Cooking with Harry & George: Saffron Spiced Risotto Balls2013-09-27
- Yield : around 40 balls
- Prep Time : 15m
- Cook Time : 45m
- Ready In : 60m
We’re all looking for new ways to make homemade, nutritious food easier and quicker to prepare and cook. Especially when you are cooking with and for kids. For Part 2 of the Kidspot Voices 2013 Top 5 Food Bloggers Gourmet Gadget Challenge sponsored by The Good Guys we were sent a RC4900 Sunbeam Risotto and Rice Perfect® 8. (We made Superfood Banana & Lemon Fro-Yo – 1 meal 3 ways for Part 1 of the challenge.)
We had fun playing around with this gourmet gadget, even Harry & George got involved. I road tested it a few times in preparation for this post and found lots of advantages:
- – It makes risotto a one pot wonder. There is no need to heat the stock in a separate saucepan, or to saute ingredients in a separate pan first
- – Once the risotto is cooked it beeps to let you know so you don’t have to keep checking its progress or completely forget that something is cooking, leaving you with more time to play with the kids before dinner
- – The non-stick bowl makes it easy to clean. Perfect!
- – The 20 cup cooked rice capacity bowl makes it perfect for growing families or cooking big batches of rice. Freeze leftovers in indiviudal portions or use in recipes such as: Cheesy Vegetable Rice Slice, Vegetable Rice Cakes, Beef & Veggie Brown Rice Meatloaf or Pick N Mix Egg & Vegetable Fried Rice.
- – Don’t stop at rice, it’s also great for cooking quinoa, our favourite superfood. Again, freeze any leftovers in individual portions or use in recipes such as: Lamb & Quinoa Rissoles, Green Chicken Quinoa Puree, or Quinoa, Chicken & Broccoli Nuggets.
It was so easy to make risotto using the Sunbeam. I even made it after dinner one night in preparation for making risotto balls for George’s dinner the next day. The kids might even like to help you roll and coat the balls before frying them for their lunch or dinner. Cooking with your kids and getting them involved in food preparation and cooking has many benefits, not only for them but also for you – they are often much more interested in trying new foods if they were involved in the preparation. It does require patience, it can get a tad messy, but it’s a lot of fun and they learn so much.
Watch Harry and George help Allie road test the Sunbeam cooking Saffron Spiced Risotto Balls, and of course devour the end result.
Spice Note: We chose saffron as our spice for this challenge. Soaking a small pinch of saffron threads in some boiling water prior to adding into the risotto imparts a lovely yellow colour into the rice and a complex yet subtle earthy flavour.
Nutrition Note: Spice doesn’t always mean “hot” so don’t let the word scare you off when you are cooking family meals. Introducing spice early into your child’s food from an early age helps in transitioning to family foods encourages positive eating habits prevents fussy eating behaviour.
Don’t forget, cooking with kids requires complete adult supervision, at all times.
- pinch of saffron threads
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1/2 red capsicum, finely chopped
- 2 rice cups of arborio rice
- 700* ml salt reduced vegetable or chicken stock (+ extra water or stock if needed in step 7.)
- 1/2 cup loosely packed parmesan cheese
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup multigrain breadcrumbs
- 1 cup quinoa flakes (or multigrain breadcrumbs, extra)
Crush the saffron threads lightly between your fingers, place in a small dish and cover with a tablespoon of boiling water for at least 5 minutes. -
Rinse the rice under cold water and set aside until ready to use - this will help to avoid it becoming gluggy. -
Turn the 'Risotto and Rice Perfect® 8' on and press MENU button to SAUTÉ. Add the oil and butter. Once the butter has melted add the onion, carrot and capsicum and cook for 3 minutes or until they are soft. -
Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the stock and saffron then cover with the lid and press MENU button to RISOTTO. After 10 minutes then lift the lid to stir your risotto to agitate the grains for a more creamy risotto and prevent any browning on the bottom. Put the lid back on and wait for your risotto to finish cooking. Once all the liquid has been absorbed and the risotto has finished cooking it will beep and the setting will change to KEEP WARM. -
If all the liquid hasn't been absorbed at this point, place the lid back on and change the setting back to RISOTTO, or, if the grains aren't cooked properly, add some more liquid, place the lid back on and change the setting back to RISOTTO. -
Once the risotto is cooked and on the KEEP WARM setting, stir through the peas, parmesan cheese and lemon juice and leave to stand for 5 minutes with the lid on. Remove the risotto from the cooker, place in a large bowl and allow to cool in the fridge. -
Once cool, roll tablespoons of the risotto into balls, dip in egg and then the breadcrumb/quinoa mixture before gently frying in olive oil until the rice has warmed through and they are golden brown all over. Note: You can fry the balls in the 'Risotto and Rice Perfect® 8' using the SAUTÉ function. -
Freezing Tip: Freeze any leftover risotto in small portions. When ready to use, defrost and continue with step 10. Do not refreeze. -
*Note: If you are using the traditional "stirring" method to cook the risotto, you will need around 1.5L of stock. Heat the stock in medium saucepan and keep hot until ready to use. At Step 5, add 1 ladleful of stock at a time and stir often until almost all the stock has been absorbed. Once all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked, stir through the peas, parmesan and lemon juice, cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Continue with Step 9. -
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