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Risotto has only one “s”!

Posted on July 3, 2010 by in rice, vegetarian

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Rissoto/risotto, I am ashamed to say, only crept into my foodie repertoire a few years back. I can’t tell you why I was is intimidated to try this Italian classic, but the truth of the matter is, I was too afraid to even try. Nic van Wyk of Diemersdal and Kokkedoor fame made this for me the first time and when I took my first spoonful of that creamy, salty and cheesy risotto, I was hooked for life.

Risotto as my entry to the Clemengold Easy Peelers Bloggers Challenge, is somewhat daring, but I am actually quite chuffed!
As a food blogger I am fortunate enough to live my  passion each and every day and as I have said before, cooking for friends and family is such a pleasure, but it is always a good thing to be challenged, right? A challenge this was indeed! On Monday morning, a courier delivered a HUGE box of naartjies(tangerines) to my doorstep……ClemenGold Eesy Peelers to be exact!  First of all, I was honored to be one of only 5 that was chosen for this challenge, but the reality of it all, soon kicked in when I started to ponder on “what to cook”.
Before I go any further with the recipes, I have to tell you, these ClemenGold Eesy Peelers are without a doubt the most delicious citrus fruit that I have ever tasted. I quote directly from ClemenGold’s site…

ClemenGold is a lovely soft citrus fruit, the deep orange colour of sunset. The silky rind peels easily to reveal the juicy flesh and delightful aroma. And when you eat it, you can taste sun-drenched sweetness and freshness. ClemenGold is a healthy little package of quality, taste and convenience – everything you enjoy about citrus!”

With a heap of juicy citrus fruit in front of me on the table, my first thought went to “desserts”, but still I wanted to challenge myself more…I wanted to bring something savory to the table…something different and that my dear readers, is how I ended up making rissotto/risotto! I had to work really carefully to combine the sweet of the fruit with a classic savory dish such as risotto, but the end result was truly amazing ! You be the judge, try it and let me know!

So here it is then, my entry to the Clemengold Easy Peelers Bloggers Challenge…..

Blue Cheese Risotto with Maple and ClemenGold Honeycomb

First you have to make the honeycomb!


375ml sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup ClemenGold juice
1/3 cup water
Zest of 1 ClemenGold Easy Peeler
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pour all ingredients in a pot and allow the sugar to melt. When it starts to boil, stop stirring and allow to come up to a temperature of 132 C. In the meantime, find a flat surface (glass or metal) and oil it slightly. When the caramel reaches the desired temperature, quickly add the bicarb and beat vigorously. Pour out onto the oil surface and wait for it to cool. Keep in an airtight container.

For the Blue Cheese Risotto

3 cups weak chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion – very finely chopped
1 clove of garlic – crushed
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup crumbled Blue Cheese
a knob of butter
Maple and ClemenGold Honeycomb

Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Keep liquid hot. In a large, heavy saucepan over low heat, heat oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until white spots appear in the center of the grains, about 1 minute. Add the wine and stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Add one ladleful of the hot stock, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Continue adding the stock, one ladleful at a time and stirring constantly, until the rice is just tender but slightly firm in the center and the mixture is creamy, 20-25 minutes longer. Now add the crumbled Blue cheese and allow to melt into the risotto!
Crumble some Maple and ClemenGold Honeycomb over the risotto and serve immediately.

Thank you Taste Magazine and Woolworths for  this opportunity to think a little wild, outside the box! I had great fun!

Stay tuned for more ClemenGold Eesy Peeler Recipes!

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13 Responses to “Risotto has only one “s”!”

  1. Susan @ SGCC 3 July 2010 at 7:49 am #

    I've always been a little intimidated by risotto too and I'm Italian! But, I'm even more scared of making caramel. You've conquered both in one dish! Your risotto dish looks perfectly lovely! And, those Clemengolds sound wonderful!

  2. Marisa 3 July 2010 at 10:03 am #

    Sjoe Nina, you've outdone yourself. This is a daring combo, but with someone as talented in the kitchen as you behind it, I have no doubts that it tastes phenomenal!

    All the best for the competition!

  3. Wendy @ Mint Tea 3 July 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    I love risotto, must say an interesting combination, not one I would ever have thought of!!! As Marisa said, I am sure if you made it, it must taste good!!!

  4. bellini valli 3 July 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Risotto is the king of rice dishes, and you don't need to be Italian to have the perfect recipe. Looking good Nina.

  5. Rose&Thorn 5 July 2010 at 8:54 am #

    Wonderfully original. Looking at the entries for the competition, I am amazed at what you girls have done with a simple naartjie. Well done and good luck!

  6. Mary 5 July 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    This is a really lovely and daring recipe. You pulled it off. Kudos. I've never seen clemengolds but will keep a sharp eye out for them. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  7. polkadotcupcake 6 July 2010 at 9:06 am #

    Ah, i know what you mean! risotto STILL intimidates me, but one day, one day I'll give it a try! I had it at la colombe a little while ago, served with a round of breaded, fried goats cheese on top, which elevated it to deliciously cheesy new heights, divine!

  8. Koek! 6 July 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Wow – I've never seen anything like this. Lovely, lovely dish Nina. I could devour a plate right now! (OK, time for lunch…)

  9. Junglefrog 7 July 2010 at 12:21 am #

    I guess I really did not know anything about risotto when I first made it ages ago, which was probably a good thing or I would have been afraid to try it too..! But I love risotto and it's one of those meals I tend to turn too when in need of something simple and nourishing and goooood. But this recipe of yours is something else entirely! I love the flavors you used and can't wait to try it out!

  10. Pam 9 July 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    I've still never attempted risotto. This looks creamy and so delicious!

  11. Ingrid 13 July 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Love risotto and this looks great. Mine never turns out so well! 🙁

  12. Anonymous 16 July 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    Well done! I can smell the lovely flavours. Going to have to make it with some firm smoked tofu for my lot ; )

  13. eatinqueens 16 July 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    This is my visit to your blog and it's fab!

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