I’m by myself in the flat and feeding myself has become something of a challenge. Normal recipes are almost out of the question unless the results are freezable – once, one meatloaf recipe fed me for 3 meals and half of it remained in my freezer until Blai came back. I’ve also gone the simple route – sandwiches – but that started to get boring.

What do you cook when you’re cooking for one? Do you cook each day or do you cook a few portions at a time? Or do you not cook at all? Hello, takeaway!

Usually, what happens is that I have something in the fridge that needs using up. I had some oyster mushrooms that were on the verge of going bad and thought of making a risotto with them. I always start risottos with the best of intentions and then by the time it’s finally finished, after the incessant stirring, I’m cursing the invention of risotto. But then the next time, I’ll start getting excited again… Anyway, here’s the recipe for risotto for one, with enough for leftovers.

Oyster Mushroom Risotto

Oyster Mushroom Risotto
serves 1 with leftovers, or 2 as a light meal

125g oyster mushrooms, torn or cut into large bite sized pieces
a splash of brandy
160 mL risotto rice (sorry, I’ve only got it by volume!)
1 small onion, finely chopped
~ 1.5 L hot vegetable stock (I used Marigold stock powder)
olive oil
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
1 tbsp creme fraiche (optional)
freshly ground black pepper

Heat a saute pan or large frying pan over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil when hot. Tip in the mushrooms and fry until soft. Add a splash of brandy and when the liquid has reduced, take out the mushrooms and set them aside.

Place the pan back on the heat and when hot, add about a tablespoon of olive oil and a pat of butter. When the butter has melted, add the onion and fry gently until translucent. Add the risotto rice and make sure that each grain is coated with oil and butter. Add a ladleful of stock and stir the rice gently and constantly. When most of the liquid has been absorbed, add another ladleful and repeat until the rice is cooked through (but with a bite in the middle).

Stir through the cooked mushrooms, the parmesan cheese, the creme fraiche, and some black pepper and salt, if required. If the risotto has become a bit stodgy during this time, add a little more stock to loosen it a little then plate and serve.