About the Soufflé is a project of a Finnish-Brazilian couple based in Helsinki, passionate about food, photography and cinema. We hope in our photos and videos we can deliver even a small bit of the love we have for food and other simple things in life. All photos are owned by us unless stated otherwise.
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Tuesday, June 26

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre Mousse

First of all, thanks so much everyone for your comments on my posts! Today I prepared my second favorite noodles (after pad thai) for dinner, and found a comment in the recipe. This kind of advising and giving ideas and hints is so important when learning more about food and cooking (or about anything, generally). So please give more feedback and also share your recipes with me!

Yesterday at work I got involved with the topic of healthy eating. I am not so much of a healthy eater myself (I probably shouldn’t tell this but today I had an ice cream AND two teaspoons of Nutella, which is my weakness) but it was interesting to read about this new Swedish research that confirms the old facts already learned at school: the Scandinavian “plate model" is the healthiest way to eat. It’s similar to many international plate models I found, and close to the Harvard food pyramid, but stresses the importance of veggies on each meal (half of the plate should be those). The Scandi plate rarely includes fruit, but substitutes them with berries that have less sugar and that, of course, also grow here up North.

The plate model says 50 percent of the meal should consist of vegetables, 25 percent of protein, 20 percent of carbs (the more fiber the better) and 5 percent of unsaturated fats. You should also have a glass of low-fat milk and a slice of rye bread on your meal. The dessert is berries. In the era of diets, and especially low-carb diets this model seems somehow old, but seems to be the one that is scientifically proved to be the best. It’s funny, by the way to compare it to this old Finnish eating recommendation model, that contains way too much of carbs and starch. I’m curious to know how in your country people are advised to eat, what are the proportions, etc?

A curious detail, that I heard from a nutrition researcher yesterday was that Finns get 20-25 percent of their daily calorie intake from “empty eats”, like candies, baked goods and alcohol. There we still have a lot to learn - me included.

Anyway, the recipe I’m sharing today I tried last night. Beetroot is a veggie I like, but which I rarely cook. Maybe because during the winter time the roots are so hard that they take too long time to cook, eh. Now anyway I decided to do something out of beets, so here comes a beetroot risotto. 

It was very delicious, but also very sweet. I highly recommend you also prepare the chèvre mousse to serve with risotto, as it nicely balances the sweetness.

Beetroot Risotto with Goat Cheese Mousse

2 large beetroots

2 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar

2+2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 dl risotto rice (I used Arborio)

650ml chicken broth

50g parmesan cheese, grated

1 teaspoon salt, or less to taste

freshly ground black pepper

150ml heavy whipping cream

200g soft goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 200°. 

Wash, peel, halve and slice the beetroots. Place them on a baking sheet over a parchment paper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, toss and roast for 30 minutes more. Let cool and puree with a stick blender or food-processor. Set aside.

Whip the heavy cream into a thick foam and let it wait in fridge.

Heat 2 remaining tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sautee for 2 minutes. Add the rice and sautee for more 3 minutes, until the rice starts becoming transparent.

Start adding the chicken broth 100ml at the time. Whisk constantly with a wire whisk or a wooden spoon, to create the crema. Then the liquid is absorbed, add the next 100ml.

When you have used all the broth (this should take about 15 minutes) the rice should be soft but not overcooked.

Stir into the risotto the pureed beetroots, grated parmesan and 3 tablespoons whipped cream. Spice up with salt and black pepper. Remember to taste the amount of salt, as the beets can give the food a very sweet flavor.

Keep the risotto over a very low fire while you prepare the mousse.

Using an electric mixer toss soft goat cheese to whipped cream. Mix well and serve immediately with the risotto.

Garnish the dish with some parmesan and black pepper.

If you want something green with your risotto, I have heard dill goes surprisingly well with beets. I should try that too!

Tags: Food Food photography Recipe Italian food Risotto Rice Vegetarian food Beetroot Goat cheese
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Friday, April 27

Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom Risotto

A few days ago I posted about my love for the spring’s best veggie, asparagus. In the same post I shared a recipe of a delicious roasted asparagus on toast, that I cooked for a late weekend breakfast (still remembering those flavors…). And in that very same post I promised, that this would not be my last asparagus post this spring.

And it totally was not, I’m only just getting started! Yesterday I had the second asparagus dish of the year, a risotto. I somehow always succeed in making all the risottos I cook taste the same. I think it’s the usage of broth. Most of the risottos I have tasted have tasted like it. The solution for this might be to prepare your own broth and make it taste more like the real thing and less like salt and natrium glutamate. So far I have been too lazy or too hungry to do that, but one day I will. This particular risotto however tasted wonderful, even with a broth made of concentrate.

I made this risotto on my basic risotto base. You can use it in many sorts of risottos, just by substituting asparagus and shiitake with mushrooms, spinach, peas, dried tomatoes etc.

Season’s Best Asparagus and Shiitake Risotto (serves 2, big time)

300ml risotto rice (I used Arborio)

400g fresh green asparagus

150g fresh shiitake mushrooms, big ones halved

700ml chicken or vegetable broth

150ml dry white wine

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

50g butter, divided in two

juice of half lemon

2 spring onions, finely sliced

big handful (50g) parmesan cheese, grated

salt & freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Wash and trim the asparagus: cut the hard ends with a knife or break them off where they snap naturally. Bind the asparaguses together with a rubber band or a cotton ribbon and place the bunch into the boiling water so, that the buds stay all the time above the water. Let boil for 3 minutes and then transfer to a bowl filled with icy cold water, to stop the cooking. Cut them into a few centimeter pieces. Set aside.

Fry the shiitakes in a dry pan on a medium heat for 5 minutes, until they get dry and get a bit of a golden color. Set aside.

Melt half of the butter on a large skillet or a pan. Add the chopped shallots and garlic and sautee on a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and sautee for a few minutes more, until the rice starts to get transparent by its color.

Add the white wine and cook stirring until the wine has absorbed, for a couple of minutes. Add 100ml of broth, stirring constantly. When the broth has absorbed, add 100ml more and repeat until you have used all the broth.

By now your risotto should have a creamy texture and the rice should be cooked, but not overcooked. Stir in the rest 25g of butter, lemon juice and parmesan cheese, and spice up with salt and pepper to your taste. Mix until everything is incorporated.

Lastly, add the shiitake mushrooms, chopped spring onions and asparagus. Mix everything together and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Tags: Food Food Photography Italian food Risotto Asparagus Mushrooms Recipe Recipes Vegetarian food
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