My favourite food programme is back on: Masterchef! Last year when watching it I started a series of posts called Inspired by Masterchef and so this year I’m hoping to do the same. Each week, after watching Masterchef, I will try to make something inspired by the show, to post by the end of the following week. As each year gets harder and the processes and ingredients used get more complex for just an ordinary cook at home, I know that this is going to be a real challenge for me, especially as I have only just over a week to get the right ingredients and make each recipe. Some of the recipes used on the show do get posted on the BBC food website, but that would be just too easy, I want to be a bit more creative. Therefore, some of the recipes I post will attempt to recreate the recipe exactly, but based on my memory, whereas others will be a looser interpretation.
Well now, on to my first recipe. I’d heard of potato risottos before and loved the idea of making a risotto with finely diced potato rather than rice. So of course, when one of the contestants decided to make a potato, chive, chorizo and orange risotto with sea bream, I liked the sound of it. Well, except for the orange juice, and neither did John and Greg. Of course, for my recipe, out went the orange juice, and in came some lemon juice as a replacement, which I’m sure would have been much more popular among the Masterchef judges, if only the contestant hadn’t tried to be so ‘interesting’.
It’s important to use waxy rather than floury potatoes for this, as floury ones will disintegrate in the stock as they are in such small pieces. I know when you look at my picture, the pieces of potato don’t look that small, but they did look small to me when I was chopping them up! Maybe next time I will attempt a bit more refinement and dice the potato more finely. That’s the only change I’ll make. The chorizo and pimenton give the dish a lovely slightly smoky flavour and the taste really soaks into the pieces of potato. The lemon juice is very subtle and keeps the whole dish light. So overall, I’m very pleased with my first dish of the series and looking forward to my next one. In fact, I’m so pleased I’m planning to cook this for quests, not just me and my husband!
If anyone else is as big a Masterchef fan as me and would like to join me in this challenge, let me know and I’ll provide a link to your recipe as well.
Ingredients – serves 2
2 sea bass fillets
5 small waxy potatoes (depending on size, enough for 2 people)
1 clove garlic, crushed
100g fresh chorizo sausage, diced
A little chicken stock (approx 200ml)
1/2 tsp pimenton (sweet smoked paprika)
Juice of 1 lemon
How to make Chorizo Potato Risotto with Sea Bass
1. Dice the potatoes into small rectangles. Heat a little oil in a saucepan. Add the chorizo. Cook for about three minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
2. Add the potatoes to the saucepan. Stir to cover in all the oil from the chorizo. Sprinkle with the pimenton.
3. Add the stock, so the potatoes are just covered, but not swimming in the liquid. Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer. Cover the pan.
4. Check the pan every so often and stir. If it does start to get too dry, before it is fully cooked, add a tiny dash of water from the kettle. It will take about 20 minutes for the potato to be fully cooked, soak up the flavours and become a little soft. During this stage, cook the sea bass. I like to fry in a little oil so the skin goes crispy, but you could grill or steam it.
5. Just before serving, stir through the chives, season with black pepper and add the lemon juice.
6. Serve the sea bass on top of the risotto.