Tag Archives: risotto

Risotto with Scallops and Black Pudding

There’s something about the happy marriage of scallops and black pudding: just yummy! And in this risotto, they are really scrumptious: the earthy black pudding and the sweet scallops mixed in with the rich, creamy risotto – ooooh, just lovely!

Serves 4

What you need…

750ml hot water from the kettle

2 fish stockpots (I use Knorr)

25g butter

1 shallot, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 leek, washed and diced

250g Arborio risotto rice

50ml dry white wine

1 dollop mascarpone

50g Parmesan, freshly grated

4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

12 slices black pudding

12 scallops (out of shells)

What to do…

Use a balloon whisk to dissolve the fish stockpots into the hot water to create your fish stock.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and sweat the shallot, garlic and leek without colouring.

Turn the heat down and add the rice, stirring to coat in the butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Then start to add the stock, one ladle at a time, waiting for each ladleful to be absorbed before adding any more – this should take 15 – 20 minutes. The rice should be cooked but still retain some ‘bite’. Add in the mascarpone and Parmesan together with the parsley and seasoning. Taste and adjust the cheese content and season to suit.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat the oil and when it starts to smoke, add the black pudding, cooking it for 3 minutes before turning over and adding the scallops to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, turning the scallops once.

Serve your delicious risotto with your lovely scallops and black pudding and just enjoy the sheer yumminess that is this combination!

Inspired by…

James Martin

How easy…

Very easy and very relaxing to make as long as you have the time that the arborio needs to get to that lovely oozy, delectable state!

 

Monkfish with Asparagus Risotto and Sage Oil

This is a lovely warm and comforting risotto with the rather sumptuous addition of monkfish. Very filling and very easy to make, it’s very slow cooking process also makes for some relaxation time. I love sage and the sage-infused oil adds just perfect finishing touch to this tasty family supper dish.

What you need…

for the sage oil

40ml olive oil

A small handful of sage leaves, roughly chopped

for the risotto

1 x baking tray, lined with Bake O Glide or buttered to prevent the fish sticking

500ml water, boiled in the kettle

1 vegetable stockpot (I use Knorr)

16 – 20 asparagus spears (depending on how much you like your asparagus)

Splash of olive oil

Knob of butter

3 shallots, finely chopped

400g risotto rice

350ml white wine

Sea salt and black pepper

800g monkfish, cut into biggish bite-sized chunks

30g Parmesan cheese, grated

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

In a small saucepan, tip in the oil and sage leaves and turn onto the lowest heat, leaving the sage to infuse into the oil whilst you do the rest of the recipe.

In another pan, make a vegetable stock by dissolving the stockpot into the boiling water, using a balloon whisk to speed up the process. Set aside.

Trim your asparagus (I just break mine roughly in the middle). Set aside the lovely tips and roughly chop the remaining woody ends, adding them to the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a gentle heat, just to keep it warm.

In a third, wide saucepan, heat the oil and butter over a moderate heat. Add in the shallots and sauté until they are soft but not brown (5 minutes maybe). Add the rice and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and stir on a casual basis until it has all been absorbed (I normally faff around doing other bits and pieces at this point).

Using a slotted spoon, remove the chopped asparagus from the stock and discard. Chuck the asparagus tips into the rice, season with sea salt and black pepper and then add 1 ladle of stock into the rice and turn the heat down so that it is very gently simmering. More casual stirring required. Once that first ladle has been absorbed, add another and keep going like this until all the stock has been used. It is important to do this slowly (15 – 20 minutes) and over a low heat to ensure that the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. If you run out of stock before the rice is properly cooked, add a little boiling water. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

As the last ladle goes in, place the monkfish chunks on your baking tray and drizzle over a little sage oil, including the leaves. Season and pop in the oven and cook for 10 minutes – it’s cooked when it bounces back when poked!

Whilst the fish is cooking, remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Pop the lid on and let the risotto rest to become lovely, oozy and creamy for 5 minutes.

To serve, spoon or plonk a wee mountain of asparagus risotto onto each plate (definitely warmed) and then scatter over the monkfish, before drizzling over the remaining sage oil. Enjoy! Just enjoy – absolutely delightful.

Tip…

Rather than peeling and chopping shallots, I buy the frozen ‘Cooks’ Ingredients Handful of Shallots’ from Waitrose, which simply require a quick shake out of the packet – much easier!

Inspired by…

My Waitrose magazine for the idea, a little Jamie Oliver for the approach and quite a lot of Cindy-meddling with the ingredients!

How easy…

Very, very easy but risotto takes time. Some good background music, someone to chat to in a warm kitchen with a cold glass of white wine produce perfect results!

 

Prawn Risotto with Pernod

An excessive experience with Pernod on my 20th birthday put me off the stuff for life but on a recent trip to Santorini, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch overlooking the Aegean sea and John’s choice of prawn risotto with Pernod was absolutely gorgeous, to the point that I resolved to try and replicate the dish when we returned home. This is the result and it is really lovely: the Pernod just adds a wonderful depth of flavour that works perfectly with the prawns – simply delicious. 23 years later, I have also re-established a tentative relationship with this the anise-flavoured liqueur…. one that will remain firmly as a recipe ingredient and nothing more!

Serves 4

What you need…

Knob of butter

Splash of olive oil

2 banana shallots, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

4 tomatoes, chopped

400ml white wine

4 tablespoons Pernod

400g Arborio rice

500ml hot chicken stock

100g frozen peas

Sea salt and black pepper

480g raw prawns, shelled

2 tablespoons crème fraiche

Parsley, chopped, to garnish

What to do…

Melt the butter and warm the oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the shallots, garlic and fennel seeds and cook for about 5 minutes until soft.

Tip in the tomatoes and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, until they start to break down a little.

Pour in the rice and stir so that it’s evenly covered.

Add half the wine and all of the Pernod. Stir continuously until most of the liquid is absorbed and then add the rest of the wine, continuing to stir.

Reduce the heat to low and add the hot chicken stock one ladle at a time, stirring it in and ensuring each ladleful is absorbed before adding the next one – this is the bit that takes the time – chatting and gentle wine-slurping encouraged during this process.

When you have just a couple of ladles of stock left, tip in the peas and then finish adding the stock as before, until it has all been absorbed.

Season with sea salt and black pepper. Taste and add more seasoning if required.

Add the prawns and stir them in gently until they are just turning from grey to pink. Stir in the crème fraiche and then turn off the heat and pop on the saucepan lid and just walk away for 2 minutes – this final touch just finishes the risotto rice off beautifully.

Serve on warmed plates or bowls, garnished with parsley. Enjoy and just imagine the sun sparkling on the Aegean sea – lovely!

Tip…

I use frozen and chopped garlic as well as shallots from the Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients range: saves a lot of faffing about.

Inspired by…

A little restaurant in Santorini and the best ingredients from a selection of googled recipes.

How easy…

Very easy but you need to have time on your hands: risotto is not a dish to be rushed – it’s a slow and gentle process, best accompanied by a glass of white wine and someone to chat to.

Scrumptious Risotto

There is something wonderfully satisfying and calming about making risotto – it needs time to do it properly but isn’t complicated. And then there’s the sheer pleasure of eating it – it definitely fits into the ‘comfort food’ category.

 

Risotto Bianco -the basis for all my risottos

Serves 6

What you need…

1.1 litres stock (chicken, fish or veg, as appropriate)

2 tablesp. olive oil

a knob of butter

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

4 sticks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped

400g risotto rice

300ml dry white wine

Sea salt & black pepper, to taste

What to do…

Heat the stock. Put the olive oil and butter into a separate pan and add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes without colouring. This is called a ‘soffrito’. When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.

The rice will now begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute, it will look slightly translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring – it will smell fabulous!

Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn down the heat and simmer so that the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and massaging the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take about 15 minutes. Taste the rice to check that it is cooked. If not, carry on adding stock (or boiling water if you’ve run out) until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Check seasoning.

Remove from the heat. For a basic risotto, add 70g butter and 115g freshly grated Parmesan. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to stand for 2-5 minutes. This is one of the most important elements of making the perfect risotto, as this is when it comes amazingly oozy, like it should be. Serve and enjoy that beautiful creamy texture.

Variations…

Seafood Risotto

Use fish stock. When you have just two final ladlefuls of stock to go, add in four scallops, sliced horizontally, and 2 fillets of salmon, skinned and chopped into cm-sized chunks plus, a handful of clams and/or mussels if you fancy.

Once you have removed the risotto from the heat, squeeze in half a lemon’s juice and 250g raw prawns, stir well to make sure all the prawns are totally covered by the hot rice. As per Risotto Bianco, place a lid on the pan for 2 – 5 mins before serving. Bellissimo!

Mint, Asparagus, Peas & Lemon Risotto (pictured)

Use vegetable stock. Trim and cook 400g asparagus in boiling, salted water until al dente. Chop 1 tablesp. mint.

When you have just two final ladlefuls of stock to go, add in the al dente asparagus, chopped mint and a couple of handfuls of frozen petit pois. Squeeze in juice from half a lemon and stir well.

As per Risotto Bianco, place a lid on the pan for 2 – 5 minutes before serving. Delish!

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Use vegetable stock. Fry 200g wild mushrooms (cleaned and torn up) in a splash of hot oil for a minute or two until they begin to colour. Season with salt and pepper. Add 4-5 cloves chopped garlic, a small bunch thyme leaves and 1 tablesp. butter and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.

Once you have removed the risotto from the heat, add the Parmesan and butter as per Risotto Bianco and stir in 1 small bunch finely chopped flat-leaf parsley. Add the mushroom mixture, squeeze in juice from half a lemon and stir well. As per Risotto Bianco, place a lid on the pan for 2 – 5 mins before serving. Divine!

Tip…

Dried porcini work fabulously in this risotto. You just need to remember pop them in boiling water for 20 minutes before cooking with them.

Inspired by…

Jamie Oliver

How easy…

Really, really easy as long as you have the time to let the rice become oozy and the flavours develop.