Chef Dario Cavaliere writes a weekly food column for the Waterford News & Star
RISOTTO can be tricky, but if you have patience it is easily mastered. Do not be afraid to add lots of butter and Parmesan cheese when you are making risotto, as it will only add to the flavour. The quantity of both listed below is appropriate for this quantity of risotto rice, however, I always add extra. The ginger gives a nice amount of heat to the dish and the lime freshens it all up.
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
100g sliced cooked chicken breast
400g Arborio risotto rice
2 pints chicken stock
150ml dry white wine
1 tsp. grated ginger
100g grated Parmesan cheese
1 lime, juice and zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
You will need to use a deep non-stick pan for making the risotto. Heat the oil and gently sauté the shallots until they are soft. Add the chicken and brown slightly until lightly coloured.
Add the rice to the pan and mix well, making sure that all the grains of rice are coated in oil. Add the white wine and cook until it is completely absorbed. Then add the ginger with 1 ladle full of the stock.
Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir until all the stock has been absorbed. You will need to continue adding the stock one ladle at a time until it has all cooked into the risotto. Only add the next ladle when the previous amount has been absorbed.
Once all the stock has been added, the grains of rice should be tender and cooked to the bite (al dente). At this stage add the butter and check again for seasoning. Remove from the heat and add the Parmesan cheese and lime zest. Stir well and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Sprinkle some extra Parmesan shavings and the lime zest on top and serve.