Mushroom Risotto

My new favourite kind of risotto. I’ve made this before but without dried mushrooms, and they REALLY make this good. You must soak dried mushrooms before using them, which means you get an extra lovely mushrooms stock to use in the risotto which makes it incredibly savoury and mushroomy and yum.

It might be a bit of a faff to make for brunch but you can certainly enjoy the leftovers or make ahead of time. It really is very good with a poached egg on top, I also made some crispy proscuitto too to serve (just put proscuitto in a very hot frying pan with no oil and cook until crisp) but you can leave both off if you’re veggie/vegan.

Recipe after the jump!


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Nasi Goreng with Crispy Shallots

I would never have really thought of making this dish, but when UK Shallots tweeted me asking to create one of their recipes, I couldn’t say no. This was the recipe they sent me and it it was so delicious Gary even said he’d pay for it in a restaurant!

All the ingredients arrived in a delightful little orange cool bag which Nippet now seems to be obsessed with.

Anyway unwrapped, here’s everything that I used. Ooh, Waitrose!

How cute is the shallot with the eyes!! I couldn’t bear cutting him up, so he’s still hanging out in our kitchen.

The original recipe is vegan, but we fancied some meat this weekend so we added in some pork that I’d marinated for a few hours in soy, honey, chilli and a little bit of garlic. You could very easily leave this out though and still have a totally yummy vegan meal.

The only thing I struggled with was getting the shallots crispy, the recipe said to fry until golden brown and they would crisp as they cool. Sadly mine never crisped despite almost burning most of them (maybe I over oiled?) but they were still really nice. Shallots are such a staple in our house, I tend to buy them more than onions as they’re so versatile and also because they’re small they’re great if you’re cooking for one.

Find the recipe here!

Disclosure: I was gifted the ingredients for this post by the lovely UK Shallots.

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Mushroom, Leek and Leftover Chicken Risotto

It’s been quite a couple of weeks over here. I’ve managed to have food poisoning twice (from eating out) plus a tiny cold. So I’ve not been cooking that many interesting things, hence being a bit quiet on the blog front! I’m back to normal now and I’ve got a tasty risotto recipe to share with you.

Ok, ok, risotto isn’t that summery, but with little pops of green leek, soft mushrooms and tender leftover chicken it’s savoury and completely passable in hot weather. Top it off with plenty cheese and you have yourself a year-round winner.

You can leave the chicken out of this if you’re veggie, it was only because I had some hanging around in the fridge that it ended up going in. It would be completely fine without it.

Mushroom, Leek and Chicken Risotto

Feeds 2

  • Around 150-200g arborio rice
  • 1 pint chicken or veg stock
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 2 leeks
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • Olive oil

Chop up the leeks into small 1cm rounds. Wash thoroughly. Crush the garlic and chop the mushrooms. In a big saucepan, soften the leeks in some olive oil until they are translucent and just about to brown. Add another glug of olive oil, and then the rice.

Stir the rice in the oil until it becomes opaque and then add the glass of wine and a little of the chicken stock. Pop the bay leaf in. Keep the risotto on a low heat, stirring occasionally and adding the chicken stock a little at a time so the rice is always covered in liquid.

Meanwhile in a seperate pan, cook the mushrooms in a little oil until they are tender. Add these in when the risotto rice is almost cooked, along with the cheese and the chopped up left over chicken. Let simmer for another 3-4 mins or until the chicken is piping hot and then serve with extra Parmesan and cracked black pepper.

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Tuna, Rice ‘And All Things Nice’ Stir Fry

Growing up we had a fairly fixed weekly meal plan. Soup Mondays. Fish Tuesdays, baked potato Wednesdays and ‘ricey thing’ Thursdays.

What is a ricey thing? You ask (rightfully so). It can be a number of things – this dish is also known as ‘tuna, rice and all things nice’. The beauty of it is that it can be anything!  The constants are rice, tuna, an egg and soy sauce. The rest can be up to you, and whatever you have leftover in the fridge. Some rules though: tomatoes aren’t quite right. Aubergines haven’t been successful in the past. And stay away from potatoes unless you’re into double carbs. Apart from that, the pan is your oyster.

Growing up the vegetables for this dinner would be chopped the night before and left in containers in the fridge, layered in the order they would need to hit the pan. Like all stir frys, you need to make sure you add the hardest vegetables first to get them cooking, so that it all cooks evenly.

This particular version featured carrots, cabbage, red peppers, onions, peas and mushrooms.


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Chorizo, Sausage and Bacon Spicy Rice

I’m not a big meat eater, and I know processed meat is meant to be soooo bad for us, but don’t you just have days where you want to gorge on meat? Just me?

Most of the recipes I make can be easily made vegetarian, as I don’t eat that much meat as a rule, I kind of grew up learning it was a “weekend treat” rather than something eaten mid week and it’s so expensive these days. This is one you really can’t make vegetarian, sorry veggie friends!


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Heck! Chicken Sausage, Mushroom and Spinach with Brown Rice

I’ve always wanted to try chicken sausage after seeing it used on various American blogs – where it seems to be freely available. It’s actually pretty hard to come across in your big four supermarkets in the UK, so when Tesco started stocking Heck Chicken Italia Sausage I was over the moon. I also had the pleasure of sampling these at the BBC Good food show earlier this year, and hadn’t been able to stop thinking about the savoury little blighters.

Their chicken Italia sausage is described as chicken breast and thigh meat with basil, tomatoes and mozzarella. Yum. For this recipe, I removed the sausage casings and cut into bite size pieces. This did mean that the sausage was a bit of a bugger to brown – they look very pale on the pictures but trust me they were in the pan for a good 15-20 minutes, I had to stop because I didn’t want them to dry out.

Anyway, they might look a bit anaemic but they were delicious, though maybe a tad salty. I did regret adding bacon to this recipe which won’t have helped the saltiness, but hey, you don’t know until you try. I also added asparagus to this recipe because I had some in the fridge, but it’s not essential.

Heck sausage brown rice

chicken sausage brown rice

heck chicken sausage brown rice


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Halloumi, Asparagus and Harissa Brown Rice with Roasted Veg

This dish was inspired by my partner’s request for something ‘vegetabley’ and ‘maybe with halloumi’ so from that vague brief came this lovely dish. It tastes like summer, and you could easily eat without the brown rice if you wanted it for a less filling lunch of side.

Asparagus is in season at the minute, so if you can find British asparagus then do use it! Don’t miss out the Harissa paste either, it really brings this dish to life.


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Smoked Haddock Risotto

I used to be a bit funny about fish. I used to only eat fish fingers, tuna and a bit of smoked salmon. One of my family’s favourite meals is kedgeree, so my dad would make me my own (kind of weird but delicious) version with tuna instead. I don’t know what happened, I must have had an epiphany a few years ago and now I love smoked fish.

This smoked haddock risotto is similar to the kedgeree my dad makes, but relies on the risotto rice and a little of the fishy milk for creaminess rather than using any cream. It came out a bit luminous due to using a vegetable stock cube, I think next time fish stock would be better, but you live and learn.

You can make this with frozen smoked haddock to save ££ and enjoy with a poached egg on top if you’re feeling ~fancy~.


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Courgette, Broccoli and Chicken risotto

Nothing like a good courgette. And a good risotto. Together, you’re looking at something great.

I only made this because I had a ridiculously good looking courgette in the fridge. I think it was from Lidl. It was so green and appealing, it had to be a star of the show.

I did something here I’ve not tried before that worked nicely – grated half the courgette into the risotto rather than chopping it all. It lets the vegetable mingle more into the rice and gave a more courgetty result.



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Tangy Sweet and Sour Mushrooms with Brown Rice

I’m having a really big chestnut mushroom phase at the moment. These little guys are going in everything I cook, they’re so savoury and tasty.

They also make a great meat substitution, more so than the classic white mushroom because they have a much stronger taste.

This is another easy dish if you only have basic cupboard ingredients and little time. I’m using brown rice and I mixed it all together because I prefer the texture but you can use whatever rice you have hanging around, and serve on the side or even over noodles.



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