Well there’s a theme this week, Risotto. I have no control over what Frank blogs and vice versa, so sometimes we may clash. Oh what a lovely clash though. Whereas Frank’s risotto was part of a meal, my risotto is a meal in itself. Also here you will find ingredients you’ll never find in one of Frank’s blogs namely seafood.
Frank never eats any seafood, he won’t eat mussels on the basis that they look like a lady part, I’ll leave that to your imagination. They’re all out, prawns, cockles, clams. I’m not sure about squid but I would guess it’s on his do not eat list. A very strange situation for such a blatant foodie.
This dish is a regular favourite of the Rimmers. Particularly on a Friday or Saturday night.
Here’s what I used for 2 servings
2 Cups Arborio Rice
1 Fish Stock cube
Smoked Haddock around 100g
Pollack. Use any other white fish
2 Fresh Chillis
My good friend Fred brought me a huge bag of frozen cooked prawns and I also bought 4 packets of cooked mussels that were reduced in Tesco. They take up too much room in the freezer so we’ve had a few seafoody dishes recently. I much prefer fresh mussels as you get the lovely juices too but you could really taste the individual mussels in this dish purely by not overcooking them and turning them to rubber. I also had the ends of some frozen pollack fillets having used the thicker bits for battered fish.
The first thing I did was to cook the smoked haddock. I did this by putting the fillets in a bowl of water, covering them with a plate and microwaving for 3 minutes and then leaving them to steep in the water.
The rest of the seafood I left frozen.
Now to make the risotto. Gently fry the chopped garlic and chillis in olive oil for a couple of minutes and then add the rice and coat the rice in the oil till it takes on a slightly translucent sheen. For effect I always add some turmeric to make the rice go yellow. If you were posh you could use saffron but I didn’t want that taste in this dish.
I then added the water from the smoked haddock and stirred. Basic risotto making as Frank explained is add the water little and often. I made a fish stock with the cube and added this to the rice a little at a time. Keep this up till you think the rice is just nearly ready. Try it by biting it, it should be slightly al dente. Add a load of parmesan to the rice and stir in. No need to grate it, I finely chop mine and add it. It will melt into the dish anyway. Put a good amount in as I think the cheese is the real essence of a risotto.
Add all your frozen seafood and maybe a few peas as well. I hadn’t got any at the time. Keep stirring till the risotto warms up again as all that frozen food will have cooled it down. Lastly flake the smoked haddock and add to the risotto along with some herbs of your choice. My chives are well on their way in the garden so that’s what I used. And you’re ready to serve with a good twist of black pepper.
A good idea would be some lovely crunchy bread to go with it. Also, make more than you need as Carol and I spend the next hour going back to the pan for “just another nibble”. The combination of flavours and heat is so addictive.
No Shiraz here for this dish. Carol had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and peasant that I am , I had a bottle of ice cold cider.
If only I could get Frank to eat this. I’m sure blindfolded, he would appreciate this flavour explosion.
Do try this dish use anything you have but make sure smoked haddock is one of your ingredients. Cheers me hearties. Mugsie