Brett from Random House was kind enough to send me a copy of the new MasterChef Cookbook. The cook book is full of recipes from the top 20 contestants, as well as tips and tricks in the kitchen.
Looking through the cook book took me back to all the challenges the contestants had to face. Recipes in the cookbook include Luke’s Singapore Mud Crabs, Poh’s Chicken Rendang and Andre’s Polenta and Semolina with Bug Bisque.
I decided to make something simple and delicious. Risotto is a favourite in the Eugenio household so I chose to make the Pumpkin Risotto.
4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove crushed
1 1/2 cups (300g) Arborio rice
1/3 cup (80ml) white wine
200g piece of pumpkin peeled, seeded and grated
1/2 cup (40g) parmesan, finely grated
Basil and olive oil for garnish
1. Bring the stock to the boil in a medium saucepan with 1 cup (250ml) water. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until required.
2. Melt one third of the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until translucent. Add the rice, and coat in the butter. Pour the wine in around the edge of the pan.
3. Add the hot stock mixture a little at a time, just enough to cover the rice. Simmer, shaking the pan occasionally, until the stock is absorbed. Keep adding the stock in batches, shaking the rice as it cooks. This will take about 20-25 mins, until all the stock is used and the rice is al dente.
4. Meanwhile, combine the pumpkin and half the remaining butter in a medium saucepan. Cook, covered, over medium low-heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 mins until very soft. Mash until smooth.
5. Add the remaining butter to the rice, along with the pumpkin puree and the parmesan. Gently fold through until just combined. Spoon onto a serving plate and crumble the fetta over. Sprinkle with the basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil.