Wednesday, 20 February 2008

No one is more commited... the idea of peas but peas from you in these circumstances is unacceptable. Very old joke that makes Bobo and Harry fall about laughing every time I cook peas. The joke must be done in your best Irish accent as it harks back to the days of Jerry Adams and Ian Paisley when they were trying to thrash out a peace (peas) deal.

Had these peas been on the table they may have been able to sort something out much more quickly. These peas are very, very acceptable indeed as well as easy to make and most comforting after a long hard day thrashing out deals.

I think the comforting thing is the cooking, glass of wine in hand you just chop a couple of things and then stir until you get the right consistency and then you can scoop it in to your mouth without having to cut anything. Perfect!

Just a quick word about rice. There are 3 types of rice suitable for risotto, the usual arborio which I find can go a bit mushy, carnaroli which I use as it holds it shape and bite whilst still being creamy and vialone nano which the Venetians use again it holds its shape but is smaller than the carnaroli.

Pea Risotto

Carnaroli rice - I used 180g for 2 of us
2 pints hot stock - chicken for me and on such a simple risotto make sure the stock is good as it is one of the main flavours. The stock will need to be kept on the heat whilst making the risotto
1 large shallot finely chopped
1 stick celery peeled and finely chopped - optional
1 slug - about 50ml - white wine or vermouth
large handful peas about 100g blanched or just defrosted
olive oil
parmesan cheese - freshly grated

Soften the shallot and celery in some olive oil (about a tablespoon) for 5 mins then add the rice. Stir the rice round until it is a little translucent at the edges then add the wine and stir the rice until it has been absorbed. Now for the exciting part, your first ladle of hot stock! Keep adding the stock a ladle at a time stirring - not all the time but don't leave it - until it has been absorbed before adding the next ladle.

All told this part will take about 10 - 15 mins but you will need to keep tasting the rice to make sure it is cooked the way you want it (a little bite but very very creamy).

Once cooked add the blanched peas and as much or little parmesan as you like stir them in and serve. So good I can't tell you!


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