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a toast to a fantastic risotto.

IT had been a while since we got together for a girlie night in with a DVD. But my friends and I managed to arrange something special because pal Catrin, a Sex and the City fanatic, was getting married at the end of the month.

We had to have one last tribute to her being a singleton and what better way to do this than with friends, wine, and a lovely Italian meal.

Catrin is a big fan of Italian food and I love making my risotto, which is creamy, full of vegetables and looks fantastic sprinkled with parmesan.

As the last drop of wine was drunk we raised our glass to Catrin and wished her and James all the best in the future and hoped they have many happy years together.

But you don't need impending nuptials to enjoy this great dish.

RISOTTO

Ingredients For the risotto:

Olive oil, for frying

2 onions, sliced

450g/1lb Arborio risotto rice

1/3 of a bottle of white wine

650ml/1 pint 3fl oz hot vegetable stock

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

200g/7oz fresh peas (frozen is fine), blanched

200g/7oz asparagus, blanched

400g/14oz baby spinach

200g/7oz chopped courgettes, blanched

200g/7oz French beans, blanched

75ml/2 1/2 fl oz double cream

5oz Parmesan cheese, grated

For the chicken

Olive oil, for frying

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 chicken breasts, chopped into strips

2 spoon full of clear honey

Juice of 1 lime

A good dash of white wine

Method

SEASON the chicken well with salt and pepper.

Place in a bowl and add the honey and lime juice. Cover with some foil and leave to chill in the fridge for half an hour. Once the chicken has had time tomarinade, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the chicken. Fry until lightly browned, may become sticky due to the honey.

When it comes to the risotto, heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the rice and wine and simmer until reduced completely.

Add a good ladle of stock and stir continuously.

Continue adding more stock until reduced, keep stirring until the rice is cooked and all the stock has been used.

Blanch all the vegetables other than the spinach in boiling water for a fewminutes, drain and season. Add to the risotto.

Stir in the creamand parmesan cheese.

Leave a little left over to sprinkle over before serving.

To serve, place the risotto into serving bowls, place the chicken on top and add a little parmesan for decoration.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 31, 2008
Words:433
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