This recipe was made by Aris Tsanaklides, executive chef and part owner of Kuzina Restaurant in Athens. As he cooks to order, he does some pre-preparation with the rice and cooks one portion at a time. Here it is doubled to make enough for two people.
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- pinch of saffron
- 1 cup (200 g) Vialone Nano Rice or Arborio rice
- ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine
- 2 fresh corn cobs, kernels (115 g approx.) removed
- 2 tsp (10 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 140 g pumpkin, diced into 1 cm pieces
- ½ small (40 g) red onion, chopped
- ½ cup (80 g) sultanas
- ¼ cup (60 g) soft curd cheese (e.g. Ksinotiri from Crete, goat's curd or smooth ricotta)
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice, optional
- ¼ cup (20 g) shaved Myzithra cheese, or parmesan
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Heat 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth in a small saucepan or microwave. Infuse saffron in 1 tablespoon warm water.
2. Par-cook rice by combining rice, a pinch of salt and white wine in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Evaporate off the wine, then add hot broth. Boil for four minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and spread the rice out in a baking pan to cool quickly. Leave until required.
3. Place a medium saucepan over high heat, add corn kernels to the dry pan and cook for 5 minutes or until corn smells toasted, chars and begins to pop. Add olive oil and shake pan. Then add pumpkin, red onion and par boiled rice and mix well. Add remaining cold broth, saffron and sultanas and season with salt and pepper. Lower heat and cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice and vegetables are tender.
4. Stir in parmesan, soft curd cheese, half Myzithra cheese and butter. Taste, and if you have used ricotta cheese, which doesn’t have the acid of a goat's cheese, add lemon juice to taste. Serve topped with remaining Myzithra.
• Vegetable broth is used during a fasting period like Lent. Aris uses hot stock for the first cooking of the rice, but uses cold the second time, so that the rice doesn’t overcook.