The fact that I seriously considered writing a list of rules for myself to follow on the blackboard next to the kitchen table tells you everything you need to know about how dinner times are going at the moment.
Here he is happily eating cheese before it ALL KICKED OFF.
1 red pepper
1 teaspoon of butter
1 small onion or shallot, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
200g arborio rice
400ml chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika – the smokiness brings out the smokiness of the chargrilled pepper
40g grated pecorino and more to serve
Salt and pepper
First chargrill the pepper. Put it whole, directly onto the lit hob, or hot plate if you’ve got an Aga. When the skin’s black and charred turn it and keep going till it’s all blackened. Put in a plastic freezer bag, seal it and wait for it to cool. When it’s cool, you can just pull the skin off. If you wash it under the tap, the last bits of blackened skin will rinse off and you can get the seeds out at the same time. Chop it into smallish pieces. It sounds fussier than it is. I did it up to the bag stage during yesterday’s nap.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the onion and garlic till soft and translucent. Add the rice and stir through. Then add the chopped red pepper, paprika, salt, cheese, seasoning and stock. Bring to a rapid boil, put a closely fitting lid on and put in the oven at 200 degrees (or on the grid shelf near the bottom of the Aga roasting oven) for about 20-25 minutes. Much as I do like the slow, regular stirring of normal risotto, this is brilliant for life with an evil one year old who keeps very close tabs on your movements.
Bert took a single mouthful, said ‘bleurgh’ (who’s taught him this word?), screamed to watch Peppa Pig on my phone and then threw the bowl of cheese onto the floor, smashing it, followed by the fork, watching me closely for a reaction.
We now have a naughty corner.
Anyway, the risotto was delicious.