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Tomato Risotto

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It has been a steep learning curve being a mom. It hadn’t been easy for the past few months. Sometimes, when I had a bit of spare time, I would catch up some sleep that I hadn’t much. I never knew I would be sleep deprived! It may sound like a hard work, but the effort is well worth, especially when you see how the little one grows up and progresses so quickly! I’m sure all moms out there will agree with me!

When time doesn’t allow me to be in kitchen, takeaway is the option. Recently, I came across Foodpanda, a website that connects you to a staggering selection of delivery restaurants around you. It’s an absolutely lifesaver as sometimes I’m just too lazy to leave home! I can just browse at my own sweet time and decide what to have for my lunch/dinner. Ordering food is really easy! Basically, you just have to follow the following steps:

On its landing page, the quickest way to oder is to enter your location and it will list out all the restaurants that deliver to the said address. Besides, popular cuisines and top restaurants are shown on the landing page too and these would give you some ideas what you could order.

I like to enter my location first and see what my choices I get. The listing of restaurants can further be filtered by cuisines i.e. Chinese, Japanese, etc OR types of restaurants i.e. vegetarian, new restaurants, etc.  There is link to each restaurant’s menu. Useful information such as estimated duration taken for delivery, delivery cost and minimum spent required are stated. By clicking on the restaurant’s menu brings me to the menu page. The categories of the menu makes it easier to “jump” to a particular category instead of scrolling.

The ordering process is really easy and self-explanatory. It’s graphical and logical too. Once the order is made, it can be easily retrieved in ‘my order’. I love the concept of what foodpanda has to offer – by bringing good selections of restaurants. It makes takeaway experience better and easier!

Great news for those who read this – I’ve teamed up with Foodpanda to offer each reader a discount voucher valued at HK$50. The voucher code is PANDAMCH and is only available for online payment. The first 50 lucky readers will be able to apply this code that is valid until 31st May 2015.

For those with smartphone, you can also download the app from the following links:



Tomato Risotto

Prep Time:

Cook Time:



For the tomato essence:

•850g cherry tomatoes
•1/2 small fennel, sliced
•1 garlic clove, finely sliced
•1/4 celery stick, chopped
•1/4 shallot, finely sliced
•1 sprig fresh basil
•1 sprig fresh thyme
•2 -3 drops Tabasco sauce
•1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

For the risotto:

•2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
•1 onion, finely chopped
•1 garlic clove, crushed
•250g risotto rice, such as carnaroli
•Salt and freshly ground black pepper
•150g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1cm/½in cubes
•400ml water
•400ml tomato essence
•10 cherry tomatoes, halved
•80g asparagus, cut into 5cm lengths
•80g peas
•4 tsp freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling



To make the tomato essence, place all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix together.Place the mixture, in batches, into a food processor and pulse five times for 1-2 seconds each time. Transfer the purée into a large bowl and repeat until all of the vegetables have been puréed.


Cover the bowl with cling film and chill in the fridge for six hours. Line a clean bowl with a large piece of muslin and spoon in the tomato mixture. Draw the corners of the muslin cloth together and tie up tightly. String the muslin ‘bag’ up above the bowl to catch the strained juices. Leave to strain overnight. (Do not be tempted to squeeze the muslin.) Once strained, cover and refrigerate until needed.


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. To make the risotto, heat a pan over a medium heat, add the olive oil and gently fry the onion for 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Add the rice, stirring well to coat in the olive oil. Fry for 1-2 minutes, or until the rice is translucent. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Place the halved (or whole) cherry tomatoes onto a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in the oven for 5-6 minutes, or until the tomatoes are just tender and collapsed slightly.


Add the butternut squash to the pan and mix well. Add the water and half of the tomato essence, then bring to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Place the remaining tomato essence into a saucepan and warm through.


By now, the rice should have absorbed all of the liquid. Remove the lid and stir well. Add the asparagus cook for a couple of minutes. Add the peas and parmesan and stir well, adding a little water if the risotto is too dry.To serve, spoon the risotto into a small serving bowl. Top with a few roasted tomatoes, a little sprinkling of parmesan.

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