Having the right kitchen equipment can really make all the difference in how easy it is to prepare your meals. One item that I suggest getting is a dutch oven, that is a saucepan that can go from the stove to the oven. You will find some lovely ones out there by Le Creseut; they look gorgeous and come in the loveliest colours. But to be honest the one I use is a cheap one from a discount store and it does the job just fine. Mine is about 2 litres in size – around 2 quarts and it works well for me just cooking for one. I do recommend getting smaller pots for when you are cooking just for yourself. If you use a pot that is too big you find that too much of the dish is in contact with the hot surfaces and the dish can over cook and become dry. My only word of warning with these dutch ovens is that they can be quite heavy so you need to be careful when manoeuvring them in and out of the oven.
One of my favourite recipes to cook in my dutch oven is this baked chicken and leek risotto. I am a huge fan of risotto and I normally find the whole stirring business relaxing but sometimes I want risotto without the work and that is where this baked risotto comes in.
I have been on a bit of Tex-mex / Mexican / Spanish kick recently, I love the flavours of those cuisines and I had some chorizo left over from some other dishes I had made. I have taken those flavours and that leftover chorizo to create this Spanish inspired chorizo risotto based on the baked chicken and leek risotto recipe. I love recipes that are great bases for messing around with flavours and that original baked risotto is a classic example.
There are so many benefits of this recipe, not only does it taste good with the chipotle and corn giving sweetness, the feta adding salt and the chorizo a lovely smoky taste. But it is all done in one pot if you have a dutch oven and it reheats well the next day. I always make a batch of two servings so I have dinner done the next day.
I am bit addicted to the crumbled feta from South Cape that I have found recently at the supermarket. I know it is probably the ultimate in laziness not having to crumble my feta but it just makes using it to top dishes with it that much easier and I love what the saltiness does to a dish. (And no this is not a sponsored post.)
Not the fastest recipe I have but given that most of the cooking is done in the oven, it is a pretty hands off dinner. I wouldn’t make this on a very hot day where you don’t want to turn on the oven but otherwise it does manage to cross the seasons, one of those not too heavy but not too light dishes.
- 1 tbs of olive oil
- 130g fresh chorizo sausage, sliced
- 1/2 cup of frozen corn, rinsed under cold water to get rid of any ice
- 1/2 a jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/3 of a yellow capsicum (pepper), diced
- 1 tsp of chipotle in adobo, minced
- 220g arborio rice
- 500ml of chicken stock
- 100ml of tinned diced tomatoes
- 2 tbs of crumbled feta
- coriander (cilantro) to garnish
- Preheat oven to 150C (300F)
- Heat oil on the stove on medium in a dutch oven (if you don't have a dutch oven a saucepan will work for this first part).
- Put the chorizo in the dutch oven and brown - about 3-4 mins
- Add the corn, jalapeno, capsicum (pepper) and chipotle in adobo to the pot and stir well until all well mixed.
- Fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add rice and stir so it is coated with oil for about 1 minute.
- Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil.
- (If you aren't using a dutch oven pop everything into an oven proof casserole dish with a lid.)
- Cover and put in the oven for about 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed, stirring once half way through.
- Remove from oven, stir in the feta and garnish with coriander (cilantro)