Oven Baked Prawn Risotto on RSG

Oven baked risotto is my go-to-recipe that I haul out whenever I have to feed a crowd quickly and in an affordable way. I often use this recipe on youth camps and even  when I entertain, oven baked risotto finds its way to my table. I can dress it down or up, but either way, I am guaranteed  of a great meal.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook will know that I am on my way to Bloemfontein to cook with the Fynproewers Gulde. This fine-dining gild has been going for just on 25 years and I think it is incredible how a passion for food has kept this organization going for so long. We will be preparing and cooking a Thai feast. I wanted to use my time in Bloemfontein for something more than just cooking and when I read an article about  Food4kids, I knew I would love to be involved in something so worthy. In short Food4Kids provide meals for about 55 children in the Bloemfontein area and they have almost double the amount of children on a waiting list. For most of those children, it is the only food they get in a day and that makes me rather sad and desperate to help. Tomorrow morning on RSG, just after 9, we will be talking to Willie van Deventer who is the founder of this organization and he will tell you more about his work and where you could send donationsshould you wish to. Our theme tomorrow morning is budget recipes or recipes that can feed a crowd, hence my oven baked risotto. You might say that the prawns are a bit over the top, but I did say you can dress it up or down. We had some celebrating to do, so dressing up was in order.

Oven Baked Risotto
6-8 servings

1 large onion – finely chopped
1 of each red, green and yellow peppers – chopped in small cubes (optional)
2 T vegetable oil
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika – optional
a few of thyme
2 cups Arborio or normal rice
125 ml white wine
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
zest and juice of 1 lemon
125 ml cream
125 ml freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
24 prawns – veined and cleaned (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C

Heat the  oil in a oven-proof pot and saute the onions and thyme and if you are using it, also the peppers and paprika. Saute until the onion is soft and creamy and then add the rice. Stir and make sure that every rice kernel is covered with oil. Add the wine and allow to cook away completely. Add the stock, cover the pot and place in  the oven for about 30-35 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove pot from the oven and test to see if all liquid has evaporated. If the risotto is too dry, add a little stock. If using the prawns, add them all to your oven-proof pot, put the lid back on and place back in the oven for 5 minutes to cook the prawns. Remove the risotto from the oven and add the cream and  grated Parmesan and serve immediately.
As you may have noticed, you can choose to make a plain creamy risotto or add the peppers and the paprika for a spicy twist. the choice is yours….

Tomorrow morning just after 9, tune into RSG and listen how you can make a difference in somebody’s life.