Sweet Pepper Risotto
This rich, creamy dish is a classic comfort food. It can be served on its own or with a side of fresh asparagus, topped with a curl of fresh Parmigiana Reggiano cheese.
Sweet Pepper Risotto
4 sweet bell peppers, choose from red, orange, and yellow
4 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
Dash or two of cayenne powder
1 t fish sauce
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
3 large shallots or 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup grated Parmigiana Reggiano cheese
Fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste
To begin, rub the 4 whole sweet peppers with a little olive oil and roast over an open flame, high heat on a BBQ or under a broiler in oven, turning often until skin is completely charred. Remove from heat and put peppers in a large bowl, cover in plastic wrap and set aside for 20-30 minutes. This allows the peppers to cool and the steam helps the skin to come off easier. (Alternatively, you could use bottled roasted sweet peppers, rinsed very well.)
Next, remove all the black and blistered skin from the peppers and be sure to remove and discard the seeds and membranes from inside. DO NOT wash the peppers with water. Slice and chop peppers and set aside. Add any juices that has accumulated in the bowl to your stock.
In a saucepan large enough to hold the stock, add stock, bay leaves, the cayenne powder and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer. Discard bay leaves.
In a sauté pan, melt butter on medium heat. Add shallots or onion and sauté till soft, about 7 - 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another couple of minutes.
Add rice and stir in for a couple of minutes. Stir in the wine till reduced by half. Now start adding hot stock about a cup at a time, stirring almost constantly with a wooden spoon. When the rice has absorbed most of the stock continue to add more, stirring until the rice has absorbed all the stock. Now add your reserved chopped peppers.
When the rice has plumped up and is tender with a little bite to it, stir in the cheese. Your risotto should be creamy and delicious. Taste and adjust seasoning.