Eight Bells

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Risotto Redux

Scallops are relatively cheap at the moment so it's time to revisit seafood risotto only this time it's a la Julian not a la Julia.

Seafood Risotto
1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice
1 dozen fresh scallops
2 dozen smallish frozen or fresh prawns
2 cups of frozen or fresh broad beans
1 large onion finely diced
4 cups of stock (in this case 2 cups of vegetable and 2 cups of chicken)
1 cup of white wine (again we used sauvignon blanc)
A handful of parsely, chopped
1 1/2 cups of fresh grated parmigiano reggiano cheese (romano is a good substitute)
1 250 ml box of UHT reduced fat cream
Salt & pepper
1 tablespoon of oil

Prepare by thawing your prawns if frozen and devein them. Put your scallops and prawns into a bowl and squeeze the juice of a medium sized lemon over them. Marinate in the lemon juice for 30 mins turning over a few times to ensure all the seafood is coated.
Put all the stock and wine into a pan and heat on a low heat (it needs to be hot when going into the rice).
Blanch your broad beans by placing in boiling water for around 2 mins and then draining and putting into cold water to stop them cooking. Hull the beans by holding between thumb and forefinger and pinching a small hole in the other end of the bean with your other thumbnail. Squeeze the bean out of the hole and discard the tough bitter skin. If you don't like broad beans you have no doubt only eaten them with the skin still on, this is what they should look like.

Grate your parmesan into a bowl and put aside. Chop the onion and the parsely. Put the cream into a small saucepan and heat gently on a low heat.

Cook the onion in the oil in a large pot or frying pan (I find a large high sided pot a little easier to work with) for around 5 mins until soft (do not brown it). Add the rice and cook for a further 3 or 4 minutes stirring all the time.
Begin to add the heated stock and wine mixture around a cup at a time stirring regularly and making sure that the liquid has been absorbed before adding the next cup. Continue doing this until all the stock is gone, this should take around 30 mins. Taste the rice, it is ready when the grains are soft but still retain a little bite (you don't want to end up with a risotto that is too soft and stodgy). At this stage add around half the heated cream and mix in. Add salt & plenty of freshly ground black pepper and taste again and adjust if necessary. Finally add the parsely, 1 cup of the parmesan, the beans and the seafood after draining the lemon juice off (discard the lemon juice). Mix thoroughly but gently so as not to break up the scallops. If the risotto is too thick at this stage add a little more of the cream to loosen it up.
Serve with the rest of the parmesan and of course the rest of the sauvignon blanc!


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