Mock risotto (for very lazy or very hungry people!)

by Jeanne on January 22, 2010

in Pasta & rice, Recipes - gluten-free, Recipes - vegetarian

MockRisottoWeb

What if Cambridge University had stipulated physical attractiveness as one of their criteria… and refused to employ modern genius Stephen Hawking in this basis?

What if Britain's Got Talent imposed a "size zero" size limit on contestants… and failed to select runaway success Susan Boyle on that basis?

Or what if Hollywood studios imposed a height restriction… and failed to employ Oscar winner Joe Pesci on that basis?

Just think what a loss to the world these decisions would have meant.

The same can be said for this rice dish.  I did not initially photograph it - but after a few mouthfuls I realised I HAD to share this yummy recipe.  Then I thought twice about even posting it because oh boy, it was not photogenic (this is the best shot of about eight – imagine what the others looked like that didn't make the cut!).  But as they say, what is pleasing to the palate is not always pleasing to the eye…

It was one of those happy accident dishes.  There was some leftover cooked basmati rice from a Thai green curry dinner,  and some leftover goats' cheese from my cheese and homemade crackers lunch.  The rest of the fride was full of day-before-grocery-shopping scraps, Nick was out, for dinner, and I did not feel like making a big effort. My first thought was to stir-fry the rice with some peas and soy sauce and to top it all with a poached egg… but then inspiration struck.

The most surprising thing about this dish for me was how the goats cheese behaved when I stirred it into the warm rice – it melted away into a rich creaminess that reminded me of a slightly dry risotto, hence the name.  But whereas risotto takes 20 minutes of stirring and your virtually undivided attention, this can be done in10 minutes flat – and maybe even without a trip to the grocery store :)  The gentle warmth of the chile, the creamy goodness of the cheese – it's close to simple perfection.

GOATS' CHEESE MOCK RISOTTO (serves 2)

For printable recipe, click here.

Ingredients:

about 2 cups cooked basmati rice
1 red or orange pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 tomato, diced
4-6 small mushrooms, diced
pinch of dried chile pepper flakes
150g (1 small log) soft rindless fresh goats cheese (no rind – this is important!)
olive oil
butter (optional)
salt and pepper

Method:

Steam the rice to re-heat, or warm in the microwave.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan.  Add the chile flakes, onion and garlic and sautee until the onion starts to soften but not brown.  Add the pepper and tomato until the pepper starts to soften, then add the mushrooms. 

Add the rice and mix thoroughly.  Once the mixture is hot through, stir in the goats cheese a tablespoon at a time.  Mix well, check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving, I added a blob of butter, but this is optional.  Not everyone has the close relationship with butter that I have ;-)

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

elra January 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Very delectable and comforting meal Jeanne. Risotto is one of my favorite rice dish.

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Sarah, Maison Cupcake January 23, 2010 at 11:11 pm

I love accidents like this! Mind you, I would probably like anything that had goat’s cheese in it!!!!

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Bethany January 24, 2010 at 12:17 pm

This is a fantastic way to have risotto when you’re lazy! Love it! Great idea.

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bellini valli January 24, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Some of the best meals come from the necessity of invention Jeanne. This is an ugly duckling kind of meal that is definitely a swan.

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Soma January 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Mmmm.. like it simple & quick. basmati rice has its own beautiful aroma…

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nina January 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm

That is why I LOVE goat’s cheese, it takes an ordinary dish and elevates it to something so sublime and delicious!!! So glad you decided to share with us!!!

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diva January 25, 2010 at 12:22 am

mock risotto?! Jeanne you are a genius! i like this already. accident recipes sure are useful and a bit of a blessing i say, so thank you very much for sharing because i know i’ll definitely need this in desperate times. A bag of arborio rice is just sitting in my kitchen becaues i can’t be arsed to go through the whole process of making it right from step 1 of frying the rice briefly in butter. Do i have that much time really?
I probably should have but i really don’t! Goats cheese sure does wonders and if it makes this deceptive mock risotto I’m all in. x

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Jeanne @ Cooksister January 25, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Elra – do yourself a favour ad try it – it’s SO easy!
Sarah – happy accidents are how most of the best dishes appear in my kitchen :)
Beth – it’s for one of those nights when you just CAN’T spend 25 minutes stirring :)
Val – it ain’t pretty, but it sure tasted fantastic – so comforting.
Soma – you are so right – the basmati added a great flavour.
Nina – if it weren’t for making your crackers (and not being able to find goats cheese with a rind!), this dish might never have been born!
Diva – precisely – it’s the recipe for when you need a hit of comfort food FAST! :)

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Kat January 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Oh I have these dishes too, the ones where I think that it’s too plain to photograph or too simple to post but then they just seem so tasty that it’d be a sin not to. I just call my rice and veggie based inventive dishes ‘gemuse’ :D
And your risotto-gemuse sounds very appetizing :D

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Kitchen Butterfly January 25, 2010 at 7:59 pm

The best recipes…..are those that come by accident, are eaten without incident and are memorable enough to be shared with friends and worthy of a repeat cook! Would you do this again? Anyhow, that’s my motto

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Marisa January 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm

What a great idea! Melted cheese = instant bliss.

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deeba January 29, 2010 at 2:23 am

Ah comfort in a bowl. I love the magic you created out of leftovers! This is just my kinds comfort dish! Nom nom … glad you decided to blog about it!

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Hannah January 31, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Maybe it’s just me, but I saw that photo and immediately thought “yes, please”. I could tell it had some sort of dairy richness, and looksa bit “drier” than standard risotto, and I prefer drier! I think I might “accidentally” cooke too much rice soon, just so I can have an excuse to make this :)

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sarah February 5, 2010 at 11:56 pm

I really like reading about cooking like this. Very down to earth, and the kind of inspiration we all need on a night when we’re hungry, tired, and devoid of groceries. (I was thinking about using leftovers just earlier today.) Thanks for being willing to post about this very real home cooking experience. :)

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Kitchenboy August 18, 2011 at 10:02 am

Oh my! I can just imagine all those flavour working together…mmmm…delicious!

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