What makes something 'comfort food'? Perhaps finding comfort in food is not the same to everyone and may be achieved differently -- it can come from memories of foods of our childhood or our most loved flavours, the ones that warm both heart and soul. Me, I love persimmons. For nowadays, a ripe persimmon with a dash of cinnamon, eaten by the spoon, is what I call comfort food! Many of you will probably disagree, as many people seem to *really* dislike persimmons... For those, I'm sharing my Chestnut Risotto with Red Beans. Now don't say chestnuts aren't your thing... ;)
Chestnut Risotto with Red Beans
1 tbsp olive oil
100 gr smoked bacon, chopped
1 tbsp thyme (leaves only) + extra to serve
200 gr chestnuts (shelled and peeled), chopped coarsely*
100 gr risotto rice
750 ml vegetable stock, warm
400 gr red beans, cooked
2 tbsp single cream + 50 ml whole milk
Parmesan (1/4 cup), freshly grated, to serve
*Bake chestnuts for 15 minutes at 200ºC with salt. Don't forget to make a shallow cut before baking. Peel whilst still warm. Freeze in ziploc bags.
In a heavy based pan heat the olive oil. Add bacon and thyme and cook for 2 minutes. Add chestnuts and rice and keep stirring until the rice looks slightly translucent. Add a ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt, if necessary. Keep stirring. It should take around 15 minutes until you run out of stock and the rice is cooked. Add red beans, cream and milk. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Serve with grated parmesan and thyme leaves.