Recently I've bee trying out new recipes for risotto. After getting tired of the same old vegetable based risottos I started to venture into the fruit realm. After trying mango and banana, I have created my favorite thus far; a spicy pineapple risotto.
Again, risotto is nothing to be afraid of. A recipe like this would be a side at a restaurant, and you would be charged multiple times more than you can make it at home. As long as this recipe is followed and care is taken, a beautiful and delicious meal can be had. This would go perfectly with seared tuna or teriyaki chicken.
1 each - flesh of one pineapple, medium dice
12 oz - Arborio rice
1 qt - Vegetable stock
As needed - Water
2 Tbsp - whole butter
1 Tbsp - Pastamore Meyer Lemon Oil
1/2 - white onion, medium dice
1 Tbsp - Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce
1 Tbsp - fresh cilantro, minced
One pinch - saffron
To taste - salt and black pepper
1. Place the vegetable stock into a pot and bring to a simmer. While the stock is heating, cut the pineapple. Watch THIS you tube video if you are unsure as how to get the flesh from the core and skin. In a separate pot while the stock is heating, place the butter and the diced onion. Sweat the onions over medium heat, ensuring that they do not cook so hot that they brown.
2. When the onions are sufficiently sweat, add the rice to the pot and stir. Make sure that all the grains are covered in fat, but be sure to not brown the rice. When the rice is covered, add enough stock to barely cover the rice and bring the heat up to medium/medium-high (simmer). In a cup place 4 oz of hot stock and the saffron. Stir and allow to sit so that the saffron becomes warm.
3. Stirring often, add stock when the previous addition of stock has been absorbed by the rice. On the second addition add the stock that contains the saffron. Continue this method until the risotto has cooked for twelve minutes.
4. After twelve minutes add the chili garlic sauce and pineapple along with the stock being added. Continue cooking, stirring, and adding stock until the rice reaches the correct level of doneness (thoroughly cooked but still al dente). If you run of of stock during the cooking process warm water can be used in its place.
5. Once the rice is cooked remove the pot from the heat. Add a touch of water (as it will still tighten up once off the stove) and add the Pastamore Meyer Lemon Oil and the cilantro. Mix well and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
6. Serve immediately. Plate and garnish with a sprig of fresh cilantro.
Thai basil would also be a good substitute for cilantro used in this recipe. Be careful not to cook at a temperature that is too high, or the risotto will not have the creamy texture that it should. This dish has the right level of heat that successfully deals with the sweetness of the pineapple while making your mouth water.