Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Rocket and Roses Sweet Potato & Chilli Risotto with Parsnip Crisp

Kitchen Play List: Cafe Latte Lounge Compilation Album
                                     An hour or so with Doris, Nat, Ella, Bing, Louis etc

I confess straight away that the inspiration for this recipe did not come from my noggin! But the veganising of a dish I ate earlier in the year at Castle Howard. It was the only thing on the menu that was remotely veggie and I was rather unimpressed when my bowl turned up at my table..the day glow orange lump of rice was less than appealing. But thankfully it tasted far nicer than it looked. But the idea had stuck in my mind..notes had been scribbled down on a notepad and I filed it away mentally for the right moment to experiment. 

And the moment came yesterday when I received a suggestion for the Mystery Ingredient Challenge Item from a reader called Alice who wanted a recipe for the lovely Sweet Potato..as she only had them steamed as a side veggie. I love sweet potato so how could I refuse? lol. And then a second later I realised the time had come to finally make this risotto. 

I wanted to make this risotto without any added fats other than the initial oil to start the onion and rice going. I wanted the creaminess to come from just the potatoes and the rice and I think I did it. I kept things very simple and concentrated on the flavours. The results were...well..*blushing*...the best risotto I've ever eaten. Crikey I hate tooting my own horn..but My Love devoured it too and we both agreed this was a 'goodun'! lol. And one of my favourite parts was that it wasn't a toxic orange colour..lol. But the flavour was good and the texture was creamy and succulent. 

I have to say before the risotto purists leave me some lovely messages..lol. I cooked my rice as per the package instructions...and have to say it was so less stressful than it usually is. Today I wanted ease over method. I bow to your patient risotto cooking skills...lol. 

Rocket and Roses Sweet Potato & Chilli Risotto ~ so good!
Rocket and Roses Sweet Potato & Chilli Risotto with 
Parsnip Crisps (Original adapted recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 parsnip, peeled and shaved
drizzle of rapeseed oil

3 med/lrg sweet potatoes, peeled and small diced
3/4 tsp red chilli flakes
salt and pepper to season
hot water

1 tsp of Rotina Healthy Cooking Oil or oil of choice
1 med red onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
8 oz risotto rice
1 1/2 pints of veggie stock

Pre-heat the oven to 400'F/200'C/Gas Mark 6 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the parsnip shavings in a very tiny drizzle of rapeseed oil and spread out over the baking sheet and bake until they have turned a golden/deep brown colour. Be careful because they burn quite quickly. Once cooked leave on the tray to cool. 

In a large saucepan place the sweet potatoes and the chilli flakes. Just cover with water and season with a pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and leave to cook until the sweet potatoes are very tender and if there is a lot of excess water spoon it out. But a little is perfect as it helps when making the sauce. When cooked leave to sit whilst you cook the rice. 

In a skillet heat the oil and then saute the onion and garlic until it's soft. Then add the risotto rice and cook, stirring to coat, for 2 minutes. Then add the veggie stock and stir well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and stir frequently for 15 minutes. 

If the rice is not soft at this point simply a add little more water to the rice and give it an extra 5 minutes. 

Mash the sweet potatoes to a smooth sauce ensuring you have broken down all large pieces and stir well to smooth it out. Then transfer..a large spoonful at a time into the risotto..stirring the risotto constantly at this stage. Repeat until all the sweet potato is combined with the rice and heat through. Spoon into servings bowl and garnish with the parsnip crisps. 

A creamy and spicy bowl of comfort and you even get to have crisps with it! lol
I really hope you make this and enjoy it as much as we did..and thanks once again to Alice! Excellent choice! lol