Friday dinner a deux - Seafood Risotto


I love making us a nice Friday dinner. I usually favour fish and seafood and try to keep it a reasonably light affair, because on Friday nights we often go out for drinks in our favourite cocktail bar in Soho.Or at least we plan to, I have to say nowadays more often than not we end up collapsing on the sofa in front of the TV after dinner and don't manage to go anywhere. I think our wild partying days are just about over.

I haven’t tried a seafood risotto before, so decided to give it a go last night. I have done mushroom and other vegetable risottos and they’ve turned out nice. I got some raw king prawns, scallops and Atlantic salmon from the shop. They also had lobster tail, I don’t know why I didn’t get it. I should have, a sudden burst of stinginess I suppose.

Anyway my maritime booty made a very nice mix for my risotto, but you can use what you like and what you can find, any type of fish, prawn, langoustine, scallop, mussel, crab, lobster etc.

The risotto was lovely and we ate a lot of it which was just as well, because we ended up on the sofa and not in a bar.

Seafood Risotto - Risotto alla Pescatora (serves 4)

1 small leak
2 cloves of garlic
250 g Arborio rice
200 ml dry white wine
100 g Green beans
500 ml low salt fish stock
250 ml water
200 g prawns
200 g scallops
200g salmon
Juice of a lemon
1/3 cup dill, parsley (or herb of your choice)
1/3 cup grated parmesan

Prep your seafood; devein the shrimp, clean the scallops and cut into quarters if they are big, and halves if they are smaller, remove skin and bones of your fish and cube. Place seafood in a bowl, add the juice of half a lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, mix and leave to marinade while you cook the rice. If you want a bit of heat in your risotto, you can add some fried chilli flakes or chopped fresh chilli into your fish or cook with the onions and rice.

Heat oil in a non-stick casserole dish. Add the chopped leak into the pan with a pinch of salt, fry on low heat for 5 minutes. Then add the minced garlic, continue frying on low heat for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat up and add the rice. Stir until rice is covered in oil, sweat for a few minutes and add the white wine. Let boil until the wine is absorbed, turn the heat down to medium. 

In the meanwhile heat up 500 ml of fish stock and 250 ml water in a separate pan. Once the wine has absorbed start adding the stock a ladle at a time letting it simmer and absorb before adding the next one. Keep going like this until rice is almost cooked. Add the green beans – you can cut them in half lengthwise. Add the juice of half the lemon and the chopped herbs. Don’t worry if you don’t use all the liquid, as long as the rice is cooked and the consistency is right, not too dry, but not wet either, just lovely a gloopy.

Melt a generous knob of butter in a small frying pan. Add the scallops first as they take the longest to cook. In a couple of minutes add the salmon. Once scallops and salmon are almost done add the prawns. They cook very quickly and you don’t want them to turn into rubber. Once the prawns have turned pink they are done. 

Mix the seafood gently together with the grated parmesan into the rice. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately with a green salad and warm bread.

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