Feeding a family of 6 isn’t without issue.
Obviously it’s like catering for an army – especially as we have three teenage boys who live up to the stereotype of having hollow legs – but the more people that are thrown into the mix, the more restrictions apply; one likes something, another hates it, one likes something else yet another despises it… ad nauseam.
Mushrooms are a real problem here. Son number two can’t bear the texture but doesn’t mind the flavour and Mr six doesn’t like them at all (although he will tolerate them within a meal, “providing they aren’t the main ingredient”, for example mushroom stroganoff).
However, I really like mushroom risotto. And I do the cooking!
To make this recipe, you will need (and remember, my ingredients are very fluid, so add more or less or substitute entirely as you see fit):
- onion, finely chopped
- mushrooms, blitzed in the blender
- garlic, finely chopped
- arborio rice
- vegetable stock cubes made up with boiling water
- dried mixed herbs
- frozen peas
- Italian hard cheese
For the vegetable side dish, you will require:
- peppers (different colours), sliced
- courgettes (zucchini), diced
I first came up with this change to the original recipe when the boys were little. Back then they didn’t like lumps in their food so I used to blitz onion and mushrooms in the blender/food processor to make a paste, then fry that off in a little oil before adding the arborio rice.
Start by warming some vegetable oil and adding the onion. You don’t want it to colour, just turn translucent. Then add the mushroom paste and fry a little longer.
Add the garlic and arborio rice, stir a little and allow the rice to absorb the oil and flavours before adding a little stock (you can use reduced salt stock cubes if making this for little people).
You need to keep stirring and adding stock throughout – along with a generous shake of dried mixed herbs and a large handful of peas – until the risotto is creamy and delicious. Then remove from the heat and add a knob of butter.
To serve this I add some steamed broccoli with roasted peppers and courgettes and plenty of finely grated Italian hard cheese (and probably a large glass of red wine, because it’s the summer holiday and I deserve it – don’t judge me!)
Have you got any cheat meals? Let me know as I’m always looking for new ideas and tips