Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another Take on Risotto: Pie?

I've mentioned this before but it would be possible for me to rename this blog "Risotto Heaven" or "Risotto Fanatic" with the amount of time I dedicate to risotto recipes. But, I love it. Here is another one that was a huge hit at my birthday potluck dinner on Feb 4th. The recipe is a bit complicated because of its various components and dealing with filo dough (which I've only done once before for spinach pie). I made the huge mistake of forgetting to take the filo dough out of the freezer to allow it to thaw properly. This led to a frenzy when it was time to put all the pieces of the pie together. Without a microwave, I stuck the frozen dough into a warm oven and allowed it to warm up. It turned out wonderfully even with the chaos and I was left with only one piece by the end of the night. But, please, do not forget to defrost the filo dough!

Filo Risotto Pie (from Essential Vegetarian Cookbook)

What You Need
- 2 large red peppers
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 10 sheets filo pastry (thawed)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 lb spinach (recipe says to blanch this, I sauteed it with olive oil very quickly instead)
- 8 oz feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

What You Do
1. Cut the peppers in half lengthways and remove seeds. Cut into quarters.
2. Roast the peppers until skin blackens and blisters.
3. Put roasted peppers in a paper bag or cover with a towel and allow to cool.
4. Peel the peppers and cut into smaller pieces.
5. Begin making the risotto by warming up the vegetable broth.
6. Heat oil and garlic in a large-heavy based pan.
7. Add fennel and leek and cook over medium heat until lightly browned (5 minutes).
8. Add rice and stir for three minutes.
9. Add wine and stir until evaporated.
10. Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth to risotto at a time, stirring constantly until all the stock has been used. This will take 40 minutes.
11. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. (Note: I prepared the risotto and peppers the night before and then started again the next day at #12)
12. Brush each sheet of filo with olive oil and fold in half lengthways.
13. Arrange like overlapping spokes on a wheel in a 9 inch springform pan with one side of pastry hanging over the side of tin. (This was not graceful for me because of my filo mess described above-- but don't worry too much about it)
14. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
15. Spoon half the risotto over the pastry and top with half the red peppers, half the spinach, and half the feta cheese.
16. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
17. Fold pastry over the filling and brush lightly with oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
18. Bake for 50 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden and pie is heated through.

Yum! This was my first time cooking with a springform pan and it was very fun. Next use for the springform: cheesecake.

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