Thursday, 23 February 2012

Recipe - Seafood Risotto

Exams are obviously a stressful state of affairs. But also, a little unjust. Well, I'm really diluting the definition of unjust there. What I really mean is that it's a little sad that in these last short few months I'm having to spend most of my time learning about things I don't know or care about instead of spending time with my favourites. Actually, I feel even sadder when I think about how all the peripheral characters in my life are soon to be transplanted with new ones. Well, that's if I'm lucky and get a job. Another possibility is ending up back in the Midlands rocking back and forth and muttering 'anywhere but here'. All this being good is causing me to fret about these things. But it's also meaning that I'm cooking things other than pasta and fried rice more. My first attempt was at petits pois a la francaise. It did not go well. The pommes anna which accompanied it were even worse. So I thought, hey, let's go back to (even) simpler things and build up to greatness (I'm not really this immodest) again. The first attempt took place on Valentine's Day where I crashed the man-date of two of my friends and offered to cook. Well, actually, I suggested we go to the Jam Factory but my request was swiftly refused in a manner I'd never accept from an actual Valentine. I made a variation on this with the maverick side dish of garlic roasted baby brussel sprouts. Except that I used caraway seed instead of garlic. It was nice! But having blogged about something very similar before, I couldn't repeat. Anyway, I finally got round to cooking new-recipe-post-worthy food. Seafood risotto. It would've happened earlier but this day worsened my illness and meant I flaked on the initial date to run away to Birmingham and spend lots of money.
Seafood Risotto
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
Half a bulb of fennel, finely chopped
1 tsp fennel seed
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
300g arborio rice
200ml white wine
1l fish stock
Seafood - 30 mussels, 8 REALLY BIG prawns, 8 cod cheeks
12 cherry tomatoes
Parsley, finely chopped
Herby tops of fennel, finely chopped
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Fry onion, garlic, chilli, carrot and fennel in olive oil until the onion is translucent and softening.
Add the rice and coat with oil. Add the fennel seeds and turmeric and mix thoroughly.
Add the wine on a high heat and let the alcohol evaporate away.
Add enough fish stock so the risotto is just covered all the time and stir.
Continue to add fish stock and stir until the rice is cooked.
When the rice is about 5 minutes from being cooked, add the prawns and cod cheeks. Add the mussels and cherry tomatoes for the last minute of cooking.
Stir in the fennel, parsley and lemon juice to taste. Season with black pepper and salt (if necessary).

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