When I was at university I spent most of my student loan on clothes. And my Mulberry Bayswater. And several pairs of boots and shoes. So it isn’t hugely surprising that there wasn’t much left over for food.
Like most students I didn’t have a hugely varied diet, unless you saw our alcohol selection – which I like to think counts. I did, as I still do to an extent, rely on my cupboard staples: risotto, vegetable stock, tinned tomatoes and baked beans. By adding one or two things to these I could make a pretty substantial meal.
Whilst most students live on pasta, risotto was always my meal of choice because when cooked the rice and stock make a meal in itself, so you don’t need to worry about what you’ve got left in the cupboard. After eating so much of the stuff for 3 years I was put off it for a while, but I now I’ve got my risotto-mojo back I’m pretty darn pleased.
I absolutely love looking at other peoples’ recipes – so much so that I have a ridiculous amount of cooking books and I’m running out of space for them. Since discovering some amazing cooking blogs, I could quite happily spend all of my evening looking through them even though it makes me really hungry.
Having seen a recipe on How Sweet It Is, I decided to try it out. And here starts my grown-up risotto life.
Sweet Potato Risotto
Improvised from the recipe from How Sweet It Is. Serves 2, takes about 30 minutes (if you’re slow like me!)
1 medium sized sweet potato
200g risotto rice
Vegetable stock cube / 1 heaped tsp bouillon
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 whole grated nutmeg / 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 glass of white wine (optional)
Knob of butter
Handful or two of grated cheese
Firstly I am going to point out something that most of you will already know – so please ignore. If you don’t know it, you can thank me later.
Chopping an onion. Yes, I know – I said ignore this if you already know how to!! – there is a really easy way to finely chop an onion, and it’s so much quicker. Just have a look at this video …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs8cQ_tjsF8
Right, back to important matters,
1.Put a pan onto boil, chop the sweet potato (skin on) and boil for about 15 minutes until it is soft enough to mash.
2. While that’s cooking, chop the onion and gently fry in a little oil until it softens, then add the chopped garlic, smoked paprika and nutmeg and continue to fry for another minute.
3. Add in the risotto rice to the pan and cook for about a minute (until you notice that the rice grains go transparent around the outsides). Add in the vegetable stock or bouillon along with the wine, then add a mug full of water and stir, letting the risotto absorb the water.
4. When most of the water has gone, add another mug full of water and stir until that is absorbed. Keep repeating this process until you’ve used about 4 mugs full. What I did here is used the drained and flavoured sweet potato water for the last lot, instead of pouring it down the drain. Remember to keep stirring it!
5. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, drain and mash into a puree.
6. When the risotto is cooked, add the sweet potato puree, season with pepper and stir. Add a knob of butter, cover the pan and leave to sit off the heat for a couple of minutes.
7. Finally serve and sprinkle with grated cheddar.
This also got a approval from Mr TCG despite the lack of meat. Good news for the veggie crew!
No more pea risotto for me! I’m a grown up now, didn’t you know?