During my classes  I have often been asked what I thought of the Thermomix  when I first saw it. My response has always been the same. “An amazing machine, can do so many things but I wouldn’t buy one”. When I was asked why I would never be a Thermomix owner my response was “because I love to experience cooking, I want to make mistakes so I can learn how to do things right”. And that is still the case, at least the statement about experiencing cooking is.
So as I unpacked my Thermomix box you can understand the question running through my head, “had I sold out to the ‘dark side’ of the kitchen?” I can tell you after using my machine for less than a week I feel truly enlightened. Yesterday I made the most delicious pumpkin soup for my girlfriend for lunch, followed by a snack of raspberry and lemon sorbet. Last night I made G & I a chicken, pea and parsley risotto (recipe below) that we both absolutely loved. And for all of this I spent maybe an hour in the kitchen including doing the dishes by hand (because I don’t have a dishwasher).
All of these dishes were healthy, low-fat and quick & easy to prepare. For me, spending less time in the kitchen, especially during the week, means that I can do other things that I really want to do. I can still “experience cooking” while using the Thermomix and if I choose to immerse myself into the land of trial and error I can do so on the weekends when I have more time to experiment. G, being a boy, has the mechanical mind in the family. He was so impressed with the Thermomix and its capability that even he wanted to use it.
So was this an impulse buy and I just love it because it is a new “toy”? Absolutely not. I had been fortunate enough to use one previously as a client purchased it some time ago and I had also attended a home demonstration. I had asked several owners what the pros and cons were and did a mountain of research on it. All of this led me to purchasing my own Thermomix, realising how amazing these things really are and a further step of wanting to show others. So I have also decided to become a Consultant for Thermomix throughout Perth.
As such I would like to share my first Thermomix recipe with you. I wanted to keep this as close to an authentic risotto method as possible so there is a little fiddling at the start but after the rice goes in you can walk away.
chicken, pea, parsley and lemon risotto (recipe by Fiona at Food 4 Thought)
50g Parmesan cheese, cubed
5g fresh parsley leaves and stem
1 brown onion, quartered
1 garlic clove, peeled
20g olive oil
2 small or 1 large skinless chicken breasts (approx. 250 – 300 g), cut into 2cm pieces*
100g white wine
370-400g Arborio (or short grain) rice
500g low salt chicken stock (gluten-free if preferred)
200g frozen peas
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
Place Parmesan into TM bowl, grate for 5 seconds on speed 7. Transfer to another bowl and set aside. Place parsley into TM bowl, chop for 3 seconds on speed 7. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
Place onion and garlic into TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7. Add oil and sauté for 5 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Meanwhile, place chicken into a preheated non-stick pan and seal on all sides until slightly golden. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the butterfly if you wish (optional), then add wine and sauté for 1½ minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Add rice and sauté for 2 minutes at 100°C on speed soft.
Add chicken, stock and water, cook for 15 minutes at 100°C on reverse, speed 1.
5 minutes before the end of cooking add the peas and parsley. Use the spatula to push them into the rice mixture. Once cooking has finished, pour the risotto into the TM serving bowl, stir through the Parmesan, parsley and lemon juice then check for seasoning. Adjust seasoning as you like, cover and let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.
My tips/alterations: *You can remove the step of browning the chicken in a pan and just add it to the machine after the onions have cooked. Set the TM to sauté for 5 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Then continue with the rest of the recipe. However you will need to reduce the rice to 350g and the liquid (ie stock and/or water) to 900g – 1L. *If you would like to substitute the wine, you can use fruit juice such as pear juice or even verjuice. *This recipe can be made with homemade vegetable or chicken stock. If you would like to use the TM stock concerntrate, use 2 – 3 tablespoons per litre of water. *You can make this recipe gluten-free very easily. *You can make this recipe without the TM by using a traditional risotto method and cooking things for longer. The internet has many examples of this. *Resting the risotto in the TM server means that it will retain its heat very well and the consistency can change. Make sure that you check it occasionally so that you can devour your meal when the desired consistency is reached.
ease: 9/10. So much easier than a pan risotto.
prep time: 5mins.
cooking time: 24mins plus resting.
total: 30 mins plus resting.
taste: 9/10. G and I loved this. I was being quite critical because (for me) a good risotto must be almost runny rather than stuck together and the rice must be al dente. This not only had both of those qualities, it also tasted delicious. It had a creamy texture, the peas were cooked perfectly, the chicken was moist and the lemon juice livened everything up a little.
would I make it again: Absolutely! I have always thought that risotto took a glass and a half of wine to make it. Half a glass in the pan, the rest in my glass :). Normally I would have to stand over the pan while drinking it but this time I was able to enjoy my wine while sitting with G because I could let the TM do all the work.