Paul and I are having a romantic night in, he’s cooking a lovely Indian tea and I’m scratching his feet with a matchbox. For now, please accept this recipe card as a treat, but be warned, chorizo and cheese does add a few syns to the dish. YOU CAN MAKE IT SYN FREE! But, you have 105 to use every week, spend it on something good. I’ll fill out the recipe in full tomorrow and add a snack idea for you all. Goodnight! (now done, see below!)
Paul and I have slept for a good, reasonable twelve hours and had a Slimming World fry-up breakfast (see here for a previous post about that), so I’m back and fighting fit. I promised you a full recipe breakdown for the risotto – and an easy way to make it syn free.
ingredients: one chicken breast (diced), chorizo (optional, I use 6 syns for 60g if I chose a particularly non-fatty chorizo, and then split that between two servings), shallots, arborio rice, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, peashoots, philapdelphia lightest (I’ve always synned 75g of the lightest as a healthy extra A, but even then, I hardly ever use that much and it’s split between two), peppers sliced.
recipe: get everything prepared – slice the onion, peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes to roughly the same size and thickness. Dry fry gently in a good non-stick casserole pot (this is important, because you try to make this risotto in a ‘sticky’ pan it’ll burn) until everything is nice and soft. Add the chicken and chorizo and continue cooking on a medium heat until the chicken is cooked through. Once you’ve done this, add the 250g of arborio rice and coat the rice in the liquid. Stir just once, chuck in your 1l of stock and big handful of garden peas. ONE stir. Then pop the lid on the pan, keep it on a medium heat (we use 6, but we’ve got a fancy induction hob so just stick to medium) and leave for exactly 20 minutes. You can peek at it just to make sure the liquid hasn’t disappeared, but maybe just once or twice – every time you let the steam out, god kills a kitten. After 20 minutes, check the rice -it’s always spot on for me but individual hobs may vary, so let it simmer a little bit longer if there is still a lot of liquid and/or the rice is a bit crunchy. Spoon in a dollop of the soft cheese and serve it on a bed of pea-shoots. I use pea-shoots because it adds another layer of flavour, but rocket will do. Don’t be common and use lettuce though. Twist of pepper and a couple of shavings of Parmesan and you’re done.
extra-easy: yes – though I syn the recipe exactly how I do it at 4 syns, just to take on board the chorizo and cheese. You can make it syn free though – replace the chorizo with chopped bacon (with no fat), and use the cheese as your healthy extra. But I like the taste the chorizo imparts to the rice and chicken and chorizo go together so well! Plenty of superfree – fresh peas, pea shoots, peppers, mushrooms, shallots…
top tips: Paul, because he’s a pleb who was brought up on sweet and sour chicken from his local Rainbow mixed with fag ash and a general feeling of malaise, adds a big old dollop of wholegrain mustard and mixes it in, which completely overpowers any other flavour. He says that he can still enjoy it through the sound of me tutting and sucking air in through my teeth.