Jenni Muir is a freelance journalist and editor, writing regularly on food, restaurants, shops, hotels, and food-related health issues. A regular contributor to Time Out magazine and guides, her latest success is The Guest List, an inspirational guide to destination hotels around the UK and Ireland, selected by Channel 4's Richard & Judy as one of their top Christmas books. Jenni is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu cookery school and a former student of the Culinary Institute of America. Her work has appeared in The Independent, Sunday Times, BBC Good Food, Country Living, Food and Travel, Marie Claire and the Saturday Express magazine, as well as on websites including bbc.co.uk/food and ukfood.co.uk. She is based in London but returns frequently to her native Australia.
This risotto is similar to one I enjoyed at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in New York. Mixed grain risottos are proving a fun area of experimentation for many chefs cooking in a contemporary style. Almost anything goes, depending on your tastes, but retaining the white rice is key when coaxing anyone wary of unusual grains into trying such a dish. Here the surprising use of sweetcorn adds a pleasing fresh chewiness that appeals to many people who don't like traditional risotto.
Put the stock into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. In the meantime, remove the kernels from the sweetcorn and place them in a bowl with the creamy juices they exude. Break up any clusters of kernels, then set aside. Chop the spring onions, keeping the white and green parts separate.
In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 25g/1 oz of the butter with the oil over a moderate heat. Add the white parts of the spring onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft and tender but not browned.
Add the rice and cook for a few minutes, stirring, until the grains are shiny and becoming translucent. Pour in the wine and stir until it bubbles away.
Add a ladle of the simmering stock and make a note of the time. Cook, stirring constantly, until the rice has absorbed all the stock. Then add another ladle of hot stock and repeat the process.
Once you have been adding stock and stirring the risotto for 15 minutes, add the corn kernels, their juices and 4 heaped tablespoons of the reserved green parts of the spring onions. Continue adding hot stock and stirring for another 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese and the remaining 25g/ 1 oz of butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with a little of the leftover spring onions and serve immediately as is or with crumbled crispy bacon, grilled prawns or a roasted mild chilli.
Shortlisted for The Glenfiddich Awards, The Guild of Food Writers Awards, The Andre Simon Prize, and the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards. Soon out in paperback.
"Excellent" - Time Out
"The recipes are unbelievably romantic" - The Telegraph
"She's produced a wonderful set of recipes, bringing imagination and sparkle to the basic ingredients....and the pictures are exceptional. A wonderful book" - The Guardian
Grains are one of the most tasty, versatile and nutritious food sources available, a delight to eat and easy to cook. In this work, Jenni Muir travels the world, exploring each continent's indigenous grains and the best recipes for using them. As well as established favourites such as oats, wheat and corn, there's North America's wild rice, bulghar and freekeh from the Middle East, the rye used in Scandinavian and Russian cooking, quinoa from Peru and the ancient Axtec grain, amaranth. The first part of the book provides an in-depth look at each of the grains and the second section features over 100 recipes, taking you from breakfast through to dinner. Jenni explains how to vary the dishes according to the grains you have and also recommends an exciting range of accompaniments that should transform each dish to suit the occasion.