Occasionally you have a guest whose diet enforces the meal. This was one of those moments. I was required to make a dish that was gluten and dairy free. I was really racking the cupboards for something, but then I cam back to a combination I love: coconut and lime. We had a can of coconut cream in the cupboard, and some limes. We are nearly always in rice surplus, so I began to concoct. Blow me down if it wasn't one of the more electric risottos I've made. Still not as good as a normal risotto with lactosey lashings of cream, or rich stocks, but enough for me to recommend it to those with diet restrictions. So give it a go! I put a bit of Christmas ham in mine, but any white meat will be great. Prawns. HELL. DAMN. YES.
- 2 Stock Pots
- A ladle
- Wooden Spoon
- Sharp knife
- Chopping Board
- 1 Red Capsicum, sliced
- 4 Onions, finely diced
- 1 Bulb of Garlic, Peeled/minced
- 400g Rice - Aborio is awesome, but short/medium grain works too.
- 1 Tin of Coconut Cream
- Fresh and Dried Oregano
- Fresh and Dried Coriander
- Lime juice - fresh is great, bottled stuff is also good.
- Optional - gluten free stock. You can also use normal stock in this recipe if you're not gluten free. You'll need about 7 cups
- Optional - Fresh Chilli
- Optional - Lime Zest
To avoid the gluten, I went without packet stock for this process, I didn't have the time or tools to make a fresh vege stock, but this should work just fine. I compensated with aggressive use of herbs and spices, lime juice, salt and pepper.
Bang two pots on the stovetop. One should have 7-8 cups warm water or vegetable stock, with your ladle, the other should have nothing.
Lug some olive oil into the other pot on a medium to low heat. Get it all warm and toasty, throw your onions and garlic in and turn and stir occasionally until they're soft and browning. Then add your rice, capsicum, 2 teaspoons of dried coriander, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, half a teaspoon of pepper, and half a teaspoon of salt (skip this if you're using stock). I know, I know, salt later, right? Usually stock carries a fair nudge of salt. I'm compensating for that - we want the salt to absorbed into the rice, giving us a little more depth.
Toast the rice for a few minutes. It'll start to absorb the oil and stick to the bottom. That's my sign that we're ready to start adding water/stock. I add it a ladle-full at a time, stirring frequently and vigourously - make sure you're scraping the bottom/sides with your stirring action. When the water has absorbed/evaporated, add another ladle. You'll burn through the water initially, but you'll use it less frequently as the rice absorbs more.
Increase the heat to medium-high after the first ladle.
Stir the can of coconut cream once you're about halfway through your water/stock. Skip a ladle at this point, and add 1/4 cup lime juice.
Sample your risotto. It should start to be looking like risotto at this point. It'll be creamy, seriously lacking in salt and pepper, but perhaps the rice isn't quite done? Add more liquid. I think the ideal consistency of risotto on a granular level is tender, but not mushy. On a plate level, I think it should hold shape, but be creamy- there is a fine line between mud and glue!
Once your risotto grains are tender, the pot is creamy, but still loose, you're done. Taste, salt, pepper maybe add a little more lime juice if you want some more tang. Hell fresh coconut/coconut water/desiccated coconut - it's all good, experiment a little! Spice things up with some fresh chilli, and garnish with fresh oregano and coriander leaves, and maybe a bit of lime zest. That totally skipped my mind when I made it. Oh and the stuff brushed around the side is turmeric and coconut sauce from the taro recipe. Just because.