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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Camp Food: Risotto

I was in Lidl recently and I came across a pile of these for 99p each. I almost cried! The nostalgia - I first bought one of them back in around 1970 and thought they'd faded away like Corona soft drinks and Spangles but no...

Not that Vesta Beef Risotto was particularly nice - it contains mainly dried meat, vegetables and rice but it has its good points:
  • It weighed in at 124g which was pretty handy for cycling and/or camping trips
  • It could be stored for ages
  • It only uses one pan
  • When you're hungry, it tastes pretty good
  • It inspired me to try my own risotto from better ingredients - see below
 Now, I don't have a standard risotto recipe to offer you - more a basic idea with some clues and tips. It's basically rice cooked in some sort of sauce with vegetables and possibly meat or fish.

  • The "official" plan is to fry the uncooked rice for a couple of minutes in a little butter but that step isn't essential. Then add water, the rest of your ingredients and simmer until it starts to dry up  in 15-20 minutes.
  • I usually fry the meat, tomatoes, courgettes, peppers, onions etc. first and chuck the rice in afterwards
Here's some ideas about the ingredients:

  • If you are in a hurry or you haven't got much gas left, use Basmati rice - it cooks in about 10 minutes rather than 15-20
  • Consider using wholegrain, wild or any of the other fancy sorts of rice you can get nowadays
  • Tomato puree helps make the sauce taste better
  • Drained tinned tuna works in place of meat
  • Almost any vegetable works as an ingredient
Cooking tips:

  • Don't add too much water. 
  • You can always add some more later if it dries up too soon
  • If you have added too much, you boil it away
  • Consider cooking the meat separately and serving it on top of a vegetable risotto

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