Sohui Kim is a jack-of-all-trades, combining classical European cooking techniques with her Korean heritage in The Good Fork Cookbook. Inspired by putting a whimsical Dr. Seuss spin on classic comfort food, this green pea and herb purée is folded into creamy risotto before getting topped with fried ham and a quail egg—a play on none other than green eggs and ham. It’s the perfect hearty yet bright dish to transition you into colder weather.
Since risotto can be tricky to make, pay close attention as you’re stirring, which should be done constantly, making sure the grains absorb all that liquid. It may seem like a lot for two cups of rice, but we promise it’s just the right amount.
To learn more, read “Fork Yeah.”
Pea Risotto with Fried Quail Eggs and Ham
Recipe adapted from Sohui Kim, ‘The Good Fork Cookbook’ (Abrams)
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
For the Green Purée:
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
½ cup frozen spinach, thawed
½ cup parsley leaves
¼ cup water
For the Risotto:
Vegetable oil, for frying
4 ounces serrano ham, sliced lengthwise into ½-inch strips
6 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
¼ cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup frozen peas
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fried quail eggs, for serving
Chopped chives, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving
1. Make the green purée: In a blender, combine all the green purée ingredients and blend until smooth. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 350º and line a plate with paper towels. Working in batches, fry the ham until golden and crisp, 30 seconds. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain.
3. Make the risotto: In another medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock and water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a very low simmer.
4. In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook until toasted and beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is completely evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Ladle 2 cups of the simmering chicken stock mixture over the rice. Stir almost constantly until the liquid is completely absorbed, 5 minutes. Continue this process of adding stock and stirring until absorbed until the chicken stock mixture is gone and the rice is tender and creamy, 20 to 25 minutes more.
6. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter vigorously until emulsified. Stir in the green purée, frozen peas and cheese, then season with salt and pepper.
7. Divide the risotto between plates and top each with fried ham, a fried egg, chives and a squeeze of lemon, then serve.
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