Daring Cooks: RISOTTO


The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.

I wish I had the time to try a sweet version of this hearty Italian dish.  It is so versatile and not so difficult to make although a bit time consuming since you do want to use homemade stock.  If in a bind, you can use canned stock but there is a huge difference in taste.  I made a SCALLOP SHIITAKE MUSHROOM RISOTTO based on the recipe provided by our hosts.

Chicken Stock

1 large chicken 2-3 pounds about 1 kg
chicken bones 2-3 pounds 1 kg
2 onions, roughly diced
1 medium leek – white part only, roughly diced
2 sticks celery, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. white peppercorns ( Any type of whole peppercorn will do)
2 bay leaves (fresh or dried, it doesn’t matter.)
peel of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. allspice


  1. Wash the chicken and bones and places in a 5 Litre pot, cover completely with water and bring to a boil
  2. Skim away any scum as it comes to the surface
  3. Add the vegetables and bring back to a boil
  4. Add the rest remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered for 1.5 hours
  5. Carefully lift out the chicken, set aside. The chicken meat can be removed from the chicken, shredded off and used for other things like soup!
  6. Simmer the stock gently for another hour. At , at the end you should have around 2 Liters
  7. Carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve, the less the bones and vegetables are disturbed in this process the clearer the stock will be. 
The stock is now ready for use. Freeze what you don’t need for later use.

Risotto Base

olive oil 2 fluid oz 60 ml
1 small onion, quatered
rice 14 oz 400g (Any type of risotto rice will do. I used Arborio.)
white wine 2 fl oz 60 ml ( I used Pinot Grigio)
chicken or vegetable stock , simmering 2 pints 1 L



  1. Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard. (We diced ours and left it in as we like onion).
  2. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly.
  3. Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated.
  4. Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don’t actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off.
  5. Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed.
  6. Repeat Step 5 making sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml. of stock for the final step. .
  7. Repeat, save 100ml for the final stage.
  8. Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.

To make the Scallops Shiitake Mushroom version, I added 2 cups of bay scallops and 1 cup shiitake mushrooms.

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» Susan/Wild Yeast said: { Mar 14, 2010 - 11:03 }

Beautiful! I think I would love the combination of scallops and shiitakes.

» Jenn said: { Mar 14, 2010 - 12:03 }

Beautiful risotto and pictures! I bet the scallops and mushrooms make a wonderful combination :)

» ap269 said: { Mar 14, 2010 - 01:03 }

Good job on the challenge.

» jenn said: { Mar 14, 2010 - 03:03 }

Risotto is on top of my list of things to make this year. It has been for a while. I need to get moving on that.

» jo said: { Mar 14, 2010 - 09:03 }

Oh wow, this looks really delicious. And I do like scallops a whole lot. Great job!

» Audax Artifex said: { Mar 15, 2010 - 12:03 }

Your seafood risotto looks so delicious I just love how you can see each ingredient it must of tasted wonderful. Your photographs are very clear and really show off the risotto so well. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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