In the first episode of MasterChef South Africa contestants were asked to present the judges with their best-ever cold dishes. That is, a cold dish that doesn't include anything cooked. Not an easy task! A successful cold dish depends on the right mix of textures and flavours to create a meal that satisfies the tastebuds in every respect. Here is what the food editors to TASTE would have served.
1 x 20 g sachet porcini mushrooms
4 cups porcini mushroom stock
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
400 g portabellini mushrooms, sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
350 g arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
About 125g Wineland Brie, thinly sliced, at room temperature
Herb salad (use the leaves only of a mix of Italian parsley, rocket and watercress, moistened with olive oil and lemon juice)
Place the dried mushrooms in a large bowl. Pour over the boiling stock and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. Fish out the mushrooms and slice.
Heat about 3T (45ml) olive oil in a wide pan. Add the onion and cook gently until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and portabellini mushrooms, and, if necessary, more oil. Stir-fry the mushrooms until just cooked, then remove and set aside. Season to taste.
Heat a little more oil in the pan. Add the rice and stir around. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring, until the wine reduces. Add the porcini mushroom stock, ladle by ladle, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is swollen and just tender. (You shouldn’t have used all the liquid, so spoon the rest into the cooled risotto to loosen it.)
Check seasoning. Mix in the reserved mushrooms then turn onto a serving dish. Top with the sliced cheese and, if you like, a drizzle of olive oil. Serve at room temperature with herb salad on the side.
2650kJ, 13.8g protein, 25.4g fat, 73g carbs