Tagged: smoked

Smoked Sardines with Risini and a Parsley & Oregano Pesto

Ok – “What the hell is Risini?” I hear you ask. [Also sometimes called ‘Orzo’ – just in case you come across it and think we’ve been dishing out duff info!]

Well, it’s a rice shaped pasta. I saw it in Lidl (where else!) and just had to get a pack – with no idea what to do with it at the time. So it has been sat in my cupboard for over a month now.

I got a bag of smoked sardine fillets off the reduction bit at my Tesco (the only time I ever shop there).

And tonight came the inevitable question – “What are we having for tea?”

Fish, I said. So I prepped some pollock and breadcrumbed it for the kids and got the sardines out for me and the missus.

As my herb patch is a verdant jungle due to the crap summer we are having, I decided to make a pesto, but without the basil or pine nuts.  So I went to the patch and got a good handful of parsley and about half as much of the oregano.

I placed this in my blender along with a good glug of olive oil, half a handful of Peccorino cheese and the juice of half a lemon and blitzed it. It was a bit stiff at first so I added a little more oil till it was smooth.

I put enough risini for 2 into a pan of boiling salted water for about 5-6 minutes before adding a handful of peas. 

I then pan fried the sardine fillets skin side down in a hot frying pan till the skin went crispy. [You don’t get a truly crispy skin with sardines but it was enough to take the sliminess off it.]

I drained the risini and peas and then mixed in the pesto. Now we’re cooking!

Put the risini & pesto mix in a pasta dish and I added a few chopped tomatoes then laid the fish on top with a few shavings of parmezan. The whole thing took less than half an hour to make and I must say it was well appreciated by Carol, and by me.

I can honestly say that my fish intake has probably quadrupled over the last few years, and with recipes like this I can only imagine eating more.

Mugsie.



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Seafood Risotto or “Let’s see what’s in the freezer!”

Ok, time to move upmarket again. [pause for cursing]

Remember the salmon I did with cous cous? Well I made a stock with the bones and head. I researched a bit and many sites said salmon stock was a bit oily and strong for a stock.

“Sod ’em” I thought, “let’s just Doo,oo,oo it!” I said, in Captain Flashheart fashion!

One thing I always keep in the freezer, is smoked haddock. It’s the basis of many a fish dish from Fish Pie, to this lovely risotto.

How hard is risotto to make?

Well if you are prepared to stand upright for a while and stir, then not very!

There are two schools of thought on how to make risotto, pour all the stock in at once or add stock slowly in small batches.

I do the little and often method.

Ingredients you need for tasty Risotto:

Risotto Rice, half a bag, usually I buy Arborio Rice for this
Fish Stock, use 1 stock cube in boiling water or make your own stock.
Smoked Haddock, about 100g
Peas, a handful – try sweetcorn too, if you fancy.
Onion, finely chopped
Garlic, 2 cloves, finely chopped
Chilli, Optional, but one would give a nice heat.
Pinch of turmeric just for colour
Parmesan, a gooood handful.
Seafood of your choice – Mussels, Salmon, Prawns etc.

For the seafood I used a 150g chunk of Salmon, I had 20 Clams and some Scallops left in the freezer.

In a large saucepan, add some olive oil and gently fry garlic and onion and chilli till softened, then add the rice.
Fry the rice till it goes slightly transluscent, scatter half a teaspoon of turmeric then add some of your fish stock.
I havn’t given any measure on the stock amount as it will be up to the amount of rice you use. If you run out of stock – which you will – just carry on adding water instead.

Now on a gentle heat just keep stirring and while you are stirring cook some smoked haddock by placing in a bowl with some water, cover and cook in a microwave for a few minutes. When the haddock is done , take the skin off, flake it and add the haddock and it’s cooking water to the rice. When the rice goes a bit dry, add some more stock. Repeat this process a few more times – it may take 6 or 7 or 8 times.

Along the way you can add your bits.

I did the same to the salmon as I did to the haddock but left putting it in till last, to keep nice flakes of salmon to chew on.
I cooked the clams in a small pan till they opened, in a little water and then added the salty sweet sea water from them into the risotto too and I took the clams out of their shells and added them at thew last minute.

Seafood is ruined by overcooking because it becomes rubbery, so always add your bits at the last possible moment.

Maximum flavour is the mission!

Add the peas and, near the end, add the parmesan.

I fried a few scallops and added to the top of my risotto along with some chopped parsley and chives, (must get some more herbs growing!) and some clams left in their shells for decoration. (You Ponce!).

Your risotto should have a nice creamy texture with the rice still having a slight bite to it.

Great served with some crusty Bread. Oh and don’t forget a twist of black pepper at the end.

Fishylicious

Spongebob Mugsiepants