I swear, I’ll stop talking about our cancelled trip and being stranded in England and blah blah blah very soon. It’s just that our cancelled trip and being stranded in England really did change our plans for more than a month and we’re literally still feeling some of the impact. For example, we had smoked duck risotto with manchego cheese for dinner last Tuesday night.
I bought the smoked duck from a stall at the Winchester Food and Wine Fair, which took place in front of the gorgeous cathedral in the centre of Winchester. It was a drizzly and cold day- and we were supposed to be in Sydney. But, the tent was warm and there were tons of locally made cheeses, pastries and wines to try.
The manchego (a hard Spanish cheese) was purchased on our recent trip to Spain- when we were supposed to be in Japan. The only souvenirs I have from our trip to Barcelona are a hunk of cheese and a tin of smoked paprika. When travelling with carry-on luggage, your priorities really get tested.
So, to be honest, this risotto would not have existed if our flights and vacation hadn’t been cancelled. And this risotto was gooooood. Not “It Makes Up for No Trip to Sydney” good, but rather, “Tuesday Night in England Never Tasted So Good” good.
I know that locally-made-smoked-duck and fresh-from-Spain-manchego might not be readily available for most people (hell, they are not readily available for me!) but I’m going to give you little recipe anyway, just in case. After all, you never know when a cancelled vacation might lead you to culinary happiness!
And now, I’m totally done with the cancelled trip whinging. Totally.
Smoked duck and manchego risotto
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
350g (about 1.5 cups) arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
200 grams (about 1/3 pound) sliced smoked duck
100 grams (about 1/4 cup) manchego cheese, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a small saucepan.
Place the olive oil and butter in a pan over medium heat. Put the onions and garlic in the pot and stir until soft and beginning to brown.
Stir in the arborio rice. Stir this mix together for a few minutes to “toast” the rice. Add the wine and stir frequently until the rice has absorbed the wine.
Add chicken stock a ladle at a time to the rice, always keeping the mixture wet. Stir frequently. As the rice absorbs the stock, add more. You may not need all of the stock.
Continue to add the stock to the rice mixture until the rice is “done”. It will still have a bit of a bite, but will be mostly soft and creamy.
Stir in the duck and the manchego. Cook for just a few minutes until the duck is warmed through and the cheese has melted.
Serve in bowls, topped with extra grated manchego and salt and pepper to taste.