Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Spring has Sprung!

Related image
and the grass has riz...*

Time for a celebration 'printanière'- a selection of spring time recipes for you.

The first is a Spring Risotto - and four ways with the leftovers.

And I finish it off with some  leftover Hot Cross Bun ideas. Yum!

First, for the Spring Risotto. Use whatever spring veg you have left in your garden or is seasonal in the shops. I had spring onions, leeks, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes ( and frozen peas).

For two people, you need 1 large mug of risotto rice, some olive oil for frying, 1 litre of hot chicken or vegetable stock, 1 glass of white wine, 1 tbsp Boursin or cream cheese with herbs and garlic and a knob of butter. Begin by stir-frying your veg (except the peas) and risotto rice in the olive oil. Add the white wine.

Stir fry your risotto rice and veg until coated
Then add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring as it absorbs.
Stir in the stock a ladleful at a time
When the rice is nearly tender, and all the stock more or less used up, add the peas ( they will keep their green colour if you add them last).

Add the peas
Finally, mix in the Boursin and a knob of butter to make the risotto extra creamy.

Stir in the Boursin and butter
Serve hot in bowls.
Creamy Spring Risotto
The leftovers lend themselves to all kinds of dishes- hot or cold.

You can form the rice into little balls, coat in egg and breadcrumbs and fry in hot oil ( or bake for a healthier version) to make Arancini. 

Arancini with spicy chilli sauce
Or mix with a little curried mayonnaise and some chopped tomato or sweetcorn for a risotto salad.

Risotto salad

Or use to make Stuffed Beef Tomatoes. Just hollow out some large beef tomatoes with a teaspoon and mix the chopped flesh with the leftover risotto before spooning it back into the tomatoes and baking in a hot oven, topped with grated cheese.
(Suggestive olive decoration not compulsory!)

Stuffed Beef Tomatoes with Cheese ( and humorous olives)

And do something similar with Bell peppers- stuff with risotto mixed with some cubed feta or halloumi cheese and lardons and bake in a hot oven.

Risotto Stuffed Peppers

And now for those Hot Cross Buns. Who doesn't love them? Toasted with butter and jam or honey, they can't be beaten.
One a penny, two a cross buns
Or can they?

You might like to try digging out your old sandwich toastie machine to try these next two ideas.

Try spreading the bun with caramel or fudge sauce and chopped banana, 
Spread the bun with caramel and sliced banana
Then toast until the outside is crispy in a toastie machine ( or fry on both sides in  pan) to make a Banoffanini:

Banoffanini- yum!

Or use the same method but spread the bun with Nutella or chocolate sauce and sprnkle with raspberries or fruits of the forest and toast to make a Chock Berry Toastie.

Chock Berry Toastie and ice cream
Finally- how about a Hot Cross Bun Baked Alaska?

Beaten egg whites at the stiff peak stage
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees. Whip up two egg whites with some caster sugar until at the stiff peak stage. (The egg yolks go into scrambled eggs for tomorrow's lunch).

Split and lightly toast the buns. Allow to cool completely before topping each with a scoop of ice cream of your choice. Then quickly spread the egg whites all over using a palette knife ( or piping bag if you are flash) making sure that the ice cream is completely covered right down to the base of the bun as the tiniest hole can allow the ice cream to melt and leak out.

Bake in the hot oven for 4 minutes until golden all over. (You can add some finishing touches with a cook's blow torch if you have one.)
Hot Cross Bun Baked Alaska

* Poem often attributed to Ogden Nash 'Spring is sprung and the grass is riz- I wonder where dem flowers is?'

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