Posts Tagged ‘risotto’

Seafood "Risotto" - without rice!

Seafood "Risotto" - without rice!

The truth is, haven’t we all done something crazy just for a good meal?

Sometimes, I have these ideas about food go beyond that, so much so that they are admittedly pushing the verge of deranged and demented.

Lately, I’ve been obsessing about soil.

I seriously need to get four potatoes and two kilos of soil… and some hessian sacks… All because I’ve been dreaming about making Ben Shewry’s Potato Dish which is cooked for 8 hours in a Maori hangi.  To prevent receiving that “Are you out of your mind?!”  look from my husband, I’ve been debating how to get his buy in.

Should I go with the “bad news/good news”  tactic.  “I need to buy two kilos of soil to cook four potatoes…. but not to worry, I don’t need a hangi like the original recipe… I can just cook it in our oven.”

Or maybe the multipurpose excuse.  “If we get the two kilos of soil, then once I’m done using it for the cooking, we can use it to bury the holes the dogs have dug in the garden!”

Once in a while, I get away with the “Just trust me…. it’ll be worth it.” argument.

Take this weekend for instance.  I had been wanting to make Marque Restaurants’s Risotto of Local Calamari, Prawns & Broth for quite some time but was too lazy to drive.  When I tried to get my husband to take me,  he questioned why we had travel to another suburb when I could have as easily picked up the seafood at the local fish monger.

“Not the same!” I told him.  The quality and variety of seafood was incomparable.  “Seafood is seafood.” he said.

“Trust me. ” I told him.

The result of that unwavering trust is this Seafood Risotto which has been adapted from one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney, Marque.  The recipe is a truly a wonderful surprise.  You think you are having a bowl of creamy rice but it is finely cut squid and a creamy cauliflower puree that gives the dish that risotto like texture.  We had recently gone there for dinner and I was sad to find out that the dish wasn’t offered on the menu anymore.  Which of course, led to the weekend quest to find the best possible seafood in Sydney and come up with my own version.

And so what to do about the two kilos of soil for the potatoes?

I guess the other option is to just write about it in this blog and let him find out the same time as everybody else.

Seafood "Risotto" with scampi, pippies and squid (but no rice!)

Seafood "Risotto" with scampi, pippies and squid (but no rice!)


Seafood “Risotto”

Serves 4
This recipe was adapted from Marque Restaurant

For the “Risotto”

  • 400 grams squid, cleaned and skinned
  • 4 scampi plus 4 large prawns (or 8 large prawns), peeled, deveined and head and shells reserved
  • handful of pippies
  • 1/4 cauliflower
  • 270 ml milk
  • 1 medium leek, diced
  • 100 grams butter
  • Prawn Broth (recipe follows)
  • Basil leaves
  1. Place the squid in the freezer for an hour to make it easier to cut. When ready, finely dice the body until they are almost the size of grains of rice. Reserve the tentacles for plating. Set the diced squid aside until ready to use.
  2. Break the cauliflower up into florets, place in a sauce pan with the milk and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Allow the cauliflower to simmer until soft, around 40 minutes, making sure that the milk does not spill over.
  4. Strain half the milk from the cauliflower and using a hand blender, puree the cauliflower until smooth. You may need to add some of the reserved milk to make the puree smoother.
  5. Heat half the butter in a large pan. Add the prawns/scampi and cook until golden, remove and keep in a warm place. Add the squid tentacles and pippies cook until the shells open and the squid is cooked through. Again, keep in a warm place until ready to serve.
  6. Add the remaining butter and the leeks and saute until soft, around 5 minutes over a low/medium heat.
  7. Add the cut up squid and around 6 to 8 heaping tablespoons of the cauliflower puree. The idea is to achieve that creamy look of a risotto.
  8. To plate, put the squid risotto on a plate, top with the seafood, basil leaves and some of the prawn broth.

For the prawn broth

  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • reserved head and shells of the scampi/prawns
  1. Saute the carrot, onion and garlic around 5 minutes. Add the reserved heads and shells and saute another three minutes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, crush the head and shells to extract as much flavour as possible.
  2. Add the chicken stock and allow to simmer around 30 minutes. Strain and the stock and place back in a sauce pan and allow to reduce until half the quantity is left (you will only need about 2 to 3 tablespoons each serve).
  3. Before serving, froth the prawn broth with a hand blender.

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Basmati Risotto with Grilled Prawns

Basmati Risotto with Grilled Prawns (Tomislav Restaurant)

Is it persistence or stubbornness? Maybe both?

When I have an idea in my head, I’ll do whatever it takes to get it (all within legal means of course!) and I never back down from a dare.  Ever.

Every now and again these two traits can get me into trouble.  Like the time I confidently told my sister that I could get ourselves into the Qantas First Class lounge only to be evicted twenty minutes later as we were about to take a sip of our coffees (she never has forgiven me for that).

But more often than not, I try to channel these traits more noble pursuits.  Like finding a way to get a recipe for a dish I really enjoy, or getting a seat at a restaurant that is booked months in advance or experimenting with food or gadgets I’ve never used.

Introducing: Dare me…

This idea was born out of a conversation between me and my husband.   We were having dinner at Tomislav Restaurant the other night and I was blown away with the Basmati Risotto with Yamba Prawns.  “I wish there was a way to get my hands on this recipe.”  I told him.

“I dare you ask the chef for it.”  He said.  “You seem to get your hands on many of the recipes you like.” he added.  I wasn’t able to ask Chef Tomislav for the recipe that night (he had not yet arrived) but I managed to find the recipe anyway.  I made this dish twice in two days.  Yes, it was that good.  The first time I made it over the stove top, adding the chicken stock gradually as you would a regular risotto.  The next day I made the basmati risotto using the thermomix.  I’m pleased to report both techniques work as well as each other.

So here’s the first of hopefully a series of posts called : Dare me.

If you’re looking for a recipe that you really love – then dare me to find it for you. Just drop me an email or a comment at the end of this post and I’ll turn your craving into a fun challenge and get you that coveted recipe!

Tomislav’s Basmati Risotto with Prawns

  • 250 grams good quality Basmati Rice
  • 1000 to 1500 ml good quality hot chicken stock (homemade is best)
  • 125 grams unsalted butter
  • 10 ml soy sauce
  • 40 grams acidulated butter (see below)
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone
  • Lemon Juice
  • Chopped Nori roll (1 sheet)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 200 grams prawns, chopped

Regular Method

  1. Place the butter in a wide surfaced pan and melt. Add the rice and toast for around 3 minutes until the butter is slightly browned and nutty. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the chicken stock (I only used 1000 ml but the recipe calls for 1500 ml) a little at a time and stir continuously for around 15 minutes. The rice will still have a little bite and remember that the dish will not be as creamy as a risotto using regular risotto rice.
  3. Once the rice is cooked, finish the dish by stirring in the soy sauce, acidulated butter, mascarpone, lemon juice, chopped nori roll and chives. Season with more salt and pepper if needed
  4. Grill the prawns and top the risotto with grilled prawns and grated lemon zest.

Using the Thermomix
FYI: I halved the recipe on the Thermomix

  1. Heat the butter at 100c on speed 3 for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and heat for 5 minutes using the butterfly attachment on reverse and speed soft.
  3. Add the stock (I added 500 ml for 125 grams rice but feel free to add more stock if necessary towards the end of the cooking time) and continue to cook (butterfly attachment, reverse, speed soft) for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the soy, acidulated butter, mascarpone, lemon juice, nori and chives and give it another stir for 5 or so seconds on reverse, speed soft.
  5. Top with grilled prawns and lemon zest and serve immediately.

Acidulated Butter

  • 100 grams unsalted butter
  • 50 grams basmati rice

In a pan, melt the butter and add the rice and cook until nutty brown flavour is released. Pass this through a sieve. Set aside.

  • 90 ml white wine
  • 90 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • 100 grams butter

Combine the onion, white wine and white wine vinegar and heat in a pan and reduce until the pan is almost dry. Take this off the heat and whisk in the butter until the butter is emulsified. Pass through a sieve.

Mix both butters and leave to set in the fridge for around 8 hours. You will have enough for several batches and this lasts a few days in the fridge.

Stumble It!

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