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a yummy substitute for maccas: baked risotto with garlic and chilli prawns

risotto a yummy substitute for maccas
This is embarrassing to admit but I’ve never been able to master the perfect risotto. I don’t know if my stock/broth to rice ratio was way off, tipped in the favour of stock, if I stirred too much, not enough… I follow the recipe exactly, recipes written by the Nigellas and Jamies of the world (people who definitely know their Italian grub) and somehow end up with a glutinous porridge.

It’s such a shame because I love risotto. In fact, I love Italian food in general; the concepts underpinning the cuisine are keep it simple, and use few, very high quality ingredients. It’s a style of cooking I’ve learnt to love given that in my early days of cooking I ruined many a meal by adding way too many (albeit delicious and exciting) ingredients.

Regarding risotto, the best ones I’ve tasted have been made delicious with a few fresh herbs and one or two main ingredients, like seafood, mushrooms or meat. Unfortunately I have been shying away from cooking risotto as I was sick of wasting truffles and prawns.

But a couple of weeks ago I was flicking through a copy of Super Food Ideas and found a recipe for risotto that involved almost no continuous stirring. It instead instructed me to bake the rice. I think I may have unravelled why I, and so many others, stuff up risotto and the end result was insanely delicious, and very easy. Enjoy delicious risotto that will not double as gluggy porridge.



Olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, (1 crushed, 2 thinly sliced)
1 ½ cups abrorio rice
1 red onion, thinly sliced 
3 little red chillies, thinly sliced
1 litre good quality chicken stock
½ cup fresh basil leaves
12 green king prawns, peeled, deveined, with tails
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved


Preheat oven to 180?.

Heat some olive oil in a large oven proof pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring regularly, for five minutes. Add the crushed garlic and cook for one minute.

Add the rice and stir until thoroughly coated. Add the stock and chilli and bring to the boil. Cover with foil and put in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile heat a little more olive oil in a small fry pan and cook the sliced garlic over medium heat for two minutes. Set aside.

Remove the risotto from the oven and add the prawns, cherry tomatoes, cut side up, and scatter the basil leaves over the top. Bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and scatter with the garlic slices.

Serves 4

This recipe was adapted from a recipe in the May 2013 issue of Super Food Ideas.

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