’t want that sweaty terry-towelling number brushing over my vine tomatoes, thank you. I’m not demanding a return to top-hat-and-tails or anything, just a modicum of common decency. The sight of someone accidentally flashing their growler at me whilst they bend down to pick up the Daily Sport is not a risk I should have to take. It’s bad enough I see so many tops of arses peeking out over jeans without belts – not because I find the arse an especially ugly thing (hell, I dare say I’ve seen enough of them from enough bewildering angles to draw you a topographic map of the average English anus) but because I yearn to drop a pencil down the crack – or, if they’re especially zaftig, a fire extinguisher.
Anyway, enough tittle-tattle. I’m clearly in for a rough few weeks getting to work so I might switch to walking in over the moor, which means you can expect several entries about dealing with cows and the general public. It’s OK, it’s common to feel tingly at the thought. Coming up in the next few days you can also expect a recount of our trip to Peterborough. Let me give you a sneak preview: it was grim.
To the recipe…it’s worth remembering that this method works for all of our risottos and it saves you having to ladle in stock. Who has time for that? You need to be polishing the front door to line the kids up against!
to make french onion risotto with grilled cheese, you’ll need:
- five large white onions
- a few squirts of spray oil – 1 syn at the very most, but divided between four, it’s barely a scratch
- a good pinch of salt
- a bit of thyme if you have it – fresh is always better but dried is fine too
- 350g arborio rice (or look for paella rice)
- worcestershire sauce
- black pepper
- three cloves of garlic, minced (use one of these if you like – it’ll also come in useful later for the parmesan, but a bog-standard grater will do the job too)
- about 900ml chicken stock (swap for veggie if you’re that way inclined) (pervert)
- a really small baguette – now 50g is 6.5 syns and will make enough for a couple per bowl, so let’s go ahead and syn that at 1.5 syns per serving
- parmesan cheese – 30g is a HEA – this makes enough for four people, so if you want to use 120g overall in the dish, go right ahead! Though obviously not if you’re eating it all yourself. Do you get me?
Now, this makes a decent, fairly simple bowl of stodge. If you want to liven it up, chuck in some peas, chorizo (syn), chicken, bacon, leeks, anything you like. I like the simplicity of it, but see that’s because I’m a simple minded fool.
to make french onion risotto with grilled cheese, you should:
- peel and slice your onions nice and thin – we used our gorgeous baby to do it in under a minute but you can also use a trusty old mandolin (cheap on Amazon right now) to do it just as quick – just watch your fingers
- spray the bottom of your heavy duty pot with a few squirts of oil – be generous
- put the sliced onion into the pot with a decent pinch of salt, shake it around
- cover with a lid and leave to cook gently on the hob on a medium heat for about 50 minutes – every five minutes check and give them a stir – if they catch a little on the bottom, that’s fine, just loosen them off, if they go super dry just add a splash of water
- once they’re golden and delicious, add your minced garlic and cook for another five minutes
- in goes the rice – stir it once only to get each rice bit sticky and covered
- add the stock, pepper, any extras you want, put the lid on and cook on medium heat for about 25 minutes, checking after twenty to make sure it hasn’t boiled dry – but don’t keep lifting the lid off every minute like you’re trying to catch the rice wanking
- whilst that’s bubbling away, make the crostini – slice the baguette nice and thin – you only one two or three discs per person and arrange on a tray
- finely grate your parmesan and sprinkle over the discs with a bit of black pepper – use the same mincer as you did for the garlic!
- grill for a couple of minutes until golden
- if you want, make little heaps of parmesan on the same tray – they’ll melt down and crisp up, giving you parmesan crisps, but stay within your HEA
- once the dish is ready – i.e. the rice has absorbed the liquid and is nice and soft, grate in the remainder of your Parmesan and stir
- serve immediately – in a nice bowl, lots of black pepper and the grilled crostini on the top
If you’re looking for more one-pot recipes, here’s four from our archives:
- one pot Malaysian chicken
- chicken, lemon and lentil one pot
- sausage gnocchi bake
- chicken, orzo and moonblush tomato risnotto
And, if you’re looking for more vegetarian, fakeaways or chicken recipes, just click on the links below!