Friday, May 09, 2008

Smoked Salmon, Goats' Cheese and Dill Risotto

Sun 4 May 2008

I actually have one more Marcus Wareing recipe to post but I'm running the risk of becoming a one trick wonder so let's skip past Sunday's baking (just for now) and move on to Sunday's afternoon tea and supper.

For afternoon tea we had some smoked salmon along with a bottle of 2003 Cape Mentelle Chardonnay. I've probably only had this bottle about a year, and I hadn't meant to keep it that long. In hindsight, I very much wish I hadn't. The full retail price had been £13.99, but this was another wine I bought on offer. The back label advised drinking for up to three years, and the Cape Mentelle (extraordinarly slow) website offers no cellaring suggestions for their whites (although the 2006 they advise drinking up to 2014). You know where I'm going with this: the wine was old and tired. The fruit had vanished, its high alcohol (14.5%) dominated the back palate and it was all a bit one dimensional, both nose and palate wise.

I know I'm not a big Australian oaked Chardonnay drinker but I am actually being quite fair. There is something quite distinctive about a tired Chardonnay (and I'm thinking back to a very past it Kumeu River I had a couple of years ago), and leaving a wine too long to drink is always annoying. Cork taint, wine faults - they're someone else's problem. Leaving a wine hanging around, un-drunk - it's 100% YOUR fault. If I get the opportunity in the near future, I'll see if I can pick up a more current vintage CM Chardonnay for comparison.

Wine disappointment meant that supper had to be good. With dill and chèvre left over from the sea bass, and smoked salmon left over from afternoon tea, the obvious thing to put together was a risotto.

For two people, I used about 150g of Arborio rice. On Sunday night, I used one small onion, finely chopped and sweated down in some unsalted butter. I didn't bother with garlic. Add the rice, and stir, so that the grains are covered in the butter. Now start adding hot stock. You don't have to be too precise about how much stock you have on the go. I have one pan that I always use and often I need to top it up with some water (or white wine) as I go along. The main thing is that your stock is hot and you mix it in to your rice slowly. Let the rice absorb the stock before adding the next ladle.

Yes, this takes a while but it's not exactly tricky ... pour yourself a glass of wine, put some music on or read the paper, just keep stirring.

When the rice was cooked (you need to keep trying it), I added half of my remaining chèvre, chopped, some grated parmesan and a load of chopped dill. I put the remaining chèvre in the bottle of our bowls, quickly stirred the chopped smoked salmon through the risotto and finished with a sprinkling of chopped dill and a twist of pepper.

Not bad at all for a meal based on leftovers!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet that was truly tasty. Risotto is one of my comfort foods and I shall be making it with local asparagus tomorrow.

I love your quote 'in the bottle of our bowls' I wonder what you could have been thinking of?

I keep missing your posts, I must put a reminder somewhere so that I read you more frequently as I enjoy your writing.

6:17 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Ooops! I suspect I must have been thirsty at the time!

If you find you miss posts, it might be worth investigating RSS feeds. There's a big orange button in the top right hand corner of this page that will allow you to subscribe.

You can find an explanation of RSS here.

1:16 pm  

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